Phoebe Cates: A Look Back at the ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ Star

Phoebe Cates, renowned for her roles in movies such as “Gremlins” and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” departed from Hollywood more than two decades ago and has since embarked on a different career path that she is passionate about.

Born on July 16, 1963, in New York City, Phoebe Cates came from a family with strong ties to the entertainment industry. Her father was a producer-director, and her uncle held the position of president of the Director’s Guild. She also had siblings who were involved in the industry.

Initially, Cates pursued ballet training at Julliard. However, her aspirations of becoming a dancer were cut short due to a knee injury. At the age of 14, she transitioned to modeling and experienced some success, even gracing the cover of Seventeen magazine multiple times. Nevertheless, she eventually became disenchanted with modeling, finding it repetitive and primarily motivated by financial considerations.

Her journey into acting commenced when she crossed paths with a film agent at a party held at Studio 54 in New York. Subsequently, she underwent training with Robert Ravan of The Actors’ Circle. Initially, her primary motivation for pursuing acting was to avoid attending college.

Cates continued to refine her acting abilities by studying under Alice Spivack at the H.B. Studios. She made her acting debut in 1982 in the film “Paradise,” portraying the character Sarah. Shortly after, she gained widespread recognition for her role in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” particularly for the iconic swimming pool scene, which became a pivotal moment in pop culture.

Cates offered a reflection on the scene, recognizing the significance of physical appearance in the entertainment industry. She commented, “In this business, if a girl wants a career, she has to be willing to strip. If you’ve got a good body, then why not show it?”

“Fast Times at Ridgemont High” boasted an impressive ensemble cast, including actors who would later rise to become major stars, such as Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Eric Stoltz, and Forest Whitaker.

While she pursued her acting career, Cates also featured in “Private School” (1983) and made an appearance in Steven Spielberg’s “Gremlins” (1984). During the audition process for “The Big Chill” (1983), she had the opportunity to meet the highly acclaimed theater actor Kevin Kline, which eventually led to a personal connection between them. Cates and Kline later tied the knot in 1989 and welcomed two children into their family, named Owen Joseph and Greta Simone

During the 1990s, Phoebe Cates started to step back from her acting career to prioritize her family. She and Kevin Kline had an arrangement where they would take turns pursuing acting jobs to ensure that their children always had one parent available. Cates wholeheartedly embraced her role as a full-time parent while occasionally taking on acting projects.

In 2005, Phoebe Cates embarked on a new venture by opening a store named “Blue Tree” near Carnegie Hall in New York City. The store features a diverse range of products, including fragrances, clothing, and gifts, and Cates is actively engaged in its operations and management.

Even though she has scaled back her involvement in the entertainment industry, Phoebe Cates continues to be fondly remembered for her iconic film moments. Her successful transition to a different career path as a shopkeeper has not only provided her with fulfillment but has also allowed her to make a lasting impact in her new endeavor.

As of the time of this article, Phoebe Cates continues to impress with her enduring beauty and successful business venture