Soleil Moon Frye

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Soleil Moon Frye
Soleilmoonfrye.jpg
Frye at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show
Born (1976-08-06) August 6, 1976 (age 44)
EducationSan Fernando Valley Professional School
Alma materThe New School
Occupation
  • Actress
  • film director
  • screenwriter
Years active1982–present
Spouse(s)
(m. 1998; div. 2020)
Children4
Parent(s)
Relatives

Soleil Moon Frye (/sˈl/; born August 6, 1976[1]) is an American actress, director, producer, and screenwriter. She began her career as a child actor at the age of two. When she was seven, Frye won the role of Penelope "Punky" Brewster in the NBC sitcom Punky Brewster. The series debuted in September 1984, and earned consistently low ratings, but the Punky character was a hit with young children. After NBC cancelled the series, it was picked up for the syndication market, where it aired for an additional two seasons before ending in 1988. Frye reprised the role in a 2021 reboot of the series.

After the original Punky Brewster series ended, Frye continued her career in guest spots on television and supporting roles in films. She attended The New School during the late 1990s, and directed her first film, Wild Horses, in 1998. In 2000, she joined the cast in The WB sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch as Roxie King, Sabrina Spellman's roommate and close friend. Frye remained with the series until its end in April 2003. She has since continued her acting career working mainly as a voice actor.

In 1998, Frye married producer Jason Goldberg, with whom she has four children. She has since opened an eco-friendly specialty clothing boutique for children, The Little Seed, in Los Angeles. She also hosts a blog and web series which focus on child rearing and women's issues. In 2011, Frye released her first book Happy Chaos: From Punky to Parenting and My Perfectly Imperfect Adventures in Between. Frye was host of the Home Made Simple show on the Oprah Winfrey Network from 2013 to 2014.[2]

Early life[edit]

Frye was born in Glendora, California. Her father was actor Virgil Frye (1930-2012), and her mother is talent agent and caterer Sondra Peluce (née Londy). She has two half-brothers, Sean Frye and Meeno Peluce, both former child actors.[3] Frye's parents divorced when she was two.[4]

Frye was educated at a private school in Los Feliz, and attended San Fernando Valley Professional School in Burbank.[4]

Career[edit]

Acting[edit]

Frye made her acting debut in the 1982 television movie Missing Children: A Mother's Story. In 1983, she had a supporting role in Who Will Love My Children?, another television movie starring Ann-Margret. The following year, she portrayed Elizabeth (Bette) Kovacs in the biographical television movie Ernie Kovacs: Between the Laughter, and appeared in another television movie, Invitation to Hell, directed by Wes Craven.

At the audition, Frye beat out over 3,000 girls (including her future Sabrina, the Teenage Witch co-star Melissa Joan Hart) to win the titular role on the NBC sitcom Punky Brewster. The series, which was conceived by NBC's then-head of programming Brandon Tartikoff, premiered in September 1984. Scheduled opposite CBS's highly rated 60 Minutes, the series struggled in the ratings, but the character of Punky was popular among children. Frye routinely appeared at parades, participated in an antidrug walks with then-First Lady Nancy Reagan, and was the honorary chairperson for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Frye also voiced and reprised the role in the animated series It's Punky Brewster, which began airing during Punky Brewster's first season. Despite the series' low ratings, Brandon Tartikoff decided to renew the show for a second season because it was the highest rated show watched by children 2 to 11 years old.[5][6] Punky Brewster's second season, which dealt with more serious subject matters such as CPR and first-aid training, drug use and the Just Say No campaign, and the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster,[7] did not improve ratings, and NBC cancelled the series in April 1986.[citation needed] The series was quickly picked up by Columbia Pictures Television and began airing in first-run syndication. Punky Brewster aired for an additional two seasons, ending on May 27, 1988.[8]

Immediately upon Punky Brewster's end, Frye landed the lead role in the ABC sitcom pilot Cadets, which aired as a summer special on September 25, 1988. The pilot, however, was not picked up.[9] In 1989, Frye hosted the syndicated weekly talk/variety show Girl Talk. Based on the board game of the same name, Frye shared hosting duties with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Rod Brogan.[10][11] The series was cancelled after one season. In 1990, she appeared in the Rodney Dangerfield sitcom pilot ...Where's Rodney?, but this was not picked up as a series, either.

