Phoebe Cates

Phoebe Cates

Jul. 16th, 1963
Born in
New York City, New York, USA
5' 7

Phoebe Cates' Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
100 Greatest Teen Stars TV Show
100 Greatest Teen Stars

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Phoebe Cates Kline (born Phoebe Belle Cates; July 16, 1963), better known as Phoebe Cates, is an American film actress, model, and entrepreneur.

Cates was born in New York City to a family of television and Broadway production insiders. Her parents are Lily and Joseph Cates (originally "Joseph Katz"), who was a major Broadway producer and a pioneering figure in television, who helped create The $64,000 Question. Her late uncle, Gilbert Cates, produced numerous television specials, often in partnership with Cates' father, and several annual Academy Awards shows. Her paternal grandparents and maternal grandmother were Russian Jews, and her maternal grandfather was Chinese Filipino.

Cates attended the Professional Children's School and the Juilliard School. When she was ten, she wanted to become a dancer. She eventually got a scholarship to the School of American Ballet, but after suffering a serious knee injury at age 15, she gave up her dancing career. She next began a career as a professional model, which was short-lived, although successful. Cates, however, did not like the industry: "It was just the same thing, over and over. After a while I did it solely for the money."

After ending her modeling career, Cates decided to begin her acting career. Although her father was an actor as well, he was not enthusiastic about his daughter's new acting career. Cates's acting debut was in Paradise (released 1982), a role she won after replying to a casting call in New York. She played the role of Sarah and did several full nude scenes in the movie, which had a plot very similar to The Blue Lagoon. In a 1982 interview, she recalled having trouble with the change of career, because as a model she had to be conscious of the camera, whereas in front of the movie camera, she could not. Cates later regretted being in the movie and said: "What I learned was never to do a movie like that again." According to her co-star 'Willie Aames', "she will have nothing to do with the film. She's really upset about it. She won't do any promotion with me."

Later in 1982, Cates starred in Fast Times at Ridgemont High which features "the most memorable bikini-drop in cinema history." She was quoted as saying that she had the most fun in filming that movie. The following year, she was in the sex comedy Private School which co-starred 'Matthew Modine' and 'Betsy Russell', for which she sang on two songs of the film's soundtrack.

Her later film roles were more modest and largely oriented toward younger audiences, such as the two Gremlins films and the 1991 film Drop Dead Fred. Her face graced the covers of teen magazines such as Seventeen, Tiger Beat, Teen Beat and others. In 1984, she starred in the TV mini-series Lace. She sought the role of Lili "to get away from a sameness in her movie portrayals." During her audition, she so impressed the writer, that he wanted to hire her there and then. Cates struggled with the portrayal of a bitter movie star because, despite her character's vicious persona, she intended for the audience to sympathize with her. She did not read the novel on which the movie was based because she did not want to have a "fixed image

In 1989, Cates and actor 'Kevin Kline' were married, having first met in 1983 during her audition for the movie role that Meg Tilly ultimately won in The Big Chill. She changed her name to Phoebe Cates Kline. The Klines live in New York City with their two children, son Owen Joseph Kline, born in 1991, and daughter Greta Simone Kline, born in 1994. Both Owen and Greta appeared along with their parents in the 2001 movie, The Anniversary Party. Owen also appeared in the 2005 film, The Squid and the Whale.

In 2005, Cates opened her own boutique called Blue Tree on New York's Madison Avenue.


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