Phoebe Cates is popular for her work, but most people know her as the wife of American comedian, singer, film and theater actor Kevin Kline. Nevertheless, true fans of the actress know Cates from her roles in several films of the 1980s, including Paradise, Fast Time at Ridgemont High and Gremlins.
As a retired American actress, singer and model, Phoebe’s acting skills and looks have earned her much admiration. But then at some point, she seemed to have disappeared from the face of the earth. There is a good reason for this: Cates decided to explore career paths other than acting.
Family Background and Education
Phoebe Cates was born on July 16, 1963, in the city of New York where she grew up. Under the name Phoebe Belles Cates, she was born into a family that often dealt with the power of the stars. Her mother was Lily (née Valentine) and her father was Broadway producer and television pioneer Joseph Cates (formerly known as Joseph Katz). Her father’s younger brother, Gilbert Cates, was a producer and director.
Phoebe is of mixed origin: Russian-Jewish and Chinese-Philippine. Her mother was born in Shanghai, China.
For her education, Cates attended the K-12 Hewitt School for Girls in New York City before enrolling in the nonprofit preparatory school for professional children. Finally, she attended the Juilliard School, the Conservatory of Performing Arts.
What Made Her Famous?
Phoebe Cates started out as a children’s model when she was just 10 years old and has appeared in magazines such as Elle, Seventeen, British Vogue and several youth-oriented magazines. A few years later, Cates decided she needed a change. She decided to dance and received a scholarship to the School of American Ballet before quitting after a serious injury.
She returned to modeling and had a successful career before she met her film agent at a party in New York’s Studio 54. She received professional training from Robert Ravan, the founder of the Actors’ Circle. Before that, she trained with the actress Alice Spivak from H.B. Studios.
Cates’ debut was the role of Sarah in the 1982 Canadian romantic adventure film Paradise. In a plot similar to that of The Blue Lagoon in 1980, Phoebe Cates filmed parts of Paradise naked when she was a minor at the age of 17. The actress later expressed her regrets and refused to show up for promotions. Later that year she appeared in the critically acclaimed film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. In 1983 she attended private school and sang the soundtracks of the film, Just One Touch and How Do I Let You Know.
Cates is best known for her role as Kate Beringer in the American comedy horror films Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch. She also played the lead role in the two-part American mini-series Lace, based on Shirley Conran’s novel of the same name. She starred in Drop Dead Fred (1991), Bodies, Rest & Motion (1993) and Princess Caraboo (1994) before retiring from the industry in 1994.
How Long Has She Been Married to Kevin Kline?
Phoebe Cates is married to Kevin Kline and has been for a long time. They met in 1983 when Cates auditioned for a role. She didn’t get the part she auditioned for, but it wasn’t long before the sparks began to fly between Cates and Kline.
The duo decided to go one step further and exchanged their vows in 1989. The following year, their son Owen Joseph Kline was born. Three years after Owen, their daughter Greta Simone Kline was born. Owen is an actor and director who became famous through films like The Octopus and the Whale, Two Against Nature and The Chicken Game. Greta is a singer and songwriter who performs under the stage name Frankie Cosmos.
What Is Phoebe Cates Currently Up To?
After Phoebe Cates and Kevin Kline married and had their children, the two agreed to split their schedules so that whenever one parent was busy, the other was with his children. But whenever it was Cates’ turn, the projects didn’t seem like enough reason to leave home for weeks. In the end, she decided to focus on caring for her children.
It’s worth mentioning that since retiring in 1994, Cates has appeared in a movie (as a favor) and lent her voice in a video game. The film “The Anniversary Party” was a production of her good friend Jennifer Jason Leigh, with whom she starred in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”. She lent her voice to play her role as Kate Beringer in the video game Lego Dimensions 2015.
Phoebe Cates is currently an entrepreneur and a philanthropist. She founded the upscale Manhattan boutique Blue Tree in 2005 and has been operating it since then. Starting off selling expensive designer toys, the store has expanded to include housewares, clothing, and specialty foods. Cates also spends a lot of time with charity organizations, supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation among other organizations with fundraising efforts.