Malcolm in the Middle is one of the most beloved TV sitcoms of the 21st century. The show aired its pilot in 2000 and ended its run six years later in 2006, featuring a total of seven seasons, or 151 episodes, of family hilarity. The show features Malcolm, a boy genius who tries to survive the middle-class antics of his family, the surname of which is still a subject of debate today. Often ranked in lists of greatest TV shows of all time, Malcolm in the Middle raked in awards and acclaim during its time on air, having won a Peabody Award, seven Emmy Awards, one Grammy award, and seven Golden Globe nominations. Writing about the enduring legacy of the show, Forbes talked about the way Malcolm in the Middle removed all pretenses to portray a real American family. “Malcolm spoke to a very real, very self-aware section of the viewing public. Malcolm was a mouthpiece for a generation of lost kids who were unsure of what to do with their future’s now that the world didn’t end like they were told it would, just as Cory Matthews was a mouthpiece for a generation of 90s children that were just trying to cope with the Generation X label that has been forced upon them by their teenage and 20-something counterparts. Malcolm, self-aware as he was, was a childhood hero for the internet generation, and it’s that reflection both the show’s hero and supporting cast represented that made the series the juggernaut that it was.” It has been 15 years since Malcolm in the Middle‘s final episode. This is what the cast has been up to since the show went off the air.
Frankie Muniz played the titular Malcolm in Malcolm in the Middle. Shortly after Malcolm in the Middle ended, Muniz put a pause on his acting career to pursue open-wheel racing, competing in the Atlantic Championship. His interest in the sport has already existed even while on the show, having already driven cars while acting on Malcolm in the Middle. Muniz continues to race, making his debut at the Kern County Raceway Park in 2021. He also delved into music after his Malcolm in the Middle days, having joined the band Kingsfoil in 2012. As for his acting career, he has slowly returned to work in front of the camera. He has appeared in a couple of movies and TV shows over the past years, most notably Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No, The Black String, and The Rookie. He also hosted Dancing With the Stars and Dancing With the Stars: Junior. For the longest time, rumors that Frankie suffered from cognitive impairment during his time on Malcolm in the Middle continued to surface on the internet. In a recent podcast guesting on Wild Ride! With Steve-O, Muniz addressed the rumors, indicating that much of what the media has said about his purported memory loss has been misreported. “This is the first time that I’ve actually ever gotten to clarify [the rumor]. If you search my name, all it talks about is how like I have no memory or I’m dying of strokes and all this kind of stuff. … You search my name (and) it’s basically, ‘Frankie is dying’… 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—ing much in that time frame that of course I can’t remember all of it.” The rest of his statement can be found on ScreenRant.
Jane Kaczmarek played Lois, Malcolm’s mom, on Malcolm in the Middle. Her role on the show has been described as a “female Homer Simpson” by TV Guide. After Malcolm in the Middle, Jane kept herself busy with TV work, appearing in shows like Raising the Bar, Whitney, and The Middle. Her last TV role was in Mixed-ish in 2019. On the big screen, she’s appeared in The Boat Builder, Wolves at the Door, CHiPs, and 6 Balloons.
Perhaps the most successful actor to come out of Malcolm in the Middle, Bryan Cranston played the role of Hal in the series. After the show, Bryan Cranston appeared in other sitcoms like How I Met Your Mother and 30 Rock. In 2008, Cranston would star in his most recognizable role yet, that of chemistry teacher turned drug dealer Walter White in the critically acclaimed TV drama Breaking Bad. Cranston won an Emmy four times for his starring role in the show. According to NME, however, Cranston almost didn’t take the Breaking Bad role due to commitments to Malcolm in the Middle. During the time, talk of an eighth season was still being discussed. Perhaps if the show had gone on with an eighth season, we would be seeing a totally different Walter White today. With Breaking Bad rapidly increasing his star power, Cranston began appearing in high-profile movies, including Godzilla and Trumbo. Currently, Cranston stars in another gripping TV drama titled Your Honor.
Christopher Masterson played the eldest son Francis in Malcolm in the Middle. The younger brother of actor Danny Masterson, Christopher has appeared in projects like Men at Work, Haven, Urge, and Beneath the Leaves.
Justin Berfield played Malcolm’s older brother Reese on Malcolm in the Middle. After Malcolm in the Middle, Justin left acting to pursue a career behind the scenes, working in corporate roles but still for the entertainment industry. In 2010, he became the chief creative officer of Virgin Produced, the entertainment wing of the Virgin Group. His last on-screen credit was in 2010’s Sons of Tucson.
Erik Per Sullivan
Playing the youngest kid in the family, Erik portrayed Dewey in Malcolm in the Middle. Like Berfield, Erik has also since retired from acting. His last on-screen appearance was in 2010’s Twelve. It appears he also prefers to keep a low profile, rarely being seen in public. He hasn’t appeared in any Malcolm in the Middle reunions either.
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