During the 1990s, Frye guest-starred on several television series, including The Wonder Years, Saved by the Bell, and Friends, and voiced characters for the animated series Tiny Toon Adventures and The Cartoon Cartoon Show. In addition to her television work, Frye has appeared in the films The Liars' Club (1993) and Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings (1995) and in stage productions of Orestes, I Murdered My Mother and The Housekeeper.

From 2000 to 2003, Frye played the character of Roxie King in the last few seasons of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, with her longtime friend and series producer Melissa Joan Hart.[12] During the run of Sabrina, she voiced Zoey Howzer in the Disney Channel series The Proud Family and the series' 2005 television movie. She reprised the role in the revival series The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.[13]

In 2004, she voiced Jade, a Bratz character in the direct-to-video release Bratz: Starrin' & Stylin'. She also voiced the character for the television series, and the video games Bratz Rock Angelz (2005) and Bratz: Forever Diamondz (2006). From 2010 to February 2013, Frye voiced Aseefa in the animated series Planet Sheen.

She appears in the Punky Brewster reboot that began airing on Peacock on February 25, 2021.

Directing[edit]

In 1996, Frye moved to New York to attend The New School and later directed her first film, Wild Horses (1998).[14]

Frye directed her second film, Sonny Boy, in 2004. The documentary chronicles a two-week trip Frye took with her father, Virgil, who had Alzheimer's disease. Sonny Boy was an official selection at the 27th Starz Denver International Film Festival[15] and won Best Documentary at the San Diego Film Festival.[16]

In 2021, Frye directed Kid 90, a documentary film using an archive of footage she shot in the 1990s, executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio.[17] The film was released on March 12, 2021, by Hulu.[18]

Other ventures[edit]

In 2007, Frye, along with two friends, opened The Little Seed, an eco-friendly children's specialty boutique in Los Angeles.[19] The boutique closed in August 2012, and is now an Internet-based business.[20]

In March 2010, Frye and her friend and former co-star Melissa Joan Hart launched the "Better Together" campaign for Gain.[21]

In September 2011, Frye released her first book, Happy Chaos: From Punky to Parenting and My Perfectly Imperfect Adventures in Between.[22] In October 2013, she released a party-planning book, Let's Get This Party Started. She also hosted a web series, Her Say, from 2011 to 2012, and currently hosts a blog on her official website, moonfrye.com, both of which deal with women's issues and parenting.[23]

In 2014, Frye co-founded P.S. XO, a company that sells party decoration kits.[24] The name was then changed to MoonFrye, and expanded to include DIY kits for families and an app of the same name. They later merged with the company Seedling, which specializes in "activity kits".

Personal life[edit]

As a teen, Frye suffered from gigantomastia. She underwent a breast reduction three months before her 16th birthday.[4]

On October 25, 1998, Frye married television producer Jason Goldberg in a Jewish ceremony (Frye's mother is Jewish, as is Goldberg).[25] Frye and Goldberg have four children: daughters born in August 2005[26] and March 2008[27] and sons born in February 2014[28] and May 2016.[29] Goldberg and Frye renewed their marriage vows in a ceremony in 2008. In 2020, after 22 years of marriage, the couple separated.[30] In December 2020, Frye filed for divorce.[31]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Film performances
Year Title Role Notes
1987 You Ruined My Life Minerva
1993 The Liars' Club Gigi
1994 The St. Tammany Miracle Julia Alternative title: Heavenly Hoops
Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings Marcie
1995 Twisted Love Sharon Stewart
1996 Mind Games Becky Hanson
1998 Wild Horses
Writer, director
1999 Motel Blue Agent Kyle Rivers
2000 The Girls' Room Casey Alternative title: Best of Enemies
2001 Alex in Wonder Alissa Alternative title: Sex and a Girl
2004 Sonny Boy
Director
Bratz: Starrin' & Stylin' Jade (voice) Direct-to-DVD release
2005 Bratz: Rock Angelz Jade (voice) Direct-to-DVD release
2006 Bratz: Passion 4 Fashion - Diamondz Jade (voice) Direct-to-DVD release
Bratz: Genie Magic Jade (voice) Direct-to-DVD release
2013 Bratz Go to Paris: The Movie Jade (voice) Direct-to-DVD release
2021 Kid 90 Herself Director, producer; documentary

