Tragic Details About Frankie Muniz

The following article mentions domestic violence and suicide. 

Even if you're not a millennial and you might not recognize Frankie Muniz today, he was easily one of the biggest child stars of the early 2000s. The New Jersey native rose to fame on the hit TV show, "Malcolm in the Middle," before he took the big screen by storm with movies like "Big Fat Liar" and "Agent Cody Banks." Despite finding success in Hollywood before most kids start high school, Muniz apparently never felt like his future in show business was certain. At age 14, he told Backstage, "I don't expect to be acting when I'm older — I want to, but you never know."

Muniz was onto something then, because he did eventually take a break from acting to pursue other professions like race car driving, playing drums for a band, and even running an olive oil business. He told CNBC in 2023, "There's a lot of things in my life I've wanted to try ... And fortunately, because of what I got as a child actor, it gave me the opportunity to step back and try those other things."

Muniz didn't totally step away from the spotlight either though, starring in the 2018 thriller "The Black String" and appearing on "Dancing With the Stars" and "The Surreal Life." But what fans might not know is that Muniz has also faced obstacles in his personal life that he's had to overcome. 

Frankie Muniz suffered multiple health problems

It's safe to say that Frankie Muniz's health issues have been one of the biggest hardships in his life since he's suffered multiple concussions and what he believed to be mini-strokes. In 2017, Muniz told Entertainment Weekly that he had gotten nine concussions since childhood, and at minimum, experienced 15 transient ischemic attacks, which are mini-strokes. Muniz revealed that he got his first concussion during a soccer game at just age 7. He then received three more before middle school, which also happened while playing sports. Muniz assumes the rest of his head injuries came from his race car driving career.

As for the mini-strokes, the "Extreme Movie" star recalled experiencing his first one in 2012 when he was 27 years old. He told People that it happened while he was on his motorcycle, and he noticed changes in his vision before he couldn't see out of his right eye at all. "I was really dizzy and in a lot of pain in my whole body and my head," he added.

Doctors were apparently stumped as to why Muniz had the mini-strokes and whether they were connected to his concussions. In another interview, he told People, "I've gone to so many neurologists who have done every single test. I have no answers as to why it happens." As of 2022 though, he said on the "Pardon My Take" podcast that one doctor was able to determine that he was actually suffering from aura migraines.

The former child star has significant memory loss

Frankie Muniz's medical problems weren't just scary to experience, but they might have also contributed to significant memory loss. Muniz first opened up about it when he appeared on "Dancing With the Stars" in 2017, saying he couldn't recall anything about his first Emmy Award nomination in 2001 for the show's "Most Memorable Year" segment. He also admitted that he hadn't seen a doctor about the issue but felt it probably stemmed from his previous concussions and possible mini-strokes.

He shared on the show that his then-girlfriend/now-wife Paige Price began keeping a journal so Muniz could look back at all their adventures, even if he couldn't remember them himself. "It makes me a little sad that it doesn't just pop back into my mind," he said of a trip the couple took to Australia. He also had the support of his former co-star, Bryan Cranston, who said on "DWTS" that he'll tell Muniz any stories from their time on "Malcolm in the Middle" that he may have forgotten.

Still, Muniz doesn't dwell on his memory problems if he can help it. He told People, "I only know what it's like to be me ... So, I'm only reminded of how bad my memory is when people I see, they come to me and go, 'Oh, you remember when we did this?" Instead, Muniz chooses to focus on the things that currently fulfill his life.

There have been false claims about his health

Frankie Muniz made the decision to share his health issