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“There are a lot of actors out there who’ve made one or two films and who never work again,” but Phoebe Cates was not one of them. As AmoMama finds out, she would voluntarily opt out of TV but she had some great moments as recounted by Stanton Daily.
Phoebe Cates’ father was praised as a pioneer in television and on Broadway and so the actress had big shoes to fill right from birth. She was only 17 years old when she landed her first major gig in Paradise, and she would go on to make a name for herself in the industry.
Paradise required her to appear in numerous nude scenes and Cates regretted it immensely. It was a relief when she landed her next big gig, Fast Times at Ridgemont High—where her bikini drop put her on the map among teen audiences. Thereafter, the actress would find similar success throughout the 1980s and early 1990s when she went on to appear in Private School, Gremlins, and Drop Dead Fred. In the late 90s, Cates married actor Kevin Kline and withdrew from the spotlight and hasn’t shown interest in returning to Hollywood.
Cates was born on July 16, 1963, in New York City where her family’s connections to the entertainment industry ran deep. Her father, Joseph Cates, was a renowned Broadway producer and television pioneer known for creating shows like The $64,000 Question while her uncle Gilbert Cates, was equally well connected. The actress enrolled as a child at Hewitt School and the Professional Children’s School before enrolling at the Julliard School with the hopes of becoming a dancer. At the age of 15 Cates’ ambitions for professional dancing were cut short by a knee injury that left her with little choice but to pursue acting. Her role at Paradise made Cates so upset that she refused to participate in its promotion.
Paradise long forgotten and several roles later, a 31-year-old Cates bid the entertainment industry goodbye and settled into motherhood and being a wife to Kline.
Kline once told Playboy Magazine that the two of them had decided to alternatively work and parent their kids, but Cates always found a reason to stay home.
“We have agreed to alternate so that we’re never working at the same time… [but] whenever it’s been her slot to work, Phoebe has chosen to stay with the children.”
Cates has made one more appearance since retirement but has shown no further interest in making a permanent comeback.
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