Sitcom star Punky Brewster looks unrecognizable 38 years after finding fame as a sassy orphan

THE sitcom Punky Brewster – and protagonist of the same name – captivated TV fans in the 80s.

American actress Soleil Moon Frye took on the role of sassy orphan Punky, who was raised by her adoptive parent Henry Warnimont.

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The sitcom Punky Brewster ran for four series in the 1980s, with orphan Punky, on the far right, as the sassy protagonist.Credit: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via
Actress Soleil Moon Frye played the role until she was 12

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Actress Soleil Moon Frye played the role until she was 12Credit: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via

The NBC series, which debuted in 1984, documented the couple’s blossoming friendship that saw their official adoption in season two.

Punky, real name Penelope, was accompanied by loyal dog Brandon on her hilarious adventures in Chicago, which spanned four seasons and ended in 1988.

She was known for her cheeky smile, huge bangs, and pigtail hairstyle.

Yet California actress Soleil, who played the character until she was 12 and is now 45, looks completely different from the role that made her famous.

Fans got their first taste of it when the star returned as Punky for the reboot last year.

Alongside a snapshot of the cast, she gushed: “The best way to describe this experience is that it felt like lightning in a bottle, a comet of joy, heart and love that I will treasure for the most close to my heart forever and ever.

“You helped me find my inner strength and punky power. It’s always been more than a show, it’s the collective of minds coming together to help make the world a better place and create change by sharing our stories.

“Please keep sharing your stories, believe in your stories, and follow your passion. We are each manifestors. Keep manifesting your dreams and following this incredible rainbow. I truly have faith that to believe is to see I feel in my heart that our paths will continue to meet again.

“I love you so much my extended family, my forever Punky family. I surround you with my arms and my heart yesterday, today and always. Xx”

POST PUNK

After Punky Brewster’s first four-part series ended, Soleil starred in Sabrina The Teenage Witch as Sabrina’s roommate Roxie King.

Soleil married Jason Goldberg in 1998, with the couple divorcing in 2020.

They share four children and the proud mom often shares their antics on her Instagram page.

Soleil traded in her thick bangs for a sleek, mid-length hairstyle.

She leaves her brunette locks in a long, sleek style and often posts makeup-free selfies on her Instagram page.

These are scattered among adorable

Alongside a recent snap, the author posted the inspirational message: “Sending so much love and good energy to everyone ahead of the weekend.

“Reflecting on those days of summers gone by, drinking in the present and excited for the future. Love and blessings to all.”

Soleil, now 45, returned for Punky's 2021 reboot

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Soleil, now 45, returned for Punky’s 2021 rebootCredit: Instagram
She looked unrecognizable with her sleek brown locks and huge smile

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She looked unrecognizable with her sleek brown locks and huge smileCredit: Getty
Mum-of-four Sun often shares no-makeup snaps and inspirational quotes on her page

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Mum-of-four Sun often shares no-makeup snaps and inspirational quotes on her pageCredit: Instagram/Soleil Moonfrye

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