Now Playing:

Molly Ringwald on Broadway, The Breakfast Club & Jazz!

Senior Arts Editor Mark Wigmore speaks with actress, writer & musician, Molly Ringwald, about her long history with jazz, her time on the Broadway stage, and the enduring influence of the 'Brat Pack.


She first toddled on stage in the role of one of Baby-love’s illegitimate children in Truman Capote’s The Grass Harp. She continued to act in other community theatre productions in her hometown of Sacramento, inhabiting such roles as the Dormouse in Alice Through the Looking Glass and the only girl in the boy’s chorus of Oliver (where every night she trumpeted “Food, glorious food! Hot sausage and mustard!”). At the age of ten, she was cast in her first professional role as one of the orphans in the West Coast production of the Broadway show Annie at the Curran Theater in San Francisco and the Schubert Theater in Los Angeles. True to the chorus of “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” she had to leave the production after fifteen months when she had grown too tall.

Molly Ringwald performs at FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Wednesday, April 18th
& The Rose Theatre, Brampton, Thursday April 19th.

After a brief stint in The Facts of Life, her first television role, Molly was cast at the age of thirteen in Paul Mazursky’s film, Tempest. Her performance as Miranda, the daughter of John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands, earned her a Golden Globe nomination. She went on to star in numerous films, including The Pick-Up Artist, For Keeps, Fresh Horses, Betsy’s Wedding, Cindy Sherman’s directorial debut Office Killer, Billy Bob Thornton’s short film Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade, Jean-Luc Godard’s King Lear, and the now-iconic John Hughes’ movies Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink

In 1997, Ms. Ringwald returned to the theatre in New York City to star in Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize winning How I Learned to Drive, a role she reprised at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. (Prior theatre credits include creating the role of Horton Foote’s Lily Dale in the NY off-Broadway production and the role of Salome, with Al Pacino). She went on to play the legendary “Sally Bowles” in the Broadway production of Cabaret, and to star in the Tony-nominated Broadway production of Enchanted April, the London production of When Harry Met Sally, Jonathan Larson’s musical Tick Tick Boom! and the hit comedy Modern Orthodox, directed by James Lapine. She also danced her way through a successful national tour of Sweet Charity—and has the messed-up feet to show for it.

After starring in the breakout hit The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family, her most recent TV projects include the series Raising Expectations, appearances on Odd Mom Out, and a recurring role in the new CW series Riverdale. Films include Wishin’ and Hopin’, Bad Night, Jem and the Holograms, and King Cobra, with James Franco and Christian Slater. She recently shot Netflix’s film The Kissing Booth, the indie film All These Small Moments, and Matthew Ross’s film, Siberia, in which she plays the wife of Keanu Reeves.


She started performing with her pianist father and his Fulton Street Jazz Band when she was three and has never stopped. In 2013, Concord released her debut jazz album, Except Sometimes.

Molly recently appeared at the legendary jazz club in Manhattan, Birdland, where she recorded a live album, soon to be released. She continues to perform concerts with her band. Since the release of Except Sometimes, they have performed over 250 concerts in 7 countries.

In 1992, a lifelong Francophile, Ms. Ringwald moved to Paris where she acted in such foreign films as Jean-Charles Tacchella’s Tous Les Jours Dimanche and Toni Marshal’s Enfants de Salaud, which she performed entirely in French (and never tires talking about!). She frequently returned to the U.S. to star in television projects, including the critically acclaimed comedy series Townies, Stephen King’s The Stand, and the Emmy-nominated Allison Gertz Story.

Check out more of Molly Ringwald's music at

Senior Arts Editor Mark Wigmore is heard at  8:40 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays during the Jazz FM91 Arts Report. And don’t miss his arts and culture interview and entertainment magazine program, Arts Toronto, Sundays between 8-9am.

To get in touch with Mark it’s

Sorry, you need to register and log in to post a comment.

New York Festivals Awards

The Jazz Messenger

Sign up to receive our weekly e-newsletter, The Jazz Messenger.

Jazz Calendar Login

Forgot your password? Forgot your username?