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‘Punky Brewster’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

Find out what happened to Punky and her friends when they grew up.


The Punky Brewster cast captured the hearts of audiences during the series’ original 1984 to 1988 run. The premise centers around a spunky young girl named Punky Brewster, who, after being abandoned by her parents, finds a new home with a grumpy but kind-hearted older man named Henry.

Together with her loyal dog Brandon, Punky navigates the ups and downs of childhood while learning valuable life lessons along the way.

The show tackled themes of friendship, family, and resilience, resonating with viewers of all ages and with its blend of heartwarming storytelling and humor, Punky Brewster quickly became a beloved favorite among audiences. Created by David W. Duclon, the series left its mark on ‘80s nostalgia TV.

Punky Brewster spawned an animated spin-off, It’s Punky Brewster, featuring the original cast voicing their respective characters. The cartoon was produced by Ruby-Spears, and aired on NBC for two seasons in 1985 and 1986. And, in 2021, Peacock released the Punky Brewster reboot starring the original lead, Soleil Moon Frye. However, it was canceled after one season.

Here, we look back at the original Punky Brewster cast and where they are now.

Soleil Moon Frye as Punky Brewster

Soleil Moon Frye as Punky Brewster in the Punky Brewster Cast
1988/; Michael Kovac / Contributor/ Getty

Born on August 6, 1976, in Glendora, California, Soleil Moon Frye played the leading character Punky Brewster, a spunky and precocious young girl with a unique sense of style and a heart of gold. Her mother named her Soleil Moon after the song “I Got the Sun in the Morning (and the Moon at Night),” from the musical Annie Get Your Gun.

Frye began her acting career at a young age, with appearances in television series such as Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life, but her big career break was landing the lead of the Punky Brewster cast. After the series ended, Frye continued to act in both film and television, with roles in projects such as Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Robot Chicken, Wild Horses and The Cleaner. She also did plenty of voice work, including both the Bratz TV series and video games, the Planet Sheen series and The X’s.

As noted, she reprised her role as Punky Brewster in the 2021 revival of the series. When the show was canceled, she said “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. This has always been more than a show, it has been the collective of spirits coming together to help make the world a better place and create change by sharing our stories.”

Most recently, she voiced the role of Zoey in the TV series The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder (2022-23).

Frye has four children with ex-husband Jason Goldberg; daughters Poet Sienna Rose Goldberg and Jagger Joseph Blue Goldberg, and sons Lyric Sonny Roads Goldberg and Story Goldberg.

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George Gaynes as Henry Warnimont Punky Brewster cast

George Gaynes as Henry Warnimont

Born on May 3, 1917, in Helsinki, Finland George Gaynes played the role of Henry Warnimont, a cantankerous but kind-hearted elderly man who becomes Punky’s foster father and provides her with love and guidance.

Gaynes had a long and illustrious career in film with roles in Tootsie and The Police Academy film series while also appearing in Just Married, Wag the Dog and The Crucible. He had parts in several series, including Chicago Hope, Hearts Afire and The New Lassie.

Gaynes, who was fluent in several languages, including English, French and Russian, passed away in 2016.

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Cherie Johnson as Cherie

Cherie Johnson as Cherie in the Punky Brewster Cast
1988/; Raymond Boyd / Contributor/ Getty

Born on November 21, 1975 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cherie Johnson played the role of Cherie, Punky’s best friend and confidante, who lives in the same apartment building and often joins Punky on her adventures. Johnson landed the role when she was eight years old.

After being part of the Punky Brewster cast, Johnson went on to star in the show Family Matters (1989), where she played the role of Maxine. From there, she appeared in a number of TV series, including The Parkers, Proper Manors, The Therapist, Reborn and the Punky Brewster reboot. She also appeared in several movies, among them Who Can I Run To (2014) The Perfect Wife (2017) Packz (2023).

She has also authored four books, include Around the World Twice, Two Different Walks of Life and Peaches & Cream. She is currently working as a certified nutritionist and is the founder of Team Cherie, an initiative that promotes healthy living through online wellness challenges and group coaching. Lastly, she launched a line of hair care products, Wild Cherry Products.

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Ami Foster as Margaux Kramer

Ami Foster as Margaux Kramer
1988/2010sIMDB; IMDB

Born on August 5, 1975, Ami Foster played the character of Margaux Kramer, Punky’s snobbish and fashion-conscious classmate who often serves as a foil to Punky’s free-spirited nature.

Foster came to national attention on Ed McMahon’s Star Search (1983) as a junior singer finalist. She also won a national tap dance championship at age five and then had bit parts in several TV shows, including Fame, Webster and Wildside. Her career defining role was as Margaux Kramer in the Punky Brewster cast.

When the show ended, she continued acting, appearing in Step by Step, Empty Nest, The Family Man and The Wonder Years. She also had roles in several movies, among them Pound Puppies (1985) and Troop Beverly Hills (1989).

Most recently, she appeared in the Punky Brewster reboot.

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Susie Garrett as Betty Johnson: Punky Brewster Cast

Susie Garrett as Betty Johnson in the Punky Brewster Cast

Born on December 29, 1929, Susie Garrett played the role of Betty Johnson, the kind-hearted and no-nonsense manager of the apartment building where Punky and Henry live. She was also Cherie’s grandmother.

Garrett started out in the theater and she also sang in jazz clubs. While her career defining rolewas as Betty Johnson in the Punky Brewster cast, she also appeared in both TV shows and movies, including The Wicked Stepmother, The Jeffersons and 227.

She passed away in 2002 of cancer.

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