(February 18, 1950 – August 6, 2009) was an American filmmaker.
Beginning as an author of humorous essays and stories for National Lampoon, he went on to write and direct some of the most successful live-action comedy films of the 1980s and 1990s such as National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) and its sequels National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989); Mr.
Mom (1983), Sixteen Candles (1984), Weird Science (1985), The Breakfast Club (1985), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), Pretty in Pink (1986), Some Kind of Wonderful (1987), Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), She's Having a Baby (1988), Uncle Buck (1989), Dutch (1991), Dennis the Menace (1993), Baby's Day Out (1994), the Beethoven franchise (co-written under a pseudonym with Amy Holden-Jones) and Home Alone (1990) and its sequels Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) and Home Alone 3 (1997).
Most of Hughes's work is set in the Chicago metropolitan area.
He is best known for his coming-of-age teen comedy films which often combined magic realism with honest depictions of suburban teenage life.
Many of his most enduring characters from these years were written for Molly Ringwald, who was Hughes's muse.
While out on a walk one morning in New York in the summer of 2009, Hughes suffered a fatal heart attack.
His legacy after his death was honored by many, including at the 82nd Academy Awards by actors with whom he had worked such as Matthew Broderick, Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall and Macaulay Culkin among others.
Actors whose careers Hughes helped launch include Michael Keaton, Hall, Bill Paxton, Broderick, Culkin and members of the Brat Pack group.