Why Phoebe Cates Kline quit acting and what she did after leaving Hollywood

Phoebe Cates Kline was in a pivotal scene in a classic film from the 1980s that was considered incredibly racy at the time.

In fact, almost nobody who saw the classic teen comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High could ever forget the scene where the gorgeous Phoebe Cates (as Linda) emerged in a wet, red bikini from a swimming pool and into Judge Reinhold’s (as Brad) fantasy life.

Because of that famous scene, Phoebe Cates was a very popular sex symbol in those days. But, she wasn’t just a good looking woman, she was also a fine actress.

Before she was an actress, Cates was a model starting from the age of 10. She shifted her career to acting after landing her very first movie role at age 17 in the 1982 film Paradise, which was considered a copy of the film Blue Lagoon.

She didn’t just act in that movie, Cates sang the title track on Paradise, too.

Later that year, she was rocketed to fame for her Fast Times role. After that, she starred in the hugely successful Gremlins move franchise playing a wholesome girlfriend. At this point, Phoebe Cates was a massive star and a popular pin-up girl.

She acted opposite Michael J. Fox in the hot movie Bright Lights, Big City, and with Bridget Fonda in the coming of age movie Shag. She later starred in the dark comedy Drop Dead Fred.

Cates kept up a fast pace and acted in 12 films in 12 years. Her final film was the box-office bomb Princess Caraboo, in 1994.

But box office bombs are common even for successful actors in Hollywood. So, why did she leave acting behind?

Phoebe Cates met the love of her life, actor Kevin Kline, during an audition for the 1983 movie The Big Chill. Cates did not end up getting a part in the movie, but she left with a part of Kevin Kline: his heart.

Despite their 16-year age difference, Cates and Kline fell in love. They married in 1989 (Cates was 25 years old and Kline was 41). They soon started a family and a baby boy in 1991, and a baby girl in 1994.

Phoebe Cates Kline acted in her last major movie role in Princess Caraboo, the same year her daughter was born. So, Cates Kline left Hollywood for motherhood.

For their privacy, actors and their children moved to the Upper East Side of Manhattan across from Central Park. Now, Phoebe Cates Kline did return to acting twice since her retirement.

She worked on the 2001 indie film The Anniversary Party, which was written and directed by her fellow Fast Times co-star, Jennifer Jason Leigh. And she did voice acting for the second project, the 2015 LEGO Dimensions video game.

It remains to be seen if Cates Kline will do more acting work, but it seems like her choice to focus on family worked out: Cates and Kline celebrated their thirty-first wedding anniversary in 2023!

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