Soleil Moon Frye (/soʊˈleɪ/; born August 6, 1976) is an American actress, director and screenwriter. She began her career as a child actor at the age of 2. When she was 7 years old, Frye won the role of Penelope "Punky" Brewster in the sitcom Punky Brewster. The series, which debuted on NBC in September 1984, earned consistently low ratings but the Punky character was a hit with young children. After NBC canceled the series, it was picked up for the syndication market where it aired for an additional two seasons ending in 1988.