Phoebe Cates, known for her roles in films like “Gremlins” and “Drop Dead Fred,” gained fame for her iconic topless pool scene in the 1982 hit “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” However, over 20 years ago, she left Hollywood behind to pursue something she loves – working 9 to 5 in her own business.
A Born Performer
Phoebe Belle Cates was born on July 16, 1963, in New York City. From a young age, she attended private schools and studied ballet at Julliard. Acting ran in her family, with her father being a producer-director and her uncle serving as the president of the Director’s Guild. Her siblings were also involved in the entertainment industry.
Although Phoebe initially pursued a career in dancing, a knee injury forced her to quit. At the age of 14, she shifted gears and began modeling, which brought her considerable success. She appeared on the cover of Seventeen magazine four times. However, she soon realized that modeling wasn’t her true passion.
“It was just the same thing, over and over. After a while, I did it solely for the money,” Phoebe said, reflecting on her short modeling career.
A New Chapter in Acting
Phoebe’s life took an exciting turn when she met her film agent at a party at New York’s Studio 54. She then trained with renowned acting coach Robert Ravan, founder of The Actors’ Circle in New York. Phoebe saw acting as a way to avoid college and jumpstart her career.
“I just knew that I didn’t want to go to college. And that it would be a great way to get out of college if I could get a couple of movies or something. Seriously. It’s true,” she revealed in an interview.
Phoebe continued her acting education with Alice Spivack of the H.B. Studios. In 1982, she made her acting debut in “Paradise” and quickly followed it up with the film “Experienced.” However, it was her role in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” that catapulted her to stardom, thanks to the now-famous swimming pool scene that left teenage boys’ hearts racing.
Life Beyond Hollywood
Despite her success in the film industry, Phoebe made a surprising decision to step away from acting after starting a family with her husband, renowned theater actor Kevin Kline. The couple, who have been happily married for 27 years, have two children together.
“We take care of the marriage,” Kline explained when asked about the secret to their long-lasting relationship.
Phoebe’s focus shifted to being a devoted mother, and she and Kevin made a pact to alternate their acting jobs to ensure that their children always had a parent around. Although Phoebe still took on acting projects occasionally, she gradually transitioned into a new role – that of a successful shopkeeper.
In 2005, Phoebe opened Blue Tree, a charming store located just blocks away from the famous Carnegie Hall in New York City. The store offers a range of products, including fragrances, clothing, and gifts, carefully curated by Phoebe herself. Today, she can often be found working hands-on in the store, finding new products to sell, and interacting with customers.
Phoebe’s store, located at 1283 Madison Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, reflects her personal style and taste. It has become a beloved destination for locals and visitors alike, showcasing Phoebe’s passion for creating a unique shopping experience.
Phoebe Cates may have transitioned from Hollywood star to successful shopkeeper, but her impact on pop culture will never be forgotten. From her memorable roles in iconic films to her dedication to her family and business, Phoebe continues to inspire us all.