PHOEBE CATES Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Phoebe Cates                                                                       
Birth name: Phoebe Belle Katz                                                           
Born: 16 July 1963 New York City, U.S.A.                                                 
Phoebe Cates (born on July 16, 1963) is an American film actress known for her           
roles in several teen films, most notably Fast Times at Ridgemont High and               
Cates was born Phoebe Belle Katz in New York City, New York to Lily and director         
and producer Joseph Cates (born "Joseph Katz"). Her uncle is producer/director           
Gilbert Cates and her stepfather was Marshall Naify, a horse breeder. Cates'             
maternal grandfather was of Chinese Filipino descent, and her father as well as         
her maternal grandmother were of Russian Jewish origin. Cates attended the               
Professional Children's School and the Juilliard School.                                 
Cates achieved icon status in 1982 for her popular girl role in Fast Times at           
Ridgemont High, particularly the topless scene in which she sheds her bikini top         
in a slow-motion fantasy sequence. As Fast Times became a defining early-'80s           
cult classic, this image of her became inextricably imprinted on a generation of         
teenage boys.                                                                           
That same year, in the romance film Paradise, and in contrast to the coyness of         
Brooke Shields in the similarly themed The Blue Lagoon, Cates displayed copious         
nudity, although a body double may have been used in some of the close-ups. In a         
People magazine article, Cates said she had expressed reservations about this           
situation to her father, who advised her to play it in whatever way she felt was         
artistically and financially honest. She is quoted as saying "I was only 17 when         
I did my nude scenes in Paradise. They were serious and more difficult because           
they were not easily justified. But the topless scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont         
High was funny, which made it easy."                                                     
Her later film roles were more modest and largely oriented toward younger               
audiences, who remember her best as the female lead in the two Gremlins films,           
and the 1991 film Drop Dead Fred. Her face made the covers of teen magazines             
such as Seventeen, Tiger Beat, Teen Beat and others. In 1991, she was slated to         
be in Father of the Bride, but dropped out due to pregnancy. In 1994, she               
starred along with her husband Kevin Kline in Princess Caraboo. In 1996, she             
narrated the award-winning documentary short, The Flame, a film about the               
nonprofit world hunger organization Heifer International.                               
In 1985, Cates appeared Off-Broadway in Rich Relations by David Henry Hwang at           
Second Stage Theatre.