Category Archives: Where Are They Now?

Silver Spoons: Where Are They Now?

Here we are, face to face
A couple of Silver Spoons.
Hopin’ to find, we’re two of a kind
Making a go, making it grow.

Together, we’re going to find our way.
Together, taking the time each day.
To learn all about those things you just can’t buy.

Two Silver spoons together.
You and I together (We’re going to find our way)
You and I together (We’re going to find our way)
You and I together.

Silver Spoons aired on NBC from September 25, 1982 to May 11, 1986 and in first-run syndication from September 15, 1986 to March 4, 1987.

In the first episode, Ricky Stratton (Ricky Schroder) arrived at the mansion of the father he has never met to introduce himself, move in and get to know him better. Edward Stratton III (played by Joel Higgins) was an “overgrown child,” that never took responsibility for anything, including his toy business named Eddie Toys. Edward thinks that his son is too uptight and needs to get out and have fun while he’s still young.

They live in an awesome mansion that has arcade games and a train that ran throughout the house. While Edward was childish and playful, his gorgeous personal assistant, Kate Summers (played by Erin Gray), was often the voice of reason. And she kind of gave him incentive to act a little more mature. Edward and Kate had a will-they-or-won’t-they relationship which led to the two dating and later becoming married in the third season.

And like, Diff’rent Strokes, and other family sitcoms of the ’80s, Silver Spoons had it’s share of “Very Special” Episodes:

* In the Season 1 episode “Mr. T and Me”, the issue of school bullies was touched upon when Ricky is being picked on by a bully and Edward decides to hire a bodyguard for Ricky (played by Mr. T).

* In the Season 1 episode “The Best Christmas Ever”, homelessness was addressed when Ricky discovered a family living in a cave on his father’s estate, featuring future Gimme A Break and Blossom star Joey Lawrence.

* In the Season 2 episode “Spare the Rod,” Ricky discovers that his friend Toby (Meeno Peluce of Voyagers!) is being beaten by his father. The end of the episode reveals that the father is also a child abuse victim.

* In the Season 3 episode “The Babysitters”, Ricky suspects that a girl he’s babysitting was kidnapped by her father. Many missing children cases have involved children being kidnapped by one of their parents or relatives.

* In the two-part Season 4 episode “One for the Road”, Ricky attends a party and is pressured into drinking by his friend. He later finds out that his friend has a drinking problem and tries to get him help.

* In the Season 4 episode “Daddy Rick”, the subject of teen pregnancy is addressed when Ricky is paired with a girl in a mock marriage project at school and finds out his partner is pregnant, both in the mock marriage project and in real life.

Overall, this was a very good show. And who didn’t want to live in that mansion?!?

So, where have all the stars of the show been?

Ricky Stratton – Ricky Schroder

Ricky Schroder came into prominence when he won a Golden Globe for Best New Male Star of 1979 when he starred in The Champ with Jon Voight and Faye Dunaway.
Schroder then starred in Silver Spoons. After his run on that show, he decided to go for more mature roles. In 1988, he starred in the Emmy Award-winning miniseries, Lonesome Dove, based on Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. He also appeared in the sequel, Return to Lonesome Dove. And then most of us were surprised when he starred in the television show NYPD Blue, replacing Jimmy Smits. He played Danny Sorenson for 2 1/2 years, and did an outstanding job. He left after the 2000-2001 season citing a need to spend more time with his family and time-management issues. In 2003, he returned to comedy, playing Nurse Paul Flowers in Scrubs. In 2004, Schroder directed and starred in the great Brad Paisley video, “Whiskey Lullaby”. In 2007, Schroder went back to action/drama, playing Mike Doyle on 24 for 1 season. Schroder is set to guest-star in an upcoming January episode of ABC’s No Ordinary Family.

