See Former Child Star Soleil Moon Frye Now at 45
The spunky kid behind Punky Brewster is a busy actor, writer, director, and mom.
Soleil Moon Frye has been acting since she was two years old and landed her most famous role at the ripe old age of seven. She was chosen to play Punky Brewster, an abandoned kid who finds family with a lonely photographer (George Gaynes), in the show of the same name. The comedy ran for four seasons and launched an animated spinoff, in which Frye voiced the character again. While the actor has worked on lots of different projects since those shows ended in the 1980s, she'll always be tied to Punky, so much so that she returned to play her as an adult in a 2021 revival series. Read on to find out more about what Frye, now 45, is up to today.
Frye has never stopped working.
After NBC axed Punky Brewster, Frye continued to work in entertainment, making the transition into being a teen star and beyond. She co-hosted the talk show Girl Talk with future Buffy the Vampire Slayer lead Sarah Michelle Gellar, made guest appearances on popular shows including Saved by the Bell and Friends, and voiced more animated characters. She returned to the small screen in a major way for a role on the later seasons of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and even moved behind the camera after attending film school.
Frye directed the 1998 drama Wild Horses and two documentaries about her life: 2004's Sonny Boy, about her relationship with father Virgil Frye and his decline from Alzheimer's disease, and 2021's Kid 90, culled together from the hours of tape Frye filmed during her teen years with her similarly famous friends, including Corey Feldman, Sara Gilbert, and one of the movie's producers, Leonardo DiCaprio.
She was disappointed that the reboot didn't continue.
The modern-day revival of Punky Brewster premiered on Peacock in 2021. Frye returned to the character, playing Punky as a divorced mom of three. When the show was canceled after just one season, Frye wrote a lengthy message on Instagram expressing her "feels" about the show not getting a second chance, as well as appreciation for her colleagues and her fans, both old and new.
"The best way I can put this experience is that it has felt like lightning in a bottle, a comet of joy, heart and love that I will hold closest to my heart forever and always," she said.
She has a big family of her own.
It's likely that Frye related to the grownup version of Punky, as she's also a recently divorced mom. She and producer Jason Goldberg married in 1998 and welcomed four children—Poet Sienna, Jagger Joseph, Lyric Sonny, and Story—before they divorced in 2020. In a statement about their split, via Page Six, Frye said, "For me I'm so grateful for the life that I've had. For the beautiful children I have and I look at the amount of years which I've been able to share as a celebration. You don't spend 22 years with someone and not celebrate it."
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She's branched out into other areas, too.
Although she's spent her life working in film and TV, Frye has started several other projects and businesses. She's written two books, Happy Chaos: From Punky to Parenting and My Perfectly Imperfect Adventures in Between, in 2011, and then a party planning manual, Let's Get This Party Started, in 2013. Along with two friends, she opened an eco-friendly kids boutique in Los Angeles called Little Seed, which is now internet-based. In 2014, she founded a company that sells party decorations that she later merged with Seedling, a kids activity set company. Today, you can keep up with Frye and all of her projects on her Instagram, where she frequently posts about her life and causes that are important to her.