Anthony Michael Hall was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the son of Mercedes Hall, an actress-blues and jazz singer, and Larry Hall, who owned an auto body shop. His stepfather is a show-business manager. His sister, Mary Christian, is also a performer. He has Irish and Italian ancestry. Halls given name was Michael Anthony Thomas Charles Hall, but he adopted the Anthony Michael moniker upon finding that another Michael Hall was already a member of the Screen Actors Guild. Hall began acting in commercials at the age of seven, and his breakthrough role was as Rusty in National Lampoons Vacation (1983) alongside Chevy Chase and Beverly DAngelo. Following the success of National Lampoons Vacation (1983), Hall entered the defining period of his career, starring in three John Hughes classics: Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985) and Weird Science (1985). Wanting to avoid being typecast, Hall turned down roles in two subsequent 1986 Hughes films, Pretty in Pink (1986) and Ferris Buellers Day Off (1986). His early television credits include the Emmy Award-winning The Gold Bug, in which he played the young Edgar Allan Poe, as well as the TV movie Rascals and Robbers: The Secret Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn (1982), and specials The Body Human and Orphans, Waifs and Wards. On stage, he appeared in the Lincoln Center Festivals production of St. Joan of the Microphone.