Schroder married Andrea Bernard on September 26, 1992. Together, they have four children: sons Holden (born 1992) and Luke (born 1993) and daughters Cambrie (born 1997) and Faith Anne (born 2001). Andrea Bernard-Schroder is an interior designer and was a contestant on Season Two of Top Design on Bravo.

For the latest news and updates on Rick Schroder, you can visit his Official Site.

Edward Stratton III – Joel Higgins

Before Silver Spoons, Joel Higgins played Bruce Carson in the CBS soap opera Search For Tomorrow from 1975-1978. In 1979, Higgins starred in the short-lived television series Salvage 1 with Andy Griffith. Then in 1981, he starred as U.S. Marshal Sam Best in the show Best of the West.

After Silver Spoons, he appeared in 2 television movies: Laura Lansing Slept Here (1988) and Rich Men, Single Women (1990). He was also in the short-lived 1989 sitcom, Have Faith where he played the role of Monsignor Joseph “Mac” MacKenzie.

He has mainly been working in theater over the years.

Joel Higgins is married to a woman named Stacy, they’ve been together for over 20 years and have a son named Graham.

Kate Summers Stratton – Erin Gray

Before Silver Spoons, Erin Gray was known for her role as Wilma Deering in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Then in 1982, she played the role of Lilah in the summer movie Six Pack as a love interest opposite Kenny Rogers.

In 1993, she had a featured role in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, the ninth entry in the Friday the 13th series. In 2005, she appeared in the film, Siren. In 2010, she appeared in the web series Buck Rogers, playing the mother of Lucas ‘Buck’ Rogers. She is also active as a casting agent through her agency, Heroes for Hire, which specializes in booking sci-fi and fantasy stars for appearances.

The Official Erin Gray Home Page

Dexter Stuffins – Franklyn Seales (July 15, 1952 – May 14, 1990)

Seales was mainly known for “stuffy” Dexter Stuffins, Edward’s attorney, and uncle to Ricky’s best friend Alfonso. After Silver Spoons, Seales had guest spots on the shows Wiseguy, Growing Pains, and Amen. Sadly, Seales died of complications from AIDS at his family’s home in New York City on May 14, 1990. He was 37.

Alfonso Spears – Alfonso Ribeiro

While Alfonso Ribeiro became well known from his role in Silver Spoons, he became an even bigger star as Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

He is currently hosting his first game show, GSN’s Catch-21, which premiered July 21, 2008 and directing Tyler Perry’s sitcom Meet the Browns.

Derek Taylor – Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman played one of Ricky’s friends, Derek Taylor from 1982-1984. Before Silver Spoons, Bateman played James Cooper Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie. After Silver Spoons, Bateman starred in the show Valerie’s Family, which was then named The Hogan Family after Valerie Harper left the show. After that show ended, Bateman disappeared for almost a decade. Then he had a career resurgence when he starred in the show Arrested Devlopment as Michael Bluth. Bateman won several awards for his work on the series, including a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy. He was also nominated in 2005 for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series.
This resurgence then brought him to movies. In 2004, Bateman appeared in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story as ESPN 8 (“The Ocho”) commentator Pepper Brooks, and in Starsky & Hutch as Kevin, Vince Vaughn’s business partner.

Bateman reunited with Vaughn in 2006’s The Break-Up. In 2007, he played former lawyer Rupert “Rip” Reed alongside Ben Affleck in Smokin’ Aces, and also starred in The Kingdom, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, and Juno. In 2008, he co-starred with Will Smith and Charlize Theron in the superhero film Hancock.

Bateman’s 2009 films included Extract, written and directed by Mike Judge, and Couples Retreat, a comedy chronicling four couples who partake in therapy sessions at a tropical island resort (Kristen Bell played his wife).

Since 2001, Bateman has been married to actress Amanda Anka, daughter of singer and actor Paul Anka. Their first child, Francesca Nora Bateman, was born October 28, 2006.