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1982 Missing Children: A Mother's Story Mary Elizabeth TV movie
1983 Who Will Love My Children? Linda Fray TV movie
Little Shots Samantha TV movie
1984 Ernie Kovacs: Between the Laughter Elizabeth Kovacs #2 TV movie
Invitation to Hell Chrissy Winslow TV movie
1984−88 Punky Brewster Penelope "Punky" Brewster 88 episodes
1985 Diff'rent Strokes Terry Harris Episode: "Sam's New Pal"
MacGruder and Loud Kathy Episode: "The Very Scary Man"
Back to Next Saturday Punky Brewster Special
It's Punky Brewster Penelope "Punky" Brewster (Voice) 26 episodes
1986 Alvin Goes Back to School Punky Brewster Special
1987 The Law & Harry McGraw Charlene Episode: "She's Not Wild About Harry"
1988 Cadets Tyler McKay Unsold pilot
1990 Where's Rodney? Sonya TV movie
The Wonder Years Mimi Detweiler Episode: "Growing Up"
1992 Saved by the Bell Robin Episode: "Screech's Spaghetti Sauce"
Tiny Toon Adventures Amanda Duff (Voice) Two episodes
ABC Weekend Special Tina Episode: "Choose Your Own Adventure: The Case of the Silk King"
1993 The Ren & Stimpy Show Voice role Episode: "Stimpy's Fan Club"
1994 Summertime Switch Peggy, the head cheerleader TV movie
Heaven Help Us Louisa Episode: "First Comes Love"
1995 Piranha Laura TV movie
1996 The Cartoon Cartoon Show Mary (Voice) Episode: "Johnny Bravo and the Amazon Women"
1997 The Killing Secret Emily De Capprio TV movie
1998 I've Been Waiting for You Kyra Thompson TV movie
1999 Working Jen Miller Episode: "The Prodigy"
Friends Katie Episode: "The One with the Girl Who Hits Joey"
Grown Ups Robin Episode: Pilot
2000-03 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Roxie King 66 episodes
2001–05 The Proud Family Zoey Voice role, 47 episodes
2004–05 The Backyardigans Fangirl Teen Reading Fan Letter/Cheerleader Girl #4 Episodes: "Pablo's Fan Club" and "The Power of the Atom"
2005 The Proud Family Movie Zoey TV movie
The X's Annasthesia (Voice) Episode: "License to Slumber/Three Days of the Coin Op"
2005–06 Bratz Jade Voice role, 23 episodes
2009 Robot Chicken Voice roles Three episodes
2010 Planet Sheen Aseefa (voice) 13 episodes
2013–14 Home Made Simple Herself Host
2017–18 Hollywood Darlings Herself Two episodes
2019 Staging Christmas Lori TV movie
2021 Punky Brewster Penelope "Punky" Brewster 10 episodes
TBA The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder Zoey Howzer Upcoming series; voice role

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Bratz: Rock Angelz Jade voice role
2006 Bratz: Forever Diamondz Jade voice role

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Title of work Result
1985 Young Artist Award Best Young Actress in a Television Comedy Series Punky Brewster Nominated
1986 Best Young Actress Starring in a Television Series Won
1988 Best Young Female Superstar in Television Nominated
Best Animation Voice Over Group It's Punky Brewster (Shared with Casey Ellison, Ami Foster, Teddy Field III, and Cherie Johnson)
1989 Best Young Actress Guest Starring in a Syndicated Family Comedy, Drama or Special Mickey's 60th Birthday
Best Young Actress - Voice Over Role It's Punky Brewster Won
2004 San Diego Film Festival Best Documentary Sonny Boy

