Ringwald was a teenager when she landed breakthrough roles in the filmmaker's hit 1980s movies Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, but the actress fell out with Hughes when she turned down a number of subsequent roles in his movies to work with other directors.
She writes in the New York Times, "In life, there is always that special person who shapes who you are, who helps to determine the person you become. For me, that person was John Hughes.
"John saw something in me that I didn't even see in myself. Eventually, though, I felt that I needed to work with other people as well. I wanted to grow up, something I felt (rightly or wrongly) I couldn't do while working with John."
The stars cut off all communication for years -- but Ringwald decided to reach out to Hughes in 1994 to express her gratitude to him for helping her find fame.
She says, "A week after I sent my letter, I received a bouquet of flowers as big as my apartment from John, thanking me for writing. I was so relieved to know that I had gotten through to him, and I feel grateful now for that sense of closure."
However, Ringwald never got around to speaking to Hughes directly -- and she has mixed feelings when people offer her their condolences following his death.
Describing a recent conversation she shared with her Breakfast Club co-star Anthony Michael Hall, she adds, "Since the days of John’s death, we have both been inundated with missives from friends and acquaintances, sending us their condolences the way you would for a close family member. Yet the strange thing is, neither of us had talked to John in more than 20 years."
Hughes, 59, was laid to rest in Illinois on Tuesday, five days after he suffered a fatal heart attack while out walking in Manhattan.
(c) 2009 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All global rights reserved. No unauthorized copying or re-distributing permitted.