After he passed away in North Bend, Washington, his “Punky Brewster” co-star Soleil Moon Frye, who played his foster daughter, took to Instagram to pay tribute to him. She wrote, "When I reflect on some of the most joyous moments in my life, they were shared with this incredible man. The universe just gained a gigantic star. You will be in my heart and soul always & forever."
Aside from “Punky Brewster,” Gaynes appeared on “General Hospital” and “The Six Million Dollar Man,” and in the movie “Tootsie.” He retired after his role in the 2003 Ashton Kutcher/Brittany Murphy film “Just Married.”
Gaynes is survived by his wife, actress Allyn Ann McLerie, his daughter, one granddaughter, and two great-granddaughters.