What is Phoebe Cates doing now? She runs a retail store in New York

The last time we saw Phoebe Cates on screen was in 2001 (Yeah, it’s been that long). Cates’s nude debut in Paradise didn’t draw much attention, but her bikini-clad appearance in Fast Times at Ridgemont High made her the pin-up girl of the 80s. 

Cates’s toned body and exotic looks made her every teenager’s fantasy and attracted magazines such as Seventeen and Teen Beat. Additionally, Phoebe had genuine acting talent, with her portrayal of Lizzie in Drop Dead Fred drawing numerous plaudits. It would prove to be one of her final appearances before her unexpected retirement. 

Phoebe opened a retail store dubbed Blue Tree after she retired from acting

Phoebe’s first break from acting in 1994 coincided with the birth of her second child Greta Simone Kline. In 1991, she and her husband Kevin Kline welcomed her son Owen Joseph Kline. 

Kline and Phoebe met at a Broadway show in 1979. They were both in relationships, and their 16-year-age difference convinced Kline that a relationship between the pair wouldn’t work.

“When I first met Phoebe, I remember thinking, ‘She’s too happy to be with me. She’s too enthusiastic about life. What’ll we talk about?’” Kevin told Entertainment Weekly

The couple had tread wildly contrasting journeys to Hollywood fame: Kline was a Juilliard graduate with two Tony Awards, and Cates was a high school dropout and a modeling failure. Nevertheless, the pair started dating two years after their first meeting. 

They married in 1989, and by 1994, they had two children. Kline and Phoebe agreed that they would alternate acting roles so that the kids always had one parent around. However, Phoebe stayed every time her turn came along. 

Phoebe dreamed of opening a retail store, despite receiving numerous pieces of advice that retail wasn’t profitable. Her kids watched as she built an imaginary catalog of her future store. She told The Big Idea:

“I would cut out photos of great, innovative products, and my kids would joke ‘that’s for the store.’ I knew acting wasn’t an option for me. I wasn’t driven to do it again. I knew I had a certain amount of hours a day, which didn’t include going off on 15-hour shoot days.”

Jennifer briefly returned to acting in 2001’s The Anniversary Party. It is believed that she agreed to return because her close friend Jennifer Jason Leigh directed the film. 

Since 2005, has run the retail store Blue Tree, located on 1283 Madison Avenue, New York. The stores about page provides a vague idea of the offerings at Blue Tree:

“Known for its eclectic and inspired selection of women’s clothing and jewelry. Blue Tree also carried unique and carefully chosen items in home, gift, fragrance, music, delicacies, etc. There are no rules. And we are always re-inventing, recreating in the hopes of delighting.”

Phoebe’s distaste for fame might have rubbed off on her children

Owen and Greta had their first taste of performance in the 2001 movie The Anniversary Party. Owen went on to pursue a career in directing and acting. His film, Two Against Nature, is currently in post-production. 

Greta pursued a career in music, initially adopting the stage name Frankie Cosmos. However, she ditched the title and currently leads a band known as Frankie Cosmos. 

Now that Greta has experienced fame, she understands why her parents were so eager to step away from the limelight. She told The New Zealand Herald:

“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. My parents really weren’t ever, like, into celebrity culture.”

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