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What Ever Happened to Punky Brewster's Best Friend, Cherie? [Where Are They Now]

Cherie-Johnson-Young-Small Punky Brewster was one of my favorite shows on the teevee when I was but a wee gal.  I liked Punky's spunk, but she wasn't my favorite (officially, that was Brandon). I preferred Punky's BFF Cherie Johnson, who, in my opinion, stole the show.  She was cute, sassy and smart, and she was the reason I wore headbands around my forehead.  I got pushed on the playground for that.

We always hear about Punky.  Punky this, Punky that.  I don't want to hear about Punky.  What happened to Cherie?

Did you know that the character Cherie Johnson's actual real life name is Cherie Johnson?  That's so cool because, think about it - you're a child actor who plays a popular character, say, Willis Drummond.  For the rest of your damn life everyone is going to say, "Hey, there's Willis!," "Look!  It's Willis and "Willis, what are you talking about?!" and you'll never escape. But, if your character's name is actually your name in real life, things are far less annoying because when someone yells, "Hey, that's Cherie!" she can turn around and say all cool and confidently, "You're damn right I am."  How badass is that?

Cherie-Johnson-Punky-Brewster Cherie's uncle, David Duclon, who produced hit shows like Mork & Mindy, Silver Spoons, Laverne & Shirley, The Jeffersons and Happy Days, created a show with his dear niece as his muse.  The show? Punky Brewster.  He sold the show to NBC, thinking that his niece would be geeked to have a character on a television show named after her.

She was not.  As most of us would probably react, she didn't want anyone else playing her on the teevee.  She wanted to play herself.  Having sold the show, however, her uncle David didn't really have any say over who got to play the character; Cherie had to audition like everyone else. Yadda yadda, she got the part of Cherie Johnson on her own, having been picked over hundreds of other actresses.  And we love her for it, for, looking back on it, can you see anyone else in that role?  Punky Brewster was a hit and Cherie went on to contribute her voice to the cartoon version of her character.  AND remember the Miss Adorable Pageant?  She won first place ahead of Punky.  


Here's a fun fact I bet you didn't know: her grandma on the show is her grandma in real life.  She is the great niece of actress Marla Gibbs, who starred on The Jeffersons and my personal favorite, 227 (with Saaaaaaaaaandra).

My head, it just exploded.

Once Punky Brewster came to an end, Cherie went on to star on Days of our Lives until 1990.  During her career she worked with Martin Lawrence and the late Gary Coleman and she played the role of Maxine on Family Matters.  Aside from her role on Family Matters, Cherie spent her time giving back by teaching computer classes to children with Down's Cherie-Johnson-Adult Syndrome and founded an "Off the Streets" program that provided recreational activities and tutoring for children who might otherwise be on the streets after school.

In the 2000s she appeared on The Parkers, Good Behavior, Proud Family and Eve and enjoyed a cameo appearance in 2003's Malibooty. She is now working in Hollywood as a writer, producer and actress.  

It's awesome to see a child star grow up to be not just well adjusted, but successful, beautiful and hard-working as well.  

You can show some love to Cherie on her Facebook Fan Page here.

. . .

Anastacia Campbell still wears headbands around her forehead and writes stupid crap at her blog, Jurgen Nation, and on the Twitter and sometimes on the Facebook thingee.  Anastacia is the producer of nothing at all.

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loved this show. though the episode where she gets locked in the fridge traumatized me.


I actually remember her more from Family Matters. She is beautiful.

I have a suggestion, my friends and I were reminiscing about Small Wonder the other day and I was wondering what happened to the girl who played Vicky. She was so adorable and did such a great job.


OMG the fridge episode. I just got chills.

It is nice to see someone grow up "normal" in Hollywood.


It sounds really effed up to say I *liked* that episode, but I remember it being really good. And topical! I think they made a law out of that. Cherie's Law.  I'm kidding partially, but it should have been. 

Sent via series of pipes and tubes. Your mom's.  Yeah, I said it. 


She went to my high school and people used to tease her and yell "Cherie, where's your headband?"

Now I feel bad (But I never did that. I was totally impressed that she knew Punky Brewster).

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