Do you recall Phoebe Cates? What happened to the ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ star?

Phoebe Cates, widely known for her roles in “Gremlins” and “Drop Dead Fred,” has left an everlasting mark on film history with her topless poolside scene from the 1982 cult classic “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

However, the legendary actress of yesteryear moved gears almost two decades ago, and she is now immersed in a meaningful 9-to-5 job that speaks to her greatest loves.

Phoebe Belle Cates, born on July 16, 1963, in the bustling heart of New York City, began her adventure in private schools and ballet studies at Julliard.

Born into a showbiz family, the pull of playing ran through her veins, with her father, Joe Cates, molding shows from behind the scenes, her uncle running the Director’s Guild, her brother, a former actor, and her sister, Valerie, also gracing the stage.

While Phoebe’s first journey brought her to the world of dance, an untimely knee injury changed her career, bringing her to modeling at 14. This affluent transfer failed to ignite her passion, forcing her to broaden her search for meaning and fulfillment.

Phoebe said of her brief modeling career, “It was a cycle of repetition, increasingly driven by financial motivations.”

Fate led her to a chance meeting with a film agent at New York’s famed Studio 54, paving the path for her training with Robert Ravan, the visionary founder of The Actors’ Circle.

Phoebe challenged the typical academic path: “College wasn’t my path.” Getting a foothold in the film industry sounded like an attractive way out. “It’s true,” she said in an interview with The Daily Item in 1985. Her acting career began with tutoring at H.B. Studios under the direction of Alice Spivack.

She made her acting debut in “Paradise” in 1982. Then she had a busy year that included roles in “Experienced” and the iconic “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” a movie whose memorable pool scene left a lasting impression on adolescent culture.

The film acquired an enduring moment of renown, defined by Rolling Stone magazine as the “most unforgettable bikini-drop in cinema history.” A close confidante said that this scene sent several teenage hearts beating at a rate unrivaled by reality.

In 1982, Phoebe commented on the scenario, saying, “In this industry, a girl seeking a career may have to reveal her vulnerabilities.”

Why not flaunt one’s good looks if they have them?” The ensemble cast of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” which included stars such as Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Eric Stoltz, and Forest Whitaker, created a comedy ensemble that has endured through the sands of time.

“We were so young when we made it,” Jennifer Jason Leigh reflected on the film’s influence. “The film’s release was a watershed moment, with audiences reciting lines in unison and repeated viewings becoming the norm,” she told The Daily News.

Phoebe’s journey continued on the stage, where she appeared in “Private School” in 1983 and on the big screen in Steven Spielberg’s “Gremlins” in 1984. During auditions for “The Big Chill” in 1983, her path crossed with famed theater genius Kevin Kline.

Though the role did not pan out, Destiny had a love story in the works. A few years later, despite having a 16-year age gap, Phoebe and Kevin’s love grew thanks to Kline’s former assistant’s thoughtful plan to win her over.

Cates and Kline married in 1989 when Cates was 25, and Kline was 41, and they had two beautiful children, Owen Joseph in 1991 and Greta Simone, in 1994. With their marriage celebrating 27 years, many people were curious about their secret to lasting bliss.

Kline shared their knowledge by noting, “We nurture the marriage, tend to its needs.”

Despite her rising reputation, Phoebe chose to walk away from the spotlight following the birth of their children, a choice she expressed with Playboy in 1998. To assure their children’s continual companionship, she and her husband coordinated their performing commitments.

Kline revealed their arrangement, noting that when it was her turn to work, Phoebe gladly donned the hat of a stay-at-home parent. Although she only dabbled in acting, she was frequently seen on red carpets with her husband, who had a more steady on-screen presence.

A new chapter began in 2005 when Phoebe founded “Blue Tree,” a restaurant near the legendary Carnegie Hall. The shop included diverse items, from fragrances to clothing and bespoke presents, demonstrating her increasing business spirit.

Phoebe embraced her role as a shopkeeper wholeheartedly, investing herself in every aspect of her business, curating offerings, and frequently engaging in hands-on work.

Phoebe’s establishment is currently adorning the landscape of Madison Avenue in New York City, where she also resides, snuggled inside the embrace of Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

And, lest we forget, time has done little to dampen Phoebe’s light. Her reputation is a tapestry of various roles, typically tinted by vivid memories of scenes like the ethereal shower scene in “Paradise” and the memorable bikini interlude in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” As Phoebe’s story progresses, her presence on and off-screen symbolizes artistic and personal growth.