Phoebe Cates (born Phoebe Belle Cates; July 16, 1963) is an American film actress, model, and entrepreneur known for her roles in several teen films, most notably Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Gremlins.
Cates was born Phoebe Belle Cates in New York City, to a family of TV and Broadway production insiders. Her father, Joseph Cates was a major Broadway producer and a pioneering figure in television, who helped create The $64,000 Question. Her uncle Gilbert Cates produced numerous TV specials, often in partnership with Cates' father, and several annual Academy Awards shows. Her paternal grandparents and maternal grandmother were Russian Jews, and her maternal grandfather was Chinese Filipino.
Cates attended the Professional Children's School and the Juilliard School. When she was ten, she wanted to become a dancer. She eventually got a scholarship to the School of American Ballet, but after suffering a serious knee injury at age 15, she gave up her dancing career. She next began a career as a professional model, which was short-lived although successful.