Soleil Moon Frye, 1980s 'Punky Brewster,' comes to Darien as author, entrepreneur
Although the last "Punky Brewster" episode originally aired more than 25 years ago, the actress who brought this spirited, freckle-faced girl to life continues to find fans of the television show in her travels -- right alongside those who only know her as the entrepreneur and author she has become.
"Punky Brewster was such a big part of my life; it will always be very important to me," said Soleil Moon Frye, 37, of her role as Penelope "Punky" Brewster, the title character in the sitcom that aired for four seasons in the mid-to-late 1980s.
Just as Punky was known for her funky fashions and irrepressible spirit, Frye too has demonstrated a creative and ebullient spirit as an author, an entrepreneur, a television host and parent.
It features photographs by her brother, Meeno Peluce.
Packed with tips for busy parents looking for ways to plan memorable parties, Frye said she wanted to offer ideas that were easy, affordable and could be done together as a family.
The book incorporates ideas one can find on moonfrye.com and the Moonfrye app, which was launched in August.
Frye, who lives in Los Angeles, will be making a trip East next week for an event at Barrett Bookstore in Darien. On Wednesday, Oct. 16, she will meet with fans to sign copies of the book, share her story of launching a new business and offer tips on how to make more creative time with your family.
"This all started because I really wanted to spend more time with my girls," she said of her daughters, who are 8 and 5.
In the past six years or so, Frye has helped to launch a clothing line, worked as a "Mommy Ambassador" for Target, established moonfrye.com and used social media outlets to build a community of parents who share tips and support.
She also hosts the TV show "Home Made Simple" on OWN.
"I, too, was a new mom with questions about parenting and I discovered that social media was such an incredible place to share," she said, of the rather simple start years ago that has led to more than 1.4 million people following her on Twitter and another 600,000 through Facebook. "You could talk with others and not feel so alone."
As a child, Frye said she used to bake, cook and create with her mom, whose skills were memorable -- such as the Statue of Liberty Halloween costume she once made for Frye out of aluminum foil. Frye said she wanted to continue that tradition with her own children and other parents looking for easy ways to be creative.
"My partners and I really wanted to create a digital and physical world that would bring families together," Frye said.
They also wanted to propose activities that were affordable.
"These are things you can do with items you already have in your house, or will not break the bank," Frye said.
Given Frye and her husband, Jason Goldberg, are expecting their third child, it is not likely the need to keep everyone busy will wane anytime soon.
"I am really grateful that I am able to spend time with my little ones," she said, adding that she hopes the easy-to-follow and easy-to-implement ideas in her latest book free up parents to enjoy time with their kids, too.
Looking ahead, she said she would like to get back into acting. Since "Punky Brewster" ended, she has directed two films, "Wild Horses" and the documentary "Sonny Boy," which is about a trip she took with her father who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
Throughout the 1990s, she was featured on a few sitcoms, including an episode of "Friends."
In the early 2000s, she had a regular role on "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch."
"I love to be on stage, and I love to do comedy," she said. "So, I am sure I will go back."
For now, she's letting her creativity bring out the best in her.
"I will continue to evolve, to do things that inspire me, and hopefully, inspire others," she said.
Christina.firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @xtinahennessy