Malcolm in the Middle star Frankie Muniz’s surprising career change
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Most millennials remember Frankie Muniz as the child actor who played the lead role in the hit sitcom Malcolm in the Middle in the early noughties.
Now, Muniz spends most of his time as a competitive race car driver, husband and dad – and while he keeps a relatively low profile, this week it was revealed Muniz, 37, will race a Ford Mustang in the NASCAR-owned ARCA series later in 2023.
There is one topic, however, that despite his general media silence, he’ll gladly talk about – his widely-reported “memory loss”.
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Speaking on the Pardon My Take podcast, Muniz finally had the chance to take ownership of the story that has been overblown in the media for years, explaining his lack of memory isn’t all that unique.
Watch the video above.
Here’s what you need to know about Frankie Muniz, and what he’s been up to since his Malcolm in the Middle days.
Who is Frankie Muniz?
While filming Malcolm in the MiddleMuniz grew to household name status.
His undeniable talent and onscreen charm even scored him an Emmy Award nomination and two Golden Globe Award nominations. After his TV success, Muniz was cast in big screen roles like Agent Cody Banks, Big Fat Liar and My Dog Skip.
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At the height of his celebrity, he was considered one of Hollywood’s most bankable teens and seemed like he was set to have a long career in front of the silver screen.
However, after some health setbacks and a decision to change career, Muniz mostly vanished from the public eye.
Rumours of mini-strokes and memory loss apparently contributed to his leaving the spotlight.
What happened to Frankie Muniz?
Once Malcolm in the Middle wrapped, Muniz decided to take a step away from acting to focus on being a full-time race car driver. In 2009, Muniz suffered terrible injuries from a crash and put a stop to racing.
Muniz then became a drummer for the band Kingsoil between 2012 to 2014. He toured all over the world with his bandmates.
Muniz is now 37 years old and married to his long-time partner Paige Price. He has also begun racing again.
What disease does Frankie Muniz have – and what has he said about memory issues?
Once Muniz left the spotlight, rumours circulated that Muniz suffered from transient ischemic attacks or TIA.
TIAs are often referred to as “mini-strokes” and occur when the blood supply to the brain is blocked temporarily. The Stroke Foundation Australia informs that TIAs often last only a few minutes but are an incredibly concerning health problem.
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In his July 18, 2022 podcast episode with Pardon My Takewhich you can watch above, Muniz confirmed he had been “wrongfully diagnosed” with TIA by a doctor after suffering from concussions and terrible headaches in his childhood.
In fact, Muniz revealed he had only recently discovered this misdiagnosis, after years of believing and sharing with the media that he was suffering from mini-strokes.
“I was having these episodes where, like, I lose my vision, I couldn’t recognise faces, couldn’t talk… and it was happening pretty regularly,” he explained.
“I was told I was having mini-strokes or TIAs, which was a pretty big deal.
He continues: “[Doctors] would do all these tests, and none of the things that should have been showing up [for TIAs] were showing up, but they were still saying ‘Yeah it’s this, it’s this.’
“Finally, I had a doctor really look into it and it ends up I was just having aura migraines,” he ended.
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“Aura migraines” or migraine aura, as it’s better known are symptoms of a migraine that involve sensations of flashing lights or zigzag lines, as Migraine and Headache Australia explains.
They are “fully reversible attacks” which can invole disruption of vision, sensation, balance and disruption of strength, cognition, language, or other central nervous system functions. They also often precede a migraine, though they can also be experienced by themselves.
Muniz added that though the diagnosis “still sucks”, it’s much better than his original diagnosis of TIAs. He adds: “It’s still awful to have those episodes.”
Yet, Muniz revealed the rumours of his “memory loss”, and according to some publications, his “amnesia”, were actually spread by TV show Dancing with the Stars when he appeared on their 2017 season.
“They have an episode where it’s the ‘Most Memorable Year’ episode, and they told me that my most memorable year was 2001,” he revealed.
