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'Punky Brewster' Cast: Where Are They Now?

by Kim Potts, posted Apr 2nd 2010 12:00PM
Punky Brewster where are they nowIt ran for just four seasons (1984-88), but "Punky power" had a lasting impact on pop culture, as 'Punky Brewster' remains a beloved, family-friendly series, with star Soleil Moon Frye named as one of the '100 Greatest Kid Stars' in a VH1 special.

But what have Punky and her pals been up to since their '80s heyday? Read on ...


Punky BrewsterSoleil Moon Frye
Punky Brewster

After her stint as the pig-tailed girl with the rainbow bright wardrobe in both the NBC sitcom and its animated spin-off, Frye spent her teen years guest starring in shows like 'The Wonder Years' and 'Saved by the Bell.' A case of gigantomastia led her to seek a much-publicized surgical reduction of her size 38-DD bustline before her 16th birthday, and after high-profile boyfriends like Edward Furlong and Mark Wahlberg, she married producer Jason Goldberg in 1998, and the couple has two daughters, Poet and Jagger. Soleil Moon FryeIn addition to cartoon voiceover work in 'Bratz,' 'Tiny Toon Adventures' and 'Robot Chicken,' Frye has also starred in 'Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,' guest-starred on 'Friends' and directed two movies, 'Wild Horses' and the documentary 'Sonny Boy.' She co-owns The Little Seed, a Los Angeles children's boutique specializing in eco-friendly clothes and toys, and she's among the most prolific celeb Twitter users, with more than a million followers.

George Gaynes
Henry Warnimont

Broadway vet Gaynes may be best known to TV fans as Punky's sometimes cantankerous caretaker Henry, but to movie fans, he's Commandant Eric Lassard in the 'Police Academy' movies (he's starred in all seven 'Police' flicks). Gaynes, who will turn 93 in May, also guest-starred in 'Chicago Hope' and 'Sliders'; played Frank Smith, the mob baddie who chased Luke and Laura on 'General Hospital'; and directed an episode of 'WKRP in Cincinnati.' He was last seen playing Father Robert in the Ashton Kutcher/Brittany Murphy comedy 'Just Married.'

Cherie Johnson
Cherie Johnson

After Johnson, the niece of 'Punky Brewster' creator and producer David Duclon, was finished playing Punky's BFF (the character her uncle had named after her), she went on to co-star in 'Family Matters' as the BFF of Urkel's future wife, Laura. Cheri JohnsonShe also had recurring roles in 'The Parkers' and 'Days of Our Lives,' guest starred on 'Eve' and started an afterschool recreational program -- Off the Streets -- for kids whose parents work late. More recently, Johnson wrote, produced and starred in the movie 'I Do ... I Did!' and has a string of direct-to-DVD movies upcoming, including 'The Maul,' 'Fanaddict' and 'Guardian of Eden.' She and 'Punky' pals Soleil Moon Frye and Ami Foster are still friends.

Susie Garrett
Betty Johnson

A former jazz singer from Detroit, Garrett had appeared in a few movies and guest starred on 'The Jeffersons' with her younger sister, 'Jeffersons' and '227' star Marla Gibbs, before 'Punky Brewster.' As Betty Johnson, she was playing a role she also played in real-life: She was the grandmother of Cherie Johnson, the character, and the real-life Cherie Johnson. Post-'Punky,' she starred in the movie 'Wicked Stepmother' with Bette Davis and made a guest appearance on '227.' Garrett died in 2002.

Ami Foster
Margeaux Kramer

Before playing Punky's snooty rich friend Margeaux, Foster was a national tap dance champion and a singing contestant on 'Star Search.' Post-'Brewster,' she was a frequent TV guest star, appearing on 'Full House,' 'Life Goes On,' 'The Wonder Years,' 'Quantum Leap' and 'Step by Step,' while she also did voicework in animated projects like 'Pound Puppies,' 'Snoopy!!! The Musical' and 'This Is America, Charlie Brown.' Foster's last major role was in a 'CBS Schoolbreak Special,' and, according to a 'Punky Brewster' DVD interview, she's now focusing on being a mom.

TK CarterT.K. Carter
Mike Fulton

Playing 'Punky' schoolteacher Mike was one of Carter's first regular series roles, after he launched a career as a stand-up comedian at the age of 12. He went on to regular roles in 'Saved by the Bell' (the early episodes, when it was called 'Good Morning, Miss Bliss'), 'The Sinbad Show,' 'The Steve Harvey Show' and HBO's 'The Corner,' co-starred in movies like 'A Rage in Harlem,' 'Space Jam' and 'Domino,' and most recently was seen guest starring on an episode of 'Everybody Hates Chris.'

Casey Ellison
Allen Anderson

Playing Punky's pal Allen was Ellison's first acting gig, which he followed with a role on 'Mr. Belvedere' and guest spots on '21 Jump Street,' 'Newhart' and 'The Wonder Years.' His last major acting role was in the 2002 horror flick 'Head Hunter,' and he now works steadily as an electrician on film crews, including 'The United States of Leland' and 'Starship Troopers 2.'


Sandy the Dog
Brandon the Wonder Dog

Brandon was played by a golden retriever puppy named Sandy, who was named Brandon in homage to then-NBC honcho Brandon Tartikoff. In the first season, Sandy shared the role with his brother Brandy, but when Sandy proved to be more trainable -- he even learned to ride a skateboard for 'Punky' -- he became the full-time, solo Brandon, and played Punky's beloved pet through the end of the series. Sandy went on to other roles, including co-starring with Corey Haim in 'Watchers,' but has since gone on to that big puppy farm in the sky.



Sound off: Were you a 'Punky Brewster' fan? What was your favorite episode?

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abbyandhailey

Spelled Margaux wrong

June 21 2012 at 11:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shannonm75

Punky Brewster was a cute show. It's just sad there are none quite like it anymore.

September 21 2011 at 8:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
westcoastxchick

LOVE IT!!! Very appropriet, very sweeet. Teaches values, now they just teach kids innuendoes and how to belch, no wonder our jobs are getting shipped over seas, people have no ethics. On the weekends we watch dvds, PBS is awesome for after school, Arthur and Fetch with Ruff Ruffman are my favorites to watch with my 9yr old.

May 31 2010 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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