Cates met actor Kevin Kline in 1983 while auditioning for a role in The Big Chill (which went to Meg Tilly).
They were both dating other people at the time, but fell in love two years later. They married in 1989, and she changed her name to Phoebe Cates Kline.
The Klines relocated to Manhattan’s Upper East Side, across Fifth Avenue from Central Park, where they raised their two children, son Owen Joseph Kline (born 1991) and daughter Greta Kline (born 1994).
Owen and Greta appeared in the 2001 film The Anniversary Party alongside their parents. Greta fronts the band Frankie Cosmos, and Owen appeared in the 2005 film The Squid and the Whale.