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Why Caroline From Sixteen Candles Looks So Familiar

Before John Hughes' 1980's coming-of-age comedies, nobody knew how to be a teenager, but Sixteen Candles changed all that in 1984. The raunchy, somehow only PG-rated film was Hughes directorial debut and officially kicked off the "Brat Pack" era of Hollywood. It launched the careers of many actors, some of whom would even go on to make well-known films after 1989. Molly Ringwald starred as the 16-year-old Samantha, alongside Brat Pack fixtures Anthony Michael Hall and John and Joan Cusack. The film also featured Haviland Morris as Caroline, the original girlfriend of Samantha's love interest, Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling). 

Sixteen Candles may not have aged very well, but Morris went onto a long Hollywood career. Her subsequent roles weren't quite as notable as Caroline, but her career has been going for more than 20 years and includes roles in major movie and TV properties. Today, she works as a real-estate agent while still pursuing acting projects. Here are her best-known roles after Sixteen Candles.

Morris' character was dumped again in Who's That Girl? (1987)

Haviland Morris was able to parlay her experience of being the girl who got dumped in favor of Molly Ringwald to land a main supporting role in Who's That Girl as Wendy Worthington, the girl who got dumped in favor of Madonna. In the little-remembered star vehicle from Madonna's movie star days, the diva plays Nikki Finn, a free spirit who's falsely accused of murdering her boyfriend Johnny and then falls in love with a lawyer who tries to exonerate her.

Madonna's film career began with a critically acclaimed performance in Desperately Seeking Susan in 1985, but she followed that up with a lead role in the box office flop Shanghai Surprise, which earned Madonna her first Golden Raspberry. Who's That Girl was Madonna's third film, so a lot was riding on it, but it ultimately tanked as well, and Madonna took home her second Razzie.

She was a boss in Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)

Morris followed Who's That Girl with a major supporting role in Gremlins 2: The New Batch. This time around she played the delightfully unlikeable Marla Bloodstone, the new boss of main character Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan). In Gremlins 2, Gizmo gets captured to be used in science experiments, and Billy has to rescue him — but first he has to fend off the hard-charging Marla and her unwanted flirtation.

Although Haviland Morris had appeared in comedies before, this role allowed her to use her comedic abilities more so than earlier ones, as her character had many memorable lines in the film. Morris credited director Joe Dante for writing a killer script, but also allowing his actors to improvise on-set. "He was completely delightful in every way – fun, creative, generous to a fault, completely ego-less when it came to his script," Haviland said of Dante (via Retro Junk). "We did a lot of improvisation on the set and if someone came up with something funny or true, he laughed as hard as anyone and put it in the movie...I couldn't have asked for a better director. It was a great summer."

Haviland Morris spent a few years on One Life to Live (2001-2003)

Haviland Morris had a lengthy arc on the long-running ABC soap opera One Life to Live, appearing in 74 episodes from 2001 to 2003. She played hospital administrator Claire Baxter, who met her untimely end when two other characters, River and Adriana, accidentally hit her with River's car while they were having an affair. Soap opera TV production tends to work at a quicker pace than most other TV productions in order to meet the demand for daily episodes, and the experience was different from most of Morris' other roles. "I am a supremely bad soap opera actress," she told the blog Trainwreck'd Society. "I was only on that show for a couple of days a month over a few years, so it never really became my clubhouse and, I have to say, I never got good at it. But I enjoyed it, anyway – actors do like to act."

Morris guested on all the Law & Orders (1990 - 2009)

Haviland Morris has been a fixture of sorts within the Law & Order franchise. She's one of the few actors who's appeared on the original series, Special Victims Unit, and Criminal Intent; she's made multiple appearances on both Law & Order and Criminal Intent in various roles. Her first appearance was during Law & Order's inaugural season in 1990, playing the role of Polly Norris in the episode "Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die, which was based on real-life convicted killer Robert Chambers, nicknamed "the Preppie Killer." Morris returned to the flagship Law & Order in the 1998 episode "Divorce," this time playing one of the episode's main characters, Molly Kilpatrick, a Catholic woman trying to get a divorce who's questioned when a psychologist is murdered.

In 2001, she made her first appearance on Criminal Intent, in the episode "The Extra Man." The episode involved the death of a European con man who had also been having affairs with the spouses of his investors. Haviland played Karen Cove, one of the spouses.

Morris completed the Law & Order triple crown by appearing in the Special Victims Unit 2003 episode "Desperate," playing Dawn Trent, a friend of the episode's murder victim who earlier tried to help her escape an abusive situation. Her most recent appearance in the Law & Order universe came in the 2009 Criminal Intent episode "Salome in Manhattan," in which she played the mother of the episode's glamorous murder victim, Lisa Wellesley.