Former child actress Cherie Johnson (b. November 21, 1975) is best known for her roles on the sitcom television shows Punky Brewster as Punky, Soleil Moon-Frye’s best friend “Cherie Johnson” (her real name) and also as Laura Winslow’s best friend Maxine “Max” Johnson on Family Matters.
Cherie is still acting and is also a film producer and author. In 2009, she wrote, starred and produced the independent film I Do… I Did!
Johnson has so far produced eight films.
In 2010, she made her author debut when she released her book Around The World Twice. In 2011, she released her second writing, Two Different Walks Of Life “A Celebrity and a Average Housewife”, which explains her life as an actress.
She also recently completed her third novel, Peaches & Cream.
Cherie was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and her start in the entertainment business can be attributed to her uncle, David W. Duclon, a successful screenwriter and television producer.
Duclon encouraged Cherie’s desire to act, and helped to secure auditions for her early on. In 1984, after two seasons as executive producer of NBC’s Silver Spoons, Duclon successfully pitched a new pilot to the network about an orphaned young girl who is taken in by a curmudgeonly older man.
The concept won the approval of NBC programming chief Brandon Tartikoff, who named the titular character, and series, Punky Brewster (after a girl he had known in his youth).
Cherie was cast by Duclon in the role of Punky’s (Soleil Moon Frye) best friend, the character of which was modeled and named after herself. Punky Brewster was an immediate hit among young audiences, and Cherie continued as the fictional Cherie throughout the series’ run (1984–1986 on NBC).
In 1992, Cherie was given another role by her producer uncle; Duclon hired her to join the cast of ABC’s successful sitcom Family Matters, which he started executive producing in 1990. Cherie played Maxine “Max” Johnson, the best friend of Laura Winslow (Kellie Shanygne Williams-Jackson), appearing in the recurring role until the series’ end in 1998.
In addition to her familiar sitcom roles, Cherie has made guest appearances on The Parkers, The Proud Family, and she has also appeared on the soap opera Days of our Lives.
Cheries is also a contributing writer for Dimez magazine, Temptation magazine, and Glam Couture magazine, where she does a monthly article titled “Cherie Picking.” Additionally, she is editor-at-large at Success News Paper.
Cherie joined Shadow Play Entertainment’s literacy campaign, called “Take Time to Read,” as the national spokesperson, sharing her thoughts on why reading is so important no matter what career people choose.