Do you know Phoebe Cates? She was in the movie ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High.’ Ever wonder why she stopped acting?

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Phoebe Cates was in lots of movies like Gremlins and Drop Dead Fred, but most people remember her for a famous pool scene without a top in Fast Times at Ridgemont High in 1982.

But she stopped acting more than 20 years ago. Now, she has a regular job working from 9 to 5 doing something she really enjoys.


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A post shared by Phoebe Cates (@phoebecateskline)

Phoebe Belle Cates was born on July 16, 1963, in New York City. When she was a little girl, she went to private schools and learned ballet at Julliard.

Acting was like a family thing for Phoebe. Her dad, Joe Cates, was a producer-director, and her uncle was the president of the Director’s Guild. Even her brother used to act, and her sister, Valerie, worked on stage.

At first, Phoebe wanted to be a dancer. Unfortunately, she had to stop because of a knee injury.


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When she was 14, Phoebe started modeling and did pretty well. She even got on the cover of Seventeen magazine four times. But she didn’t really love it. It became kind of boring and she only did it for the money.

One day, she went to a party at Studio 54 in New York and met a person who helps actors get roles in movies (a film agent). Then, she got trained by Robert Ravan, who started The Actors’ Circle in New York.

“I just knew that I didn’t want to go to college. And if I could get a couple of movies, it would be a great way to avoid going to college. Seriously, that’s true,” she said in 1985 to The Daily Item.

Cates also learned acting with Alice Spivack of the H.B. Studios. She started acting in 1982 in a movie called Paradise as the character Sarah. Less than a year later, she was in Experienced, and then the famous Fast Times at Ridgemont High with the well-known swimming pool scene.

This movie was a big deal for teenagers and became a part of popular culture. One moment, in particular, showed Phoebe Cates dropping her bikini top, and Rolling Stone magazine called it “the most memorable bikini-drop in cinema history.”

As a friend of mine once said, that scene made a lot of teenage boys’ hearts beat faster than they should have.


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In 1982, Phoebe shared her thoughts on this.

“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?” she said.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High had a pretty cool group of actors when you look at it today. It included stars like Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Eric Stoltz, and Forest Whitaker.

“It was a funny thing because we were all so young when we made it. And then it came out, and it was this big hit. You know, you’d go to the theater, and people would say the lines with it. People had obviously seen the movie over and over again,” Jennifer Jason Leigh told The Daily News.


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Later on, while also doing theater, Phoebe played the lead role in Private School as Christine Ramsey in 1983. She also had a part in Steven Spielberg’s Gremlins in 1984. Phoebe met Kevin Kline, a famous theater actor, when she auditioned for the 1983 film The Big Chill. Although she didn’t get the role, she did end up with a husband.

Kline was 16 years older than Cates, but they didn’t start dating until two years after they first met. After Kline hired Cates’ former assistant, he asked the employee to help him ask out the actress.

In 1989, when Phoebe Cates was 25 and Kevin Kline was 41, they got married in New York City. They had their first child, Owen Joseph, in 1991, and in 1994, their daughter Greta Simone was born.

As they celebrated an impressive 27 years of marriage in 2017, many wondered what kept them happy together for so long. Kevin Kline said, “We take care of the marriage.”

Even though Phoebe was doing well in her acting career at that time, she decided to step away from acting after having their children. In the 1990s, she started to disappear from the entertainment industry.

In 1998, she explained to Playboy that both she and her husband agreed to take turns with acting jobs so that their children would always have a parent around.

Kevin Kline mentioned that when it was Phoebe Cates’s turn to work, she would choose to stay home with the children. Although Cates did some acting now and then, she started being seen more at fancy events with her husband, who kept acting regularly.

In 2005, Cates opened a store called Blue Tree not far from the famous Carnegie Hall. The store sold things like perfumes, clothes, and gifts.

Cates became a full-time shopkeeper, often working in the store or finding new things to sell. You can find Phoebe’s store at 1283 Madison Avenue in New York City, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where she also lives.

And just so you know, Phoebe still looks fantastic!

What comes to mind when you think of Phoebe? I always thought that she was a pretty good actress, but my first two thoughts of her are usually the shower scene (in the cave) in “Paradise” and the bikini scene in “Fast Times At Ridgemont High.”