Though she has not lived there for at least a dozen years, Soleil Moon Frye, best known as the titular child star of the 1990s series “Punky Brewster,” and the director/producer of the 2021 documentary “Kid 90,” has long owned a 1920s Spanish villa set on a high ridge above L.A.’s Beachwood Canyon.
Married in 1998 to film and TV director/producer Jason Goldberg, Frye acquired the property in the fall of 2002 for $900,000 and since at least the mid-Aughts rented it out with asking prices as high as $11,000 per month. Sean Love Comb’s former girlfriend Kim Porter, mother to four of his six children, was a tenant long before she moved into the Toluca Lake mansion where she passed unexpectedly in 2019 from pneumonia.
The house popped up for rent in the fall of 2019 at $9,500 per month, as well as for sale at $2.6 million, and the asking prices dipped to just under $8,500 per month and $2.5 million before it was taken off the market a few months later. Tax records and other online resources now reveal the three-story home has been sold before it could be listed on the open market, for $2.418 million, more than 2.5-times what Frye paid, to Australian actress Jessica McNamee and her property developer husband Patrick Caruso. McNamee is well known Down Under for her roles on the popular long-running soap story “Home and Away,” as well as the mid-Aughts comedy series “Packed to the Rafters” but is more likely recognized stateside for her starring role in last year’s martial arts fantasy film “Mortal Combat.”
Enshrouded in trees and all but invisible from the street, the 3,030-square-foot white-stucco and red-tiled-roofed residence sits at the top of a gated staircase that makes a long, booty-busting zigzag up the steep slope from the street-level two-car garage. The place could use a bit of spit and polish, and maybe even a total overhaul, but charming vintage details abound. There are wood beams across the ceilings of the living and dining rooms, the latter of which sports terra-cotta floor tiles, and at least one bathroom has a claw-footed soaking tub and what appears to be original tile work.
The five-bedroom and five-bath home is complimented by a casita that features a wrap-around porch with a rustic stone fireplace, as well as a separate pavilion that’s tucked into the hillside and opens to a large deck with panoramic canyon and mountain views.
Rick Tyberg and Ernie Carswell of Ernie Carswell & Associates at Douglas Elliman represented the seller, while Elisa G. Ritt and Sherri Rogers of Rogers, Stellini, and Ritt at Compass handled the buyers. Online listings state the property was “Sold Before Processing,” and that listing images “are no longer current but represent the property as it was originally presented,” presumably when it was last available on the open market in 2019.
The last few years have been a personal, professional, and real estate whirlwind for Frye and Goldberg who have typically come out on top when it comes to selling homes. In 2018 they sold a vintage home in L.A.’s tony Windsor Square neighborhood for a tad more than $4.5 million, almost twice the $2.289 they paid “Weeds” actress Elizabeth Perkins in 2006. At just about the same time, they shelled out $2.56 million for a home in the guard-gated and celeb-packed Hidden Hills enclave in L.A.’s far western suburbs.
Then, in 2019, the couple quietly sold a four-bedroom, three-bath townhouse in Glenbrook, Nev., on the northeastern shore of Lake Tahoe, for $1.95 million, a good chunk more than the $1.345 million they paid just over four years earlier.
In late 2020 the couple announced they’d split up after 22 years of marriage and last year, in addition to the well-received release of “Kid 90,” Frye reprised her childhood role on the unsuccessful reboot of “Punky Brewster.” Meanwhile, no doubt having to do with their divorce, the Frye-Goldberg homestead in Hidden Hills was sold last summer for $3.5 million, well below its initial $6 million asking price, to a corporate entity controlled by powerhouse L.A. real estate agent Jade Mills.
Tax records show Frye and Goldberg still own a small property just a few steps from the sand in Venice, Calif., that they picked up back in 2004 for $1.1 million. Given the steep rise in prices in the artsy beach community over the last five and ten years, it is surely worth much more now so should they sell it they’ll likely reap another real estate windfall.