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Soleil Moon Frye". TV Guide Online. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
  2. ^ "Watch Home Made Simple - Stream Online | OWN".
  3. ^ "Actress Soleil Moon Frye and half-brother Actor Meeno Peluce attend..." Getty Images. April 19, 1995. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Rosen, Marjorie (April 26, 1993). "Now I Can Be Free". People. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  5. ^ "'Punky Brewster' Star Goes to Camp". The Victoria Advocate. July 27, 1985. p. 4. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  6. ^ O'Hallaren, Bill (March 2, 1986). "Her show may be a flop but Soleil Moon Frye is riding high on the wave of popularity". New Straits Times. pp. 2, 15. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  7. ^ Margulies, Lee (February 19, 1986). "'Punky' Deals With Shuttle Tragedy". LA Times. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  8. ^ Etkin, Jaimie (May 27, 2013). "'Punky Brewster' Finale: 25 Years Later, Where Is Soleil Moon Frye Now?". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  9. ^ Burlingame, Jon. "Sunday Highlights". The Modesto Bee. September 24, 1988. pp. A–10. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  10. ^ Stafford, Nikki (2007). Bite Me!: The 10th Buffyversary Guide to the World of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (3 ed.). ECW Press. pp. 33–34. ISBN 978-1-550-22807-6.
  11. ^ Television/Radio Age , Volume 37. 37. Television Editorial Corporation. 1989. p. 11.
  12. ^ Angulo, Sandra P. (October 27, 2000). "Moon Shot". ew.com. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  13. ^ Swift, Andy (February 27, 2020). "The Proud Family Revival Ordered at Disney+ With Original Cast — First Look". TVLine.
  14. ^ "Soleil Moon Frye Biography". askmen.com. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved November 27, 2008.
  15. ^ Chaw, Walter (November 4, 2004). "Work de Soleil: From Shirley Temple to Barbara Kopple". filmfreakcentral.net. Archived from the original on May 25, 2011. Retrieved November 27, 2008.
  16. ^ "Award Winners". August 28, 2010. Archived from the original on August 28, 2010. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  17. ^ Gardner, Chris (August 25, 2020). "Soleil Moon Frye to Give Never-Before-Seen Look at '90s Hollywood With 'KID 90' Documentary for Hulu (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  18. ^ Carey, Matthew (February 10, 2021). "Hulu Documentaries On WeWork & Adam Neumann, Soleil Moon Frye, Sasquatch Get Spring Premiere Dates". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  19. ^ Wihlborg, Ulrica (October 9, 2007). "Soleil Moon Frye Opens Eco-Friendly Baby Store". People. Retrieved November 27, 2008.
  20. ^ "Little Seed to Close at End of August - Will Continue Online". Larchmont Buzz. July 8, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  21. ^ "Gain Partners with Celebrity Best Friends Melissa Joan Hart and Soleil Moon Frye to Demonstrate that 'Two is Better than One'". yahoo.com. March 30, 2010. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
  22. ^ "The Throwback: Catching up with 'Punky Brewster'". cnn.com. September 1, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
  23. ^ Spencer, Lara; Reynolds, Talesha (November 28, 2011). "'Mom-Trepreneurs' Turn the Mundane Details of Motherhood Into Lucrative Businesses". abcnews.go.com. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
  24. ^ "Unique Arts & Craft Projects, Games, Toys, & Apps for Kids - Seedling".
  25. ^ Bloom, Nate (April 8, 2005). "Celebrity Jews". jweekly.com. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  26. ^ "Punky's Soleil Moon Frye Has a Daughter". People. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  27. ^ Wihlborg, Ulrica. "Soleil Moon Frye Welcomes a Baby Girl". People. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  28. ^ Webber, Stephanie. "Soleil Moon Frye, Husband Jason Goldberg Name Newborn Son Lyric Sonny Roads". Us Weekly. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  29. ^ "Soleil Moon Frye Welcomes Son Story". People. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  30. ^ Jordan, Julie; Stone, Natalie (December 28, 2020). "Soleil Moon Frye and Jason Goldberg Separate After 22 Years of Marriage". People.com. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  31. ^ "Soleil Moon Frye uses her 'Punky Power' to get though divorce". PageSix.com.

External links[edit]