“And I go, ‘I don’t really know what happened in 2001, like I don’t know what to say,’ and they’re like, ‘Why?'”
When Muniz stumbled over the answer, he says the show producers cut up his interview to make it look like he had “zero memory of anything”.
“Now if you Google me it basically says I don’t remember anything – like it’s 50 First Dates and my wife has to wake up every morning and tell me who she is, and this is your son and she plays a video,” he joked, referring to the classic romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.
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“No, I know I was Malcolm, I did a lot of stuff – I just don’t remember everything.”
In the interview he also explains that he suffered nine concussions in his childhood, having been an active sportsman who was always “hitting my head”.
He reportedly had his first concussion when he was seven years old while playing goalie in a soccer game.
He adds that those experiences probably didn’t help his migraines as he grew up.
Frankie Muniz’s previous health claims
Though Muniz says the sensationalism about his health blew up in 2017, it was back in 2012 that he exclusively told People magazine he had suffered a “mini-stroke”.
“I felt like I was getting stabbed in the head – the worst headache you could ever think of. I couldn’t see anything,” Muniz told the publication in December 2012.
In December 2021, Muniz shared a health update while appearing on Steve-O’s Wild Ride! podcast where he also tried to set the record straight.
In the podcast, the actor said he had been suffering from migraine auras, and explained that his memory loss was more likely due to concussion and ageing, rather than anything more sinister.
“I’ve thought about it a lot like over my years of like, you know, ‘Why do I have a bad memory?’ You know what I mean? The only logical thing I can say is, yeah, I’ve had nine concussions. I don’t want to blame the concussions or blame anything else. I just think it’s the fact that I did so f–king much in that time frame that of course, I can’t remember all of it,” he added, referring to his busy work schedule.
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What is Frankie Muniz net worth?
Muniz is reportedly worth US$30 million dollars (approx. $43.3 million), according to celebritynetworth.com.
How much money did Frankie Muniz make from Malcolm in the Middle?
When Muniz started playing Malcolm, his salary was US$30,000 (approx. $43,722) per episode. But as the show became more successful, Muniz became even richer. By 2006, he was making US$120,000 (approx. $174,891) per episode.
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By the time Malcolm in The Middle was over, he was reportedly worth $US40 million (approx. $58.2 million).
What is Frankie Muniz doing now?
A few years ago Muniz bought a small speciality shop called Outrageous Oils & Vinegars in Arizona. In a 2019 interview with the Arizona Republic he explained what his daily schedule is like.
“My day this morning started at 6am getting up to go to Restaurant Depot to get products that we needed,” he said. “Then I got here early to start filling bottles and to make sure all the shelves were stocked. We’re not just ordering product and putting it on the shelf. We bottle everything. We label the bottles. We seal everything. We do all that ourselves here in store. It’s a lot of work, but it’s really rewarding when people come in and rave about the product.”
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In May 2020, he expressed his gratitude on Instagram for all the orders he’s received.
He captioned a snap with the product on May 22, saying: “Words can’t express our gratitude for all the orders we’ve received over the past couple of weeks. It makes @pogmuniz and I feel extremely appreciated.”
Is Frankie Muniz married?
Muniz recently got married to his long-time girlfriend Paige Price. The couple announced their engagement on November 18, 2018. They eventually tied the knot on February 21, 2020.
In September 2020, they announced they were expecting their first child. A month later, they revealed they would be having a boy.
Muniz and Price welcomed their first child together, a baby boy in March.
On March 25, 2021, the former Malcolm in the Middle star revealed the happy news in a video message to fans.
“I’m a dad, guys,” he said in an Instagram Story, “I love him so much. I love my wife so much.” The actor also wrote, “I love my baby so much. And I love my wife more than ever.”
Does Frankie Muniz have social media?
You can follow Muniz on Instagram at @frankiemuniz4.
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