Some of our favorite faces from the ’80s have continued to make appearances on TV and in films, while others have stepped away from the spotlight. Iconic ’80s star Phoebe Cates, most widely known for her role in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, hasn’t appeared onscreen since 2001. But the former actor has been keeping busy with a new career and the children she shares with her husband, actor Kevin Kline. Read on to see what Cates looks like now, and why she left Hollywood behind.
Phoebe Cates starred in several popular movies in the ’80s and ’90s.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High was only Cates’ second film, following Paradise. Her memorable performance as the crush-worthy Linda Barrett helped propel her into other iconic films, including Drop Dead Fred and both Gremlins movies.
Cates had a big gap in roles between 1994 and her final onscreen role. The actor appeared in the 2001 movie The Anniversary Party, which was directed by her Fast Time at Ridgemont High co-star and close friend Jennifer Jason Leigh. Since then, Cates hasn’t been seen onscreen again, performing just once more in 2015 to lend her voice to the video game Lego Dimensions in her Gremlins‘ role. Although Cates left an impression on Hollywood, she appeared in fewer than 20 movies and TV shows throughout her brief career.
Cates seemingly left Hollywood to focus on motherhood.
Cates’ departure from acting aligned with the birth of her second child, Greta Kline, in 1994. Cates has two children—Greta and Owen Kline, born in 1991—with theater and film actor Kevin Kline. The couple has been married since 1989. According to Country Living, they first met while auditioning for The Big Chill. Cates didn’t get the role, but the two sparked a connection that would come back around years later. Two years later, Kevin reportedly hired Cates’ former assistant to get him a date with the actor, and the rest is history.
As Country Living reports, Kevin told Playboy in 1998 that the couple “agreed to alternate so that we’re never working at the same time.” However, “whenever it’s been her slot to work, Phoebe has chosen to stay with the children.” Kevin is still acting.
Cates is now a store owner.
Cates opened her Madison Avenue store Blue Tree in 2005. She wrote on the shop’s website that her dream was “to have it be like a general store but according to me.” The store sells unique clothing, accessories, jewelry, and homewares. In 2009, Cates described Blue Tree as a “mom-and-pop store without the pop” to Travel + Leisure. However, she added that her husband did help come up with the name for the store, which is a reference to the blue trees in Fauvist paintings.
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The couple’s children have careers in the arts.
Both of the couple’s children appeared in the films The Squid and the Whale and The Anniversary Party. Greta is currently a musician. She was part of the band Porches from 2013 to 2015, and she now performs as Frankie Cosmos. Owen has done some producing and writing, with a new movie set to come out in 2021.
Per The New Zealand Herald, Greta commented on her parents’ fame during a 2017 interview. “I didn’t really understand how fame works until I’d gotten my own little taste of it. Now I’m thinking more about what it means to be in the public eye,” she said. “My parents really weren’t ever, like, into celebrity culture.”
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