Remember Phoebe Cates? Why the ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ star disappeared

Phoebe Cates, known for her roles in films like “Gremlins” and “Drop Dead Fred,” achieved iconic status with her topless pool scene in 1982’s “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

However, the former actress stepped away from Hollywood over two decades ago and now finds fulfillment in a different career.

Born Phoebe Belle Cates on July 16, 1963, in New York City, she was surrounded by showbiz from a young age. Her father, Joe Cates, was a producer-director, and her uncle was a prominent figure in the Director’s Guild. Despite her initial interest in ballet and dance, a knee injury redirected her path.

At 14, Cates ventured into modeling, enjoying some success but ultimately finding it repetitive and uninspiring. She transitioned to acting after meeting a film agent at a party and training with notable mentors.

Her acting debut came in 1982 with “Paradise,” followed shortly by “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

The latter film catapulted her to fame, particularly for its memorable pool scene, which became iconic in cinema history. Reflecting on the industry’s demands, Cates remarked, “In this business, if a girl wants a career, she has to be willing to strip.”

Despite her success in films like “Private School” and “Gremlins,” Cates decided to prioritize family after marrying acclaimed actor Kevin Kline in 1989. They have two children together, and Cates took a step back from acting to focus on parenting.

In 2005, Cates embarked on a new venture by opening Blue Tree, a boutique in New York City offering fragrances, clothing, and gifts. She immersed herself in the business, devoting her time to curating products and managing the store.

Today, Cates continues to lead a fulfilling life, balancing her role as a business owner with her family responsibilities. Her store, located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, stands as a testament to her entrepreneurial spirit and resilience. And despite her shift from the spotlight, she maintains her timeless beauty and grace.

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