She is good friends with actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, they met while filming Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) together.
Phoebe sings the "theme song" for the movie Paradise (1982), which is heard during the ending credits.
In the movie Private School (1983), Cates sings two of the soundtrack songs: "Just One Touch" and "How Do I Let You Know".
Met her future husband, Kevin Kline, when she auditioned for the part of Chloe in The Big Chill (1983), that eventually went to Meg Tilly.
Named on Harper's Bazaar's list of America's 10 Most Beautiful Women 
According to Izumi Matsumoto, the creator of "Kimagure orenji rôdo" (1987) a popular manga series (Japanese comic) and animated TV-series. Ms Cates was the inspiration behind the beautiful character Ayukawa Madoka.
Cates was originally going to play the role of Annie Banks in the remake of Father of the Bride (1991) but became pregnant so she had to drop out. The role then went to Kimberly Williams-Paisley.
Has a daughter, Greta Kline (b. 1994), and a son, Owen Kline (b. 1991).
Although retired from making films, she has put her son Owen Kline into the movies, often showing up on the set to make sure he is behaving. He has appeared in The Anniversary Party (2001) and as a lead role in The Squid and the Whale (2005).