The Secret Life of Punky BrewsterS

For a former child star, Soleil Moon Frye has done some very impressive networking. Her celebrity buddies in Hollywood have kept the 1980s actress in the media spotlight. But she's also insinuated herself atop the Silicon Valley power structure.

As TV's Punky Brewster, Moon Frye was famously ragtag. But her current associates are anything but scruffy. We heard Google CEO Eric Schmidt, for example, attended the opening of Moon Frye's children's specialty boutique The Little Seed in Los Angeles. Schmidt, in turn, met Moon Frye through their mutual friend (and Schmidt's sometime girlfriend) Marcy Simon, an executive at PR powerhouse Burson-Marsteller, an informant tells us.

Hollywood power couple Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore also tie Moon Frye to Simon and Schmidt as mutual friends. Moon Frye is tight with the pair, having attended their 2005 wedding and, far more significantly, the ceremony to honor Kutcher for his one millionth Twitter follower. UPDATE: She knows the couple through husband Jason Goldberg, we're told, since Goldberg is a production partner on Kutcher's onetime show Punk'd.

The actress seems to have learned plenty from the microblogging service's First Couple; her prolific tweeting (and a spot on Twitter's suggested user list) has earned her 1.4 million followers, and keeps her in the headlines. Her microblogged remembrance of Brittany Murphy, for example, was widely quoted in the press. And Moon Frye's well-curated circle of friends helps advance her profile in more straightforward ways, like when paparazzi snap her chatting it up with fellow starlet Rebecca Grayheart.

Chalk all this up as further proof that Twitter is the healthy alternative to crack cocaine. It may well be an insidiously addictive magnet for former child stars, like those white rocks, but at least your fellow addicts include nerd lords and some true Hollywood glitterati. The compulsion can do wonders for your career.



(Pic: Moon Frye at hotelier Ian Schrager's 2002 Halloween party. Getty Images.)