It’s been awhile since Malcolm in the Middle aired its final episode, closing the door on seven seasons of the popular Fox series.
Several of the stars from the charming sitcom, like Bryan Cranston, went on to see their careers flourish even further. Others like Christopher Kennedy Masterson and Justin Berfield have appeared in a smattering of other projects, but largely saw their stars fade after Malcolm in the Middle concluded its run.
The show’s star, Frankie Muniz, seemed like the next big thing when the series ended in 2006. He was winning awards, starring in numerous roles, and cameoing in projects nearly every other week. Subsequent years saw Muniz largely fade from the spotlight, however, leaving fans to wonder what Muniz has been up to over the last decade and a half.
What has Frankie Muniz been up to?
Scattered reports have seen rumors regarding a number of Muniz’s supposed health issues spread widely. A few clips, taken out of context, led many to speculate that Muniz was suffering from strokes and memory loss, and this was to explain for his absence from popular media.
The truth is a bit more complicated. For one thing, Muniz’s health isn’t nearly as bad as many would have you believe. For another, he never really disappeared. Muniz may not be starring in any prime-time series or blockbuster films, but he has continued to do work both within and outside of Hollywood.
Film and television projects
Muniz didn’t stop appearing on screen after Malcolm in the Middle, he just didn’t show up in as large of a role. He snagged guest-starring roles in a number of popular television series between 2006 and 2012 and continues to take roles to this day.
Fans of shows like Arrested Development and Criminal Minds will likely recall Muniz’s guest appearances, but more recent years have seen the 36-year-old shift into reality and competition shows like Dancing with the Stars, Dancing with the Stars Junior, and Total Bellas.
One of the reasons behind Muniz’s step back from the acting world has to do with his passion for racing. He got into car racing young, helping out with his first race back in 2001. Since then, racing has been a persistent activity for Muniz, who competed in several dozen races between 2004 and 2013.
After taking a few years off from the track, Muniz returned to racing in 2021, debuting in his first ever stock car race in Bakersfield, California. In early 2022, he returned to stock car racing, helping to test out the ARCA Menards Series.
Music hasn’t been a massive passion for Muniz over the years, but he has dipped his toes into the musical world. He’s been in several bands over the years, showcasing his talent as a percussionist. He shifted into management in 2017, announcing via Facebook that he is the new manager for Astro Lasso.
Perhaps the most prominent headlines to circulate over the last few years have regarded Muniz’s health. He was hospitalized twice, almost exactly a year apart, in 2012 and 2013 from what was initially suspected to be transient ischemic attacks. TIAs are essentially mini-strokes, sparking concern in Muniz fans.
Thankfully, this was a misdiagnosis. Muniz revealed in a December 2021 episode of the podcast “Steve-O’s Wild Ride” that he actually suffered from a pair of “aura migraines.” These, he said, mimic strokes, but are actually far less severe.
Reports of supposed memory loss have also shadowed Muniz for years, another topic he addressed while speaking with Steve-O. He noted that his memory loss is not nearly as extensive as many claim, but that he does have “a bad memory.” The most likely cause of this, according to Muniz, is that he’s had “nine concussions.”
More than anything, however, he believes that his selective memory loss is the result of doing “so fucking much” during the early 2000s.
“Of course I can’t remember all of it,” Muniz said. He was, in fact, starring in multiple movies, appearing as a guest star on several television shows, and doing the media circuits all while filming the last few seasons of Malcolm in the Middle. It’s fair to assume that he simply can’t recall all of those various details.