She made jaws drop when she emerged from a swimming pool in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. She made tears pour with a tragic tale about Santa Claus in Gremlins. She made Rik Mayall flick his snot in Drop Dead Fred.
But what exactly happened to Phoebe Cates, the actress who lit up '80s and early '90s cinema but then went all mogwai on us by avoiding the bright lights? Digital Spy investigates...
1. She settled down with Kevin Kline
Cates hit it off with the actor during an unsuccessful audition for his 1983 film The Big Chill, with the couple marrying in 1989 – the same year that Kline won an Oscar for shoving chips up Michael Palin's nose in A Fish Called Wanda.
The couple had a son called Owen in 1991, with their daughter Greta following three years later. Their marriage is still going strong – a rarity in Hollywood.
2. She retired from acting in the '90s
With one exception, Cates hasn't made a film since 1994's period comedy Princess Caraboo, choosing instead to focus on family life. It wasn't her initial intention, however, with Kline telling Playboy magazine in 1998 that "...we have agreed to alternate so that we're never working at the same time… [but] whenever it's been her slot to work, Phoebe has chosen to stay with the children".
Could the long-rumoured Gremlins 3 – find out more details on that front here – entice her out of retirement for another adventure with Billy Peltzer and Gizmo? Let's hope so!
3. She made a brief comeback in 2001
As a favour to her Fast Times co-star and best pal Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cates resurfaced in a small role in Leigh's directorial debut The Anniversary Party in 2001. It was a family affair, with her character Sophia's thespian husband Cal played by Kline and their children played by Owen and Greta.
4. She became an entrepreneur in the mid-'00s
In 2005, Cates opened Blue Tree in the Upper East Side of New York City, a popular boutique specialising in women's clothing and jewellery. When asked why she chose this path, she told NBC's The Big Idea that "acting wasn't really an option for me".
Although she's lost none of her sparkle judging by the playful promotional clip for the shop below, Cates is clearly missing a business opportunity by not decking it out like Mr Wing's shop in Gremlins…
5. She raised a rock star
While both of her home-schooled children appeared in Noah Baumbach's Oscar nominated 2005 drama The Squid and the Whale, it's Cates' daughter Greta who has recently strayed more into the limelight. Currently performing under the name Frankie Cosmos, the singer-songwriter released her debut album Zentropy in 2014. The musical genes run in the family, with Cates singing the title track for her 1982 Blue Lagoon knock off Paradise.
6. She still hits the red carpet every now and then
Although she's steered clear of film sets, Cates isn't totally averse to the glare of the public spotlight when it comes to supporting her husband's career. Since her retirement, she's often popped up at various award ceremonies in which Kline is a contender.
7. She attended a Gremlins reunion in 2015
Cates joined Zach Galligan for a Q&A in New York with co-star Dick Miller to honour his legendary career as both character actor and miraculous survivor of a gremlin snowplow attack. Recalling the making of the movie and its 1990 sequel, she lamented the industry's increasing reliance on CGI over practical effects. "Movies aren't really made that way anymore," she sighed. Come on Phoebe, gather the old gang for one last battle against a mohawked fiend and show us how it's done!
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