Happy Birthday Anthony Michael Hall, ‘The Breakfast Club,’ ‘Sixteen Candles’ Star

by Suzanne Halliburton

Wow. Anthony Michael Hall, everybody’s favorite teen-aged geek, is celebrating his birthday today. He’s a very grown-up 53.

Hall was in the cast of just about every cool 1980s-era coming-of-age movie. He’s known for Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Weird Science. And he always played some variation of the kid who’d yet to hit puberty.

Let’s go back to the bright, neon-colored 80s to relive some of the geekiest moments given to us by Anthony Michael Hall. Or, maybe we should just call him Michael — that’s his real first name.

John Hughes Loved Anthony Michael Hall in His Movies

Sixteen Candles was such a sweet, special movie. John Hughes captured teen angst and humor so well. And this was his first movie as a director. Hughes helped launch the career of Molly Ringwald with the 1984 movie. He did the same with Anthony Michael Hall. Hughes said every teen-aged boy read for Ted, or Farmer Ted. They all did the same stereotypical geek interpretation. But Hall was authentic.

The movie focused on Molly Ringwald’s Samantha and her 16th birthday. She was horrified that her parents forgot the day. They were too busy with her sister’s wedding. Meanwhile, at the school dance, Ted bets his two friends that he can make out with Samantha. The friends demand that Ted bring back Samantha’s panties as proof.

Sixteen Candles mainly is about breaking high school myths. The most popular senior boy in high school (Jake) can be attracted to a sophomore girl, not in his social circle. And the most popular boy in high school can give a nerd like Ted instant cool credibility. Ted ends up being the happy conduit for Jake and Samantha.

(L-R): Actors Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald browsing in record shop during break in location shooting of The Breakfast Club. (Photo by Steve Kagan/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Don’t You Forget About Hall and the Breakfast Club

John Hughes tapped Ringwald and Hall again for the Breakfast Club, an instant classic. While Sixteen Candles was about the fun-loving antics of an upper middle-class high school, the Breakfast Club was all about detention. Five students were forced to spend a Saturday with the vice principal. The group had to write a 1,000-word essay on “Who you think you are.”

Anthony Michael Hall played Brian, the class brain. Ringwald was the popular beauty. The other three cast members — Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Emilio Estevez — also starred in St. Elmo’s Fire, another Brat Pack movie from 1985. Nelson was a rebel. Estevez was the jock. Sheedy was the weirdo.

The five, despite their differences, got along by the end of the movie. And Anthony Michael Hall is tasked to write the essay on behalf of all of them.

Hall reads off part of the essay:  “Each one of us is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question?”

“Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.”

The theme from the Breakfast Club is an iconic 80s tune performed by Simple Minds.

Hall Joins SNL, Then Goes for an Adult Acting Career

Anthony Michael Hall joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1985. He was 17 and the youngest full-time cast member. About this time, he also dated Ringwald. So Hall wasn’t really a geek, he just played one in the movies.

He’s been active as an adult actor. In 1999, Hall portrayed Bill Gates in the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley. In his most recent roles, Hall was on NBC’s The Blacklist and the ABC drama The Goldbergs.

Late last year, Variety announced that Hall would star in and executive produce the drama The Class. He’s set to play a vice principal. So Anthony Michael Hall will come full circle as an actor. The geeky brain comes back to high school as the boss.

Happy 53rd!