Can anyone play teen angst better than 1980s superstar Molly Ringwald? A member of the so-called "Brat Pack" — which also included Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, and Andrew McCarthy — the actress began her career in television and quickly ascended to silver-screen princess.

Molly Ringwald: From 'Sixteen Candles' to 50

As the '80s icon hits the big 5-0 on February 18 (feeling old yet?), reminisce about her teen-queen heyday.

Can anyone play teen angst better than 1980s superstar Molly Ringwald? A member of the so-called "Brat Pack" — which also included Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, and Andrew McCarthy — the actress began her career in television and quickly ascended to silver-screen princess. In 1978, 10-year-old Molly Ringwald rocked a bowl cut as she kicked off her acting career playing an orphan in an L.A. production of "Annie"; a year later, she appeared on the NBC sitcom "Diff’rent Strokes." NBC/NBC via Getty Images In 1978, 10-year-old Molly Ringwald rocked a bowl cut as she kicked off her acting career playing an orphan in an L.A. production of "Annie"; a year later, she appeared on the NBC sitcom "Diff’rent Strokes." You take the good, you take the bad…Ringwald was then cast as Molly Parker in the first season of "The Facts of Life," a spin-off of "Diff’rent Strokes," but her role got cut along with several others by season 2. NBC/NBC via Getty Images You take the good, you take the bad…Ringwald was then cast as Molly Parker in the first season of "The Facts of Life," a spin-off of "Diff’rent Strokes," but her role got cut along with several others by season 2. Her first movie role was as Miranda in 1982’s "Tempest," loosely based on the Shakespeare play. You might not remember that one now, but at the time Hollywood saw something special in the young actress: Molly got a Golden Globe nomination in the New Star of the Year category. Columbia TriStar/Getty Images Her first movie role was as Miranda in 1982’s "Tempest," loosely based on the Shakespeare play. You might not remember that one now, but at the time Hollywood saw something special in the young actress: Molly got a Golden Globe nomination in the New Star of the Year category. But it was her role in John Hughes’ 1984 coming-of-age comedy, "Sixteen Candles," that really made her a star. Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images But it was her role in John Hughes’ 1984 coming-of-age comedy, "Sixteen Candles," that really made her a star. She portrayed teen Samantha Baker, whose family totally forgets her 16th birthday. On top of that, she’s chased by a geek while her crush, it seems, doesn’t know she exists. Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images She portrayed teen Samantha Baker, whose family totally forgets her 16th birthday. On top of that, she’s chased by a geek while her crush, it seems, doesn’t know she exists. He’d never met her before, but once John Hughes saw Molly Ringwald’s headshot, he wrote the entire script for "Sixteen Candles" in just a few days, keeping Ringwald in mind as the lead. Still, the part wasn’t automatically hers: Hughes auditioned other young actresses (including Ally Sheedy and Laura Dern) for the part. Douglas Kirkland/Corbis via Getty Images He’d never met her before, but once John Hughes saw Molly Ringwald’s headshot, he wrote the entire script for "Sixteen Candles" in just a few days, keeping Ringwald in mind as the lead. Still, the part wasn’t automatically hers: Hughes auditioned other young actresses (including Ally Sheedy and Laura Dern) for the part. After the success of "Sixteen Candles," Hughes cast Ringwald as the pampered Claire Standish in his 1985 movie "The Breakfast Club," thus inducting her into the 1980s coming-of-age actor collective known as the Brat Pack. Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images After the success of "Sixteen Candles," Hughes cast Ringwald as the pampered Claire Standish in his 1985 movie "The Breakfast Club," thus inducting her into the 1980s coming-of-age actor collective known as the Brat Pack. The dramedy chronicled a life-changing day for a brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel, and a recluse collectively suffering through Saturday detention. (Ringwald, of course, played the beauty.) Buyenlarge/Getty Images The dramedy chronicled a life-changing day for a brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel, and a recluse collectively suffering through Saturday detention. (Ringwald, of course, played the beauty.) Director Hughes first cast the brain, Anthony Michael Hall, who’d also played the geek pestering Ringwald in "Sixteen Candles." Steve Kagan/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images Director Hughes first cast the brain, Anthony Michael Hall, who’d also played the geek pestering Ringwald in "Sixteen Candles." Little-known fact: Hall and Ringwald dated between the filming of their movies. Call it...puppy love? Steve Kagan/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images Little-known fact: Hall and Ringwald dated between the filming of their movies. Call it...puppy love? Funny enough, Ringwald and Hall were the only real teens on the set of "The Breakfast Club." The other high-schooler roles went to Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, and Ally Sheedy, all actors in their 20s who went on to play college grads in the Brat Pack classic "St. Elmo’s Fire" later that year. Time & Life Pictures/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images Funny enough, Ringwald and Hall were the only real teens on the set of "The Breakfast Club." The other high-schooler roles went to Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, and Ally Sheedy, all actors in their 20s who went on to play college grads in the Brat Pack classic "St. Elmo’s Fire" later that year. Before Sheedy stepped in to play "basket case" Allison Reynolds in "The Breakfast Club," the role was rumored to have first been offered to Ringwald, who turned it down. Archive Photos/Getty Images Before Sheedy stepped in to play "basket case" Allison Reynolds in "The Breakfast Club," the role was rumored to have first been offered to Ringwald, who turned it down. Ringwald’s third and final John Hughes film was "Pretty in Pink," in which her character Andie is caught in the middle of a love triangle between Duckie (Jon Cryer), her quirky best friend, and Blane (Andrew McCarthy), her rich, preppy crush. In the original film ending, Andie chooses Duckie over Blane, but test audiences disapproved, resulting in a rewrite of the film’s ending. (To this day, Duckie fans still aren’t over it.) Paramount Pictures/Getty Images Ringwald’s third and final John Hughes film was "Pretty in Pink," in which her character Andie is caught in the middle of a love triangle between Duckie (Jon Cryer), her quirky best friend, and Blane (Andrew McCarthy), her rich, preppy crush. In the original film ending, Andie chooses Duckie over Blane, but test audiences disapproved, resulting in a rewrite of the film’s ending. (To this day, Duckie fans still aren’t over it.) As the lead actor in a slew of successful films throughout the 1980s, Ringwald solidified her standing as the Gen X teen queen. In 1987, she co-starred in "The Pick-up Artist," featuring a young Robert Downey Jr. in one of his first leading roles. 20th Century Fox/Getty Images As the lead actor in a slew of successful films throughout the 1980s, Ringwald solidified her standing as the Gen X teen queen. In 1987, she co-starred in "The Pick-up Artist," featuring a young Robert Downey Jr. in one of his first leading roles. Oh, how time marches on… In recent years, Ringwald has taken up significant roles in a number of hit teen TV shows, playing mom characters on "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" (co-starring an up-and-coming Shailene Woodley) and "Riverdale." Charles Eshelman/WireImage Oh, how time marches on… In recent years, Ringwald has taken up significant roles in a number of hit teen TV shows, playing mom characters on "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" (co-starring an up-and-coming Shailene Woodley) and "Riverdale." She’s branched out and authored two books: "Getting the Pretty Back," a self-help book of advice for young women, and the short-story collection "When It Happens to You." Aaron Davidson/Getty Images She’s branched out and authored two books: "Getting the Pretty Back," a self-help book of advice for young women, and the short-story collection "When It Happens to You." She’s also recorded two jazz albums in the past decade. Surprised? Don’t be: Ringwald’s father was a jazz pianist who introduced her to the genre at an early age, recording songs with her from the time she was 6. Raffi Kirdi/Getty Images She’s also recorded two jazz albums in the past decade. Surprised? Don’t be: Ringwald’s father was a jazz pianist who introduced her to the genre at an early age, recording songs with her from the time she was 6. But to us, of course, she’ll always be queen of the Brat Pack. Long may she reign! FilmMagic But to us, of course, she’ll always be queen of the Brat Pack. Long may she reign!