The Delirious Movie Wikia
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Phoebe Belle Cates is an American film actress, singer and model known primarily for her roles in several films from the 1980s, most notably "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Gremlins."
Cates was born July 16, 1963 in New York City with Russian-Jewish and Chinese-Filipino ancestry to a family of television and Broadway production insiders. She is the daughter of Joseph Cates, who was a major Broadway producer and a pioneering figure in television, and who helped create The $64,000 Question. Her late uncle, Gilbert Cates, produced numerous television specials as well as several annual Academy Awards shows.
Aspiring to be a dancer, Cates attended the Hewitt School, the Professional Children's School, and the Juilliard School. She eventually got a scholarship to the School of American Ballet, but after suffering a serious knee injury at age 15, she gave up her dancing career and become involved in a short-lived modeling. Although her impeccable good looks made her a successful model, she was not fond of the industry which she found tedious.
Turning to acting, Cates made her film debut in the film "Paradise," loosely-based on the success of "Blue Lagoon." She also sang the film's main theme song and recorded an album of the same name, but she later regretted making the movie, possibly because of the topless scenes in it. She had a better experience filming the high school comedy flick, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" with Judge Reinhold, Sean Penn and Jennifer Jason Leigh in 1982, later calling the shoot "one of the most fun times in her career." She followed up with the comedy "Private School," with Matthew Modine and Betsy Russell. For the movie, she released two songs, "Just One Touch" and "How Do I Let You Know."
Cates went on two film more modest movies like "Gremlins" and its sequel and "Drop Dead Fred," while becoming an 80s movie icon in teen magazines, such as Seventeen, Tiger Beat, Teen Beat and others. In 1984, she played against type by starring in "Lace," based on the novel by Shirley Conran. Instead of getting familiar with the novel, she developed her own version of the character for the movie. She went on to stare in a stage production of "Rich Relations" and starred in the movie "Princess Caraboo" in 1994.
In 1989, Cates married actor Kevin Kline, who was sixteen years her senior. The two of them had met six years before when she was auditioning for a role in "The Big Chill." She retired from acting to raise her children, but in 2001, she appeared in "The Anniversary Party," as a favor to her best friend and Ridgemont High cast-mate, Jennifer Jason Leigh, who directed the film. In 2015, Cates reprised the voice of her "Gremlins" character for the video game "Lego Dimensions."
Cates has since opened her own boutique, "Blue Tree," on New York's Madison Avenue.

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