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Phoebe Cates


Birth name:

Phoebe Belle Katz




New York, New York, USA



Race or Ethnicity:


Sexual orientation:





United States

Executive summary:

Showed boobies in Fast Times


5' 7" (1.70 m)


Phoebe Cates - Pictures

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Phoebe Cates - Biography


Cates was born Phoebe Belle Katz in New York City, New York to Lily and director and producer Joseph Cates (born "Joseph Katz"). Her uncle is producer/director Gilbert Cates and her stepfather was Marshall Naify, a horse breeder. Cates' maternal grandfather was of Chinese/Filipino descent, and her father as well as her maternal grandmother were of Russian Jewish origin. Cates attended the Professional Children's School and the Juilliard School.

Cates achieved icon status in 1982 for her popular girl role in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, particularly the monumental topless scene in which she sheds her bikini top in a slow-motion fantasy sequence. As Fast Times became a defining early-'80s cult classic, this image of her became inextricably imprinted on a generation of teenage boys.

That same year, in the romance film Paradise, and in contrast to the coyness of Brooke Shields in the similarly themed The Blue Lagoon, Cates displayed copious nudity, although a body double may have been used 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 and financially honest. She is quoted as saying "I was only 17 when I did my nude scenes in Paradise. They were serious and more difficult because they were not easily justified. But the topless scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High was funny, which made it easy."

Her later film roles were more modest and largely oriented toward younger audiences, who remember her best as the female lead in the two Gremlins films, and the 1991 film Drop Dead Fred. Her face made the covers of teen magazines such as Seventeen, Tiger Beat, Teen Beat and others. In 1991, she was slated to be in Father of the Bride, but dropped out due to pregnancy. In 1994, she starred along with her husband Kevin Kline in Princess Caraboo. In 1996, she narrated the award-winning documentary short, The Flame, a film about the nonprofit world hunger organization Heifer International.

In 1985, Cates appeared Off-Broadway in Rich Relations by David Henry Hwang at Second Stage Theatre.

Cates is estranged from her mother. In 1989, Cates married actor Kevin Kline, whom she had originally met while auditioning for the part that Meg Tilly ultimately won in The Big Chill. Kline and Cates make their home in New York City and have two children, Owen Kline, born in 1991 (who, in 2005, received rave reviews for his performance in The Squid and the Whale), Greta Kline, born in 1994. Owen and Greta appeared in Cates' most recent film, The Anniversary Party (2001). The film was an ensemble drama 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. In the film, Cates played, fittingly enough, a Hollywood actress who has retired from acting to be a full-time mother.

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


Phoebe Cates - Personal Quotes


"Young people are more sophisticated today, thanks to magazines and movies and even porno cable television. As a New Yorker I think I've matured faster than other young people. I'm street smart."

"Kids today are much more independent than their parents were. We're really into getting jobs and we mature sexually much earlier than a generation ago. Or, at least, we are involved in sex earlier."

"I was only 17 when I did my nude scenes in Paradise (1982). They were serious and more difficult because they were not easily justified. But the topless scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) was funny, which made it easy".

"In this business, if a girl wants a career, she has to be willing to strip. If you've got a good bod, then why not show it?"

"If the film, play or any project I'm involved in requires some sort of violence or nudity to advance the plot, scene or character in any way, then I would be considered unprofessional not to oblige. Of course, I want to make sure -- and I think I always have -- that the scenes are shot in good taste. I try to have some control; now that I know what I'm capable of including in a contract, I can continue that control. Nudity is not something I necessarily want to avoid and yet it's not the most fun thing in the world to do. It's part of the job as far as I'm concerned because you bare yourself emotionally and that's just as terrifying as baring yourself physically. It's all part of acting."


Phoebe Cates - Filmography


The Anniversary Party (2001) .... Sophia Gold
Princess Caraboo (1994) .... Princess Caraboo/Mary Baker
Bodies, Rest & Motion (1993) .... Carol
Drop Dead Fred (1991) .... Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Cronin
... aka My Special Friend (Philippines: English title)
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) .... Kate Beringer
I Love You to Death (1990) (uncredited) .... Joey's Girl at Disco
Largo Desolato (1990) (TV) .... Young Philosophy Student
... aka Vaclav Havel's 'Largo Desolato' (USA: alternative title)
Heart of Dixie (1989) .... Aiken Reed
Shag (1989) .... Carson
... aka Shag: The Movie
Bright Lights, Big City (1988) .... Amanda
Date with an Angel (1987) .... Patty Winston
Lace II (1985) (TV) .... Lili
Gremlins (1984) .... Kate Beringer
Lace (1984) (TV) .... Lili
Private School (1983) .... Christine Ramsey
... aka Private School... for Girls (USA: alternative title)
Baby Sister (1983) (TV) .... Annie Burroughs
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) .... Linda Barrett
... aka Fast Times (Australia: poster title) (International: English title: informal short title)
... aka Fast Times at Ridgemont High (UK: video title)
Paradise (1982) .... Sarah


Phoebe Cates  - Related Links

Wikipedia: Phoebe Cates
YouTube: Phoebe Cates

Phoebe Cates





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