John Hughes/

I don't think of kids as a lower form of the human species

Screenwriter and director John Hughes was behind some of the best-loved teen movies of the 1980s, including The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Pretty In Pink, which still have cult status today.

Although well into his thirties when he wrote and directed these films, Hughes demonstrated that he had never forgotten what it was like to be a teenager. He listened to and respected what young people had to say, while the films’ stars, including Emilio Estevez, Matthew Broderick, Andrew McCarthy and Molly Ringwald became teen-idols known as the Brat Pack.

Hughes began his career as an advertising copywriter, who began contributing to satirical New York magazine * National Lampoon,* which later inspired a series of comedy films.

By the 1980s, he film-writing career had really taken off and he scripted hit after hit, with John Candy starring in two favourite comedies of the era, Uncle Buck and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It was Hughes who wrote the blockbusting Home Alone, a film that for many people has become a watch-at-Christmas tradition.

A private person who rarely gave interviews, Hughes once said that he had stumbled into the movie business. As part of the teenage baby-boomer generation that turned the world on its head in the 1960s, he said he’d wanted to give a new generation of adolescents the chance to make their mark.

He explained: “My generation had sucked up so much attention and here were these kids struggling for an identity.”