Phoebe Cates


  1. Meg Tilly, The Big Chill, 1983.   She lost the role of Chloe, but won a husband – one of the film’s stars, Kevin Kline,. They now have three children.Demi Moore, About Last Night…, 1985. Phoebe, Mariel Hemingway and  Melissa Leo tested opposite Rob Lowe  for Debbie for the screen version of David Mamet’s off-Broadway play, Sexual Perversity in Chicago.
  2. Demi Moore, About Last Night…, 1985.   Phoebe, Mariel Hemingway and  Melissa Leo tested opposite Rob Lowe  for Debbie for the screen version of David Mamet’s off-Broadway play, Sexual Perversity in Chicago.
  3. Lea Thompson, Howard The Duck, 1985.    In the mix for rocker Beverly Switzler were Cates, Paula Abdul, singer Tori Amos, Kim Basinger, Jodi Benson, Sarah Jessica Parker and the well-named Lori Singer. Thompson nailed it! “And I got to be a rock star. Everybody wants to be a rock star, right? So, I got to sing and wear really crazy hair. It’s unfortunate that it was such a bomb. But, whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Not sure producer George Lucas agreed. Short of funds to complete his Skywalker Ranch, Lucas sold to Steve Jobs what became… Pixar!
  4. Robin Wright (Penn), The Princess Bride, 1986.    Director Rob Reiner thumbed through a veritable little black book of Hollywood’s new  young hotties! Suzy Amis, Valerie Bertinelli, Yasmine Bleeth, Courteney Cox, Kim Delaney, Rebecca de Mornay, Cathryn de Prume, Sherilyn Fenn, Jennifer Grey, Anne Heche, Marg Helgenberger, Lauren Holly, Patsy Kensit, Juliette Lewis, Carey Lowell, Kelly Lynch, Virginia Madsen, Mary Stuart Masterson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alexandra Paul,  Amanda Pays, Meg Ryan, Mia Sara, Greta Scacchi, Annabella Sciorra, Kyra Sedgwick, Tori Spelling, Catherine Mary Stewart, Brenda Strong, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Uma Thurman, Meg Tilly, Charlene Tilton, Nancy Travis, Amy Yasbeck, Sean Young.

  5. Jodie Foster, The Accused, 1988.  
    An awful thing to say. Except it is true. Jodie Foster would never have won her (first) Oscar for this trenchant drama – if actress Kelly McGillis had not been raped in 1982… At first, the role of the rape victim Sarah Tobias was written for Andie MacDowell. She passed. The Paramount suits then saw 34 other young actresses for the (real life) victim. Or, for their own rape bait fantasies – including 16-year-old Alyssa Milano! Foster was refused a test because she was “not sexy enough”! And, anyway, the studio had decided upon McGillis, a high flyer in  Paramount’s Witness and Top Gun. And, naturally, she refused point-blank! She knew what it was to be brutally raped and   Kelly had no wish to revisit the horror and agony of her own assault six years earlier. The suits were annoyed. They needed her. She was hot at the box-office, their box-office. They had made her a star!! Eventually, McGillis agreed to play Sarah’s defence attorney – on condition that unsexy Jodie played Sarah! The suits caved, tested Foster and the rest is Oscar history… So is the huge list of talent also seen for Sarah.   Starting with the Fatal Attraction also-rans: Rosanna Arquette, Ellen Barkin, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Beals, Jennifer Grey, Melanie Griffith, Linda Hamilton, Darryl Hannah, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Diane Keaton, Demi Moore, Kelly Preston, Meg Ryan, Jane Seymour, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, Debra Winger.   And moving on to the younger Cates, Melissa Sue Anderson (trying to break her Little House on the Prairie image), Justine Bateman, Valerie Bertinelli, Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Connelly, Joan Cusack, Judy Davis, Kristin Davis, Bridget Fonda, Annabeth Gish, Mariel Hemingway, Kelly LeBrock, Virginia Madsen, Brigitte Nielsen, Tatum O’Neal, Molly Ringwald, Mia Sara, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Uma Thurman.  Oh, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, said the suits, was “too nice.” Rape victims shouldn’t be nice? Oh, Hollywood!
  6. Geena Davis, Thelma & Louise, 1990.
  7. Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman, 1989.
  8. Kimberly Williams, Father of the Bride, 1991.    The bride was still pregnant with Owen. Good news for the Kevin Klines – and a sophomore actress from Northwestern University.
  9. Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction, 1993.
  10. Amanda Plummer, Pulp Fiction, 1993.
  11. Andie MacDowell, Four Weddings And A Funeral, 1994.    And Cates had had the very bright idea of co-starring… Tim Roth. “I like Phoebe. She’s a great comedienne.” Also  on the  list for Carrie: Melanie Griffith, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Marisa Tomei, Jeanne Tripplehorn.







 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  11