2—Phoebe Cates (Gremlins, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Drop Dead Fred):
I am incredibly
tempted to lie and say that this is all because of the infamous, bikini-dropping,
pool scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It certainly makes for more titillating
fare. Unfortunately, I’m a terrible liar. Here’s a confession: I never saw Fast Times at Ridgemont High until I got the DVD my junior year in college. Had I seen
that movie at some point as a kid, I am confident that this Biggest Childhood Crushes
List would have Phoebe Cates at #1. Not only does it have the scene mentioned, but
she is completely at her hottest throughout the entire film. Phoebe Cates was never
my #1 crush as a child whereas many already mentioned on this list were at some
point. However, she was #2 for most of my childhood. “The girl from the Gremlins”
was the ace in my sleeve for my friends’ debates of hot chicks. It’s only fitting
that she’s #2 here.
Outside of Annie (1982) and Superman III (1983), one of my earliest memories of
going to a movie theater was seeing Gremlins in 1984. I remember wanting nothing
more than my own personal Gizmo to water and feed KFC to after midnight. As a 6
year old, Gizmo was my primary focus, but I was entranced every time Kate, played
by Phoebe Cates, showed up on screen. I had the tape after it came out on VHS, but
the movie creeped me out for a few years. Still I braved the inevitable nightmares
of Stripe eating me for two reasons: to imagine finding my own pet mogwai and to
eagerly watch for the lovely Phoebe Cates to pop up on the screen.
In 1990, Gremlins 2 was released and, of course, I was right there on opening day.
The gimmicky Gremlins of the sequel were a huge turn off. I was being pandered to
and I absolutely hated the movie for it. But it did feature glimpses of Phoebe Cates,
so I forgave it for all its campy sins and tolerated the stupid electric Gremlin. Although I have to admit that the Gremlin that sang New York, New York was pretty
rad. A year later, I begged and pleaded, with anyone who would listen, to go with
me to see Drop Dead Fred, but nobody would humor me. I had to wait for the pay per
view. And, as everyone predicted, the movie was complete garbage. I maintained for
years that Drop Dead Fred was just misunderstood and highly underrated, but the
gig is up. I was merely justifying myself for watching the movie only to see Phoebe
Shamefully, it wasn’t until the late 90’s before I discovered Fast Times at Ridgemont
High. I had no idea that the pool scene even existed and had to wear my best poker
face watching that movie for the first time with my soon-to-be wife. I have a horrible
The girl from the Gremlins!
My guess is that this image is from Paradise, which I have never seen.
Best profile ever. Well, it's at least up there.
The infamous pool scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
You'll just have to watch the movie.
Phoebe Cates in Drop Dead Fred. It's dumb. I admit it.
A promo card for Drop Dead Fred.
Where is she now?
Phoebe Cates completely disappeared from acting by the mid 90’s with Drop Dead Fred
being the last film I ever saw her in. She only briefly returned to acting in 2001
to play a role in The Anniversary Party. She married Kevin Kline in 1989 and a couple
of years later decided to focus on raising their two kids. Phoebe Cates currently
owns a clothing/jewelry/gift store in New York City called Blue Tree.
Phoebe Cates at Kevin Kline's De-Lovely opening in 2004.
Phoebe Cates and her husband at the 2009 Oscars.