Back in the 80s, audiences were absolutely in love with the adventures of Penelope "Punky" Brewster. She was a precocious little girl who snuck into an empty apartment after being abandoned by her mother. She's eventually adopted by her landlord, the widowed Henry Wanimont, and starts a new life with new friends and classmates.
it was a show that, while funny, also took on some very serious issues like child abandonment (obviously), paternity rights, drug use, and even death! The show very famously ended with Punky and her classmates watching the Challenger disaster on TV, and having to discuss it afterwards.
While the show only lasted two seasons, it had a very dedicated fanbase that kept its syndication run consistently popular, and made something of an up-and-coming star out of its lead actor, Soleil Moon Frye.
Ever wonder where she went afterwards? Turns out she actually had a pretty interesting story!
Click to the next page to find out more about Soleil Moon Frye.
Soleil was on track to be in more shows and movies at the age of 12 when Punky Brewster came to an end, but by the time she was 15, she ran into problems thanks to a rare medical condition.
She suffered from gigantomastia, which literally translates to "giant breasts." At 15 she was only 5' 1" tall, but had an incredibly unwieldy 38-DD bra size. Speaking to People Magazine in 1993, Frye commented “It was hard for me even to give somebody a hug, [...] I couldn’t sit up straight without people looking at me like I was a prostitute. My breasts became an insecurity.” She couldn't even jog around her neighborhood without people taunting her and calling her "Punky Boobster."
Her condition also limited her roles, as producers wouldn't cast her as someone her age, and offered her parts that were, as she describes, "just tits and ass." She ultimately underwent a breast reduction procedure, which actually required her chest to be completely reconstructed and involved over 4000 stitches.
Ecstatic after her surgery, Frye resumed acting, ultimately landing major TV and voice acting roles as Roxie King in Sabrina, The Teenage Witch and Zoey in The Proud Family. She also had smaller roles on shows like Tiny Toon Adventures, Friends, and Robot Chicken.
She's also gotten work as a director! Her second film, Sonny Boy, was a documentary about a two week trip she took with her father, who suffered from Alzheimer's. It was well-received and even won Best Documentary at the San Diego Film Festival!
These days she heads up companies that sell party decorating kits and "activity kits" in general, while spending time with her family. She's been married to television producer Jason Goldberg since 1998, and the two have four children; daughters Poet Sienna Rose and Jagger Joseph Blue, and sons Lyric Sonny Roads and Story.