Phoebe Cates (born July 16, 1963) is an American film actress who, by her description, has retired from acting to be a full-time mother.
Phoebe Cates is the daughter of American director Joseph Cates and his Filipina wife of Chinese and Russian descent. She is also the niece of Gilbert Cates, also a director. She is a native of New York City, where she attended the Professional Children's School. She is the goddaughter of actress Joan Crawford.
Cates's birth name was Phoebe Belle Katz. She followed in the steps of her father and uncle in changing her surname for professional reasons.
Phoebe Cates achieved icon status in the early 1980s for her role in the teen comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High, in which she stripped off the top of her bikini in a slow-motion fantasy scene.
That same year, in the romance film Paradise, and in contrast to the coyness of Brooke Shields in the similarly themed and more popular The Blue Lagoon, Cates appeared nude, although she was said to have used a body double in some of the close-ups. In a People magazine article, Cates said she had expressed reservations about this situation to her father, who advised her to play it in whatever way she felt was artistically honest.
Phoebe Cates's later roles were more modest and largely oriented toward younger audiences, who remember her best as the female lead in the two Gremlins films. Her face made the covers of teen magazines such as Tiger Beat, 16, Teen Beat and others.
In 1989, Phoebe Cates married actor Kevin Kline, whom she had originally met while auditioning for the part that Meg Tilly ultimately won in The Big Chill. In 1991, she was slated to be in Father of the Bride, but dropped out due to pregnancy.
Kline and Phoebe Cates make their home in New York City and have two children, Owen, born in 1991 (who recently received rave reviews for his performance in The Squid and the Whale) and Greta, born in 1994. They all appeared in Cates' most recent film, The Anniversary Party (2001). The film was an ensemble comedy written and directed by Scottish actor Alan Cumming and Cates' real-life best friend of the past 25 years, Fast Times at Ridgemont High co-star Jennifer Jason Leigh, and in it Cates played, fittingly enough, a Hollywood actress who has retired from acting to be a full-time mother.
In 2005, Phoebe Cates opened her own gift store/boutique emporium called Blue Tree in New York's Madison Avenue.
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