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Soleil Moon Frye, Cherie Johnson & Other 'Punky Brewster' Cast Members 32 Years after the Sitcom Ended

Bettina Dizon
Feb 23, 2020
05:35 A.M.
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After the NBC sitcom “Punky Brewster” aired in the ‘80s, many of the show’s cast members took a step back from acting and pursued different paths.

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For four years, American television saw a brave, smart, funny young girl whose family abandoned her. Despite the sad premise of her life, Penelope “Punky” Brewster still managed to have the biggest heart.

The show revolves around the little girl and the moody widower who took her in, Punky’s adventures, and eventually the happy ending where she is adopted.

Now, three decades after the show first premiered, many of its cast members have gone different paths. Here’s a look at what happened to them.

Soleil Moon Frye as Penelope 'Punky' Brewster. | Source: Getty Images

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SOLEIL MOON FRYE

Since the young age of 2, Soleil Moon Frye has been an actress, up until she got the role of Punky Brewster at 6-years-old.

After the show’s four-year-stint, Frye continued appearing on television shows and movies, one of which where she played Roxie in “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” 

Soleil Moon Frye as Penelope 'Punky' Brewster. | Source: Getty Images

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She tied the knot with producer Jason Goldberg in 1998 and had four children, whom she dedicated much of her time with. 

In 2011, Frye published a book called “Happy Chaos: From Punky to Parenting and My Perfectly Happy Adventures In Between.”

Soleil Moon Frye attends "It's a Wonderful Lifetime” first holiday party of the year at STK. | Source: Getty Images

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Recently, news broke that a revival of the show is at work, and the star couldn’t help but shed tears of happiness. Frye shared to her kids about her experience on the set:

“I kept saying to my kids, ‘Every day that I’m there, I’m crying joyful tears. Because I’m so genuinely proud and happy to be able to be a part of it.”

Soleil Moon Frye from "Punky Brewster." | Source: Wikimedia Commons

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GEORGE GAYNES

The grouchy yet lovable man who took Punky under his wing, Henry Wanimont, was well-portrayed by George Gaynes.

The actor was remembered for his role in “General Hospital” before “Punky Brewster aired. After, he appeared on the television show “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd” and “Police Academy.” 

George Gaynes in 1964. | Source: Wikimedia Commons

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In 2016, after living a long and prosperous life, Gaynes passed away at 98-years-old, leaving his wife Allyn Ann McLeric and two sons.

CHERIE JOHNSON

One of the cast members of the show who played Punky’s best friend, Cherie Johnson, had the same name on-screen.

Cherie Johnson attends the 11th Annual Palm Beach International Film Festival Grand Gala. | Source: Getty Images

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Since the show came to a close, the actress appeared on and off-screen, including a role on “Family Matters” and in the movie “I Do… I Did!” which she also wrote and produced. 

In recent years, Johnson has focused on writing as a columnist for Success News, Dimez Magazine, Glam Couture Magazine, and Temptation Magazine.

Cherie Johnson attends a filmmakers discussion at G Star School Of The Arts. | Source: Getty Images

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She has also authored three books, “Two Different Walks of Life ‘A Celebrity and an Average Housewife,’” “Stupid Guys Diary,” and “Peaches & Cream.” Johnson will be returning to the show’s sequel to reprise her role.

T.K. CARTER

T.K. Carter took on the role of elementary teacher Mike Fulton on the show and continued his career on film and television even after until 2017.

TK Carter attends the Chiller Theatre Expo Fall 2018 at Hilton Parsippany. | Source: Getty Images

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He appeared on “Everybody Hates Chris,” “NYPD Blue,” “Good Morning Bliss,” “The Corner,” “The Nanny,” “Saved By the Bell,” “The Steve Harvey Show,” “A Different World,” and “Moesha.”

SUSIE GARRETT

Before Susie Garrett starred as Betty Johnson on “Punky Brewster,” she appeared in the 1975 television series “The Jeffersons.”

Susie Garrett as Betty Johnson, George Gaynes as Henry Warnimont, Casey Ellison as Allen Anderson. | Source: Getty Images

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After, she took on a new role in “Wicked Stepmother.” Sadly, Garrett passed away on May 24, 2002, in her Michigan home.

EDDIE DEEZEN

After playing Eddie Malvin on the show, Eddie Deezen focused much on doing voice-over work for animated series, including “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” and “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

Eddie Deezen signing Autographs at the Chiller Theatre Autograph Show. | Source: Wikimedia Commons

However, Deezen still appeared on-screen in the movies “WarGames” in 1983 and “The Polar Express” in 2004.

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