SCHOOL GIRL CRUSH: “Jake Ryan” (Happy 52nd Birthday Michael Schoeffling, You Still Set Hearts On Fire!)

Every girl (and certain fabulous boys) that has ever laid eyes on the character of “Jake Ryan” in the 1984 film “Sixteen Candles”, played by the dashing Michael Schoeffling, has fallen under his spell.  Yeah he was a looker, but his looks were just a piece of why we were so charmed. Sure his laid-back, regular guy personality was helpful (never underestimate the power of a “regular guy” personality, see my thoughts on it here HERE). But, it was the fact that he could look past the superficial beauty of his dim-witted dime of a girlfriend and fall in love with a simple, red-haired, freckle-faced wallflower like “Samantha” that made him irresistible.

Ladies, you know what I’m talking about…we see it all the time…guys who are too smitten with perfect bodied babes to notice the smart cool, yet awkward girl in the background.

The power of “Jake Ryan” couldn’t be matched, yet Michael Schoeffling came back as the lesser known “Joe” in the 1990 film “Mermaids” and set undergarments on blaze once again. He plays the fine bus driver that Winona Ryder’s character “Charlotte” falls madly in love with and ultimately breaks her heart with a naughty Cher.

After spending a lovely weekend with my sister Savie, we watched “Sixteen Candles” and were both thrust into our separate young girl crushes for “Jake Ryan”. With some random googling we found some facts on this great man. This post is dedicated to her!


  • He was born on December 10th, 1960 which makes him a Sagittarius! Today is his 52nd Birthday!
  • Born in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania and raised in South New Jersey. He attended Cherokee High School in New Jersey and majored in Liberal Arts at Temple University in Philadelphia. He had modeled for GQ in the 80’s (can we see those archives?) and according to Wikipedia Bruce Weber paid for his acting classes Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in Manhattan…hmmm.

  • He was an accomplished wrestler in his youth, winning medals in national and international tournaments.
  • In 1978, as a member of the National Junior Wrestling Team in a meet held in Munich he took home a gold medal for the United States in freestyle wrestling. Despite being skilled in this area, his role as “Kuch” in “Vision Quest” downplayed those skills.

  • He was 24 when he starred in “Sixteen Candles”.
  • 20 years after the film “Sixteen Candles” premiered, on Valentines Day the Washington Post published an article entitled “Real Men Can’t Hold a Match to Jake Ryan of Sixteen Candles”, discussing his legend!

  • Schoeffling stated in interviews that due to lack of roles and a need to take care of his family (a “regular guy” aka “real man” handling business), he was retiring and now produces hand-crafted furniture in Newfoundland Pennsylvania. He is married to (ex-model) Valerie L. Robinson and together they have two teenagers, Scarlet and Zane.


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