Where in the Horror are they now? Phoebe Cates!


THEN: Many of you may not realize the impact that Phoebe Cates had on an entire generation of men. This lovely actress, born Phoebe Belle Cates, appeared with a number of “up and coming” young talents in the excellent high school comedy FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH. And if you ask any guy possibly thirties and up, and you mention Phoebe and the red bikini, you will get a reaction. This iconic moment of on-screen nudity leading to a horrifyingly embarrassing situation is one of the most uncomfortable yet hilarious scenes ever put on film. Poor Judge Reinhold. If only he had locked the door or perhaps waited until later on letting his  imagination do the work, but alas he didn’t. Thankfully this helped make FAST TIMES one of the coolest movies ever.

Of course being that this is AITH, we chose this weeks Where in the Horror are they now because of the upcoming holiday. For most of us, GREMLINS is one special Christmas flick. This mix of horror and humor has inspired many a fun horror feature, but rarely are they as good. Directed by Joe Dante and written by Chris Columbus, this tale of tiny monsters featured a terrific cast including Zach Galligan, Hoyt Axton, Corey Feldman, and of course, Phoebe Cates. Aside from being incredibly adorable, the actress shared a nice chemistry with Mr. Galligan. It was a blast watching these two battle the ferocious little critters.

When this 1984 scary X-mas tale became a hit, it was no surprise that we’d be watching a sequel. So a few years down the road audiences were given GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH in 1990. Along with Galligan, Cates returned to play his now fiancé continuing where they left off in the original - once again battling the pesky gremlins. While the sequel lightened up a bit with a few more sly and witty references to other films, it didn’t quite connect with audiences as much as the first. However, it seems that this clever sequel has earned a bit of cult classic cred along with the original. And it certainly helped to have a charming couple like Galligan and Cates to lighten things up.

Looking back on Phoebe’s career, it is surprising as to how few credits she had. The actress certainly charmed audiences over her relatively short career. She appeared in films like PRIVATE SCHOOL in 1983 along with Matthew Modine, Betsy Russell and soft core sexpot Sylvia Kristel - famous for her work in films like EMMANUELLE and LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER. Cates also appeared in THE BLUE LAGOON rip-off PARADISE in 1982. There was the TV mini-series Lace in 1984 along with its sequel Lace II in 1985. And she was featured in a number of other movies such as DATE WITH AN ANGEL (1987), BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY (1988) and I LOVE YOU TO DEATH in 1990.

In the 1990's, Mrs. Kevin Kline - according to Wikidpedia the two met when she auditioned for THE BIG CHILL - slowed things down quite a bit. In 1991 she faced her old imaginary friend in the comedy DROP DEAD FRED. In 1993 she shifted gears in the romantic drama BODIES, REST & MOTION (1993) along with her co-stars Bridget Fonda, Tim Roth and Eric Stoltz. And then in 1994, she appeared in a little flick called PRINCESS CARABOO along with hubby Kevin and an impressive list of actors including John Lithgow, Stephen Rea and Jim Broadbent. And that was it. She was done. Aside from doing one other film called THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY in 2001 because her pal Jennifer Jason Leigh wanted her to, she left Hollywood for good to raise her children.

NOW: All these years later, many fans have discovered Phoebe in films like GREMLINS and of course FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH thanks to home video. The actress certainly made an impression on a young me, and to this day I have very fond memories of her work. So what has she been up to? Well, aside from supporting her husband and his impressive career she is a mother of two. In fact, her son Owen Kline was featured in the leading role of THE SQUID AND THE WHALE. And her daughter Greta Kline - who also appeared in THE SQUID AND THE WHALE - has found herself a career in music with the band Frankie Cosmos. It certainly helps to have parents with an understanding of the business, and a connection or two of course.

While I miss Phoebe, it strangely impresses me that she was able to walk away from a pretty solid career. Yet I get the feeling that she has no regrets. Aside from being a mother and wife, she also has a little boutique in New York called the Blue Tree. Wikipedia offers up that the store sells jewelry, clothing, antiques, perfume, candles, art, photography, books, vintage LPs, and stuffed animals. If only I were in New York, I think I’d be at this cozy sounding place all too often. Oftentimes when I look back at an actress that I really enjoyed, I wish that they could return and do something spectacular again. Yet with the beautiful Phoebe, it seems as though she is perfectly content out of the limelight. At least we can always go back to FAST TIMES, and of course for the holidays, GREMLINS. Thanks Phoebe for a somewhat short, but very inspired career.

Extra Tidbit: Which do you prefer? Gremlins or Gremlins 2?
Source: AITH



Latest Movie News Headlines