Before meeting Kevin Kline, Phoebe Cates dated booking agent Stavros Merjos (via People). They met in 1979 at Studio 54 in the presence of artist Andy Warhol. At the time, Cates was in the middle of a successful modeling career and hadn’t yet delved into acting (via The Paley Center for Media).
Cates and Merjos reportedly dated for three years, during which time they shared an apartment together in Greenwich Village (via Who’s Dated Who). “Phoebe’s terrific because she takes everything that’s happened to her in her stride, without ego or attitude,” Merjos said about the actress, per People.
Cates then reportedly dated her “Paradise” co-star Willie Aames for a year, according to Who’s Dating Who, before meeting Kline in 1983 when auditioning for “The Big Chill” (via Country Living). “When I first met Phoebe, I remember thinking, ‘She’s too happy to be with me,'” Kline told Entertainment Weekly. “She’s too enthusiastic about life… What’ll we talk about?” The pair didn’t start dating until two years later when they crossed paths again as Cates was rehearsing a play at New York’s Public Theatre.