Freddy Lippincottleman – Corky Pigeon

After Silver Spoons, Corky went on to plays drums and make countless records in various bands, tour with bands like MXPX and Reel Big Fish. Corky married his girlfriend of ten years, Bobbie Starr Pigeon aka Bobbie Starr. They live in The Valley in Los Angeles.

Grandfather Edward Stratton II – John Houseman (September 22, 1902 – October 31, 1988)

In addition for being known as Edward Stratton II, Houseman won a Golden Globe and Academy Award for his role as Professor Charles Kingsfield in the 1973 movie The Paper Chase. He reprised his role in the television series of the same name from 1978–1986, receiving two Golden Globe nominations for “Best Actor in a TV Series — Drama”. And of course, we fondly remember Houseman for his Smith Barney commercial, with the catchphrase: “They make money the old fashioned way…they EHRN (earn) it.”

Here is the commercial. The actual commercial starts 22 seconds into the video:

Houseman died of spinal cancer in 1988 at his home in Malibu, California at age 86. In 1988, he appeared in his last two roles—cameos in the movies The Naked Gun playing a hilarious driving instructor, and Scrooged playing himself. Both films were released after his death.

Music Video of the week – 8/4/10

This week’s selection is “Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant:

“Electric Avenue” was released in 1982, and appeared on Eddy Grant’s 1983 album Killer on the Rampage. The song is named after a market street in the Brixton area of London, England.
Technically, “Electric Avenue” is considered to have made Grant a one-hit wonder, but I remember that I did like the song “Romancing the Stone” from the movie of the same name:

In the mid ’80s, Grant left the limelight, and, moved his family to Barbados. Then he started his own recording studio called Blue Wave. His clients have included Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones, Sting and Elvis Costello. It’s where the Rolling Stones prepared for their “Steel Wheels” tour. Now his studio is called Ice Records, and it promotes Classic Calypso, Soca and ‘Ringbang’ music. Ringbang is a new genre that Grant has developed. The following is from Grant’s official web site:

“in my heart, I know that Soca and Ringbang have the same potential as reggae to achieve great popularity… but there has never been any proper commitment to marketing these artists and their music. We are not Sony, and the artists on board realise it will take time. It is an upliftment process.”

Where Are They Now? – Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster)

Soleil Moon Frye is best known for playing Punky Brewster, which ran from 1984-1988. Penelope “Punky” Brewster was abandoned by her mother after her father walked out on the family. Punky and her dog and loyal companion, Brandon found a vacant apartment in a local building. The building was managed by photographer Henry Warnimont (George Gaynes, who was also in the movie Police Academy), an old and grumpy widower. Henry found Punky in the apartment, and took her in after he heard her story. She also became good friends with a girl named Cherie Johnson, who lived with her grandmother, Betty Johnson, in the apartment above Henry’s.
Punky was forced by the state to stay at Fenster Hall, a shelter for orphaned and abandoned children, which made her realize all the more how close she had grown to Henry. Finally, their day arrived, and the court approved Henry to become Punky’s foster father.
Punky’s other friends are geeky Allen and snobby rich girl Margaux.
One other note about the show: Gary Portnoy, who wrote and performed the theme song, also wrote and performed the theme from Cheers.

In 1999, Soleil appeared on an episode of Friends. She played a girl Joey was dating, and liked to punch him around.

From 2000 to 2003, Frye portrayed the character of Roxie King in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.

She also did the voice of Zoey on the cartoon The Proud Family from 2001-2005.

After suffering from gigantomastia as a teen, Frye underwent a breast reduction three months before her 16th birthday.

Frye married Jason Goldberg, a television producer and actor, on October 25, 1998 in Los Angeles. Their first child, daughter Poet Sienna Rose Goldberg, was born on August 24, 2005, in Los Angeles. On March 17, 2008 she gave birth to her second daughter, Jagger Joseph Blue Goldberg.

Now, Frye, along with two friends, opened The Little Seed, an environmentally-conscious children’s specialty boutique in Los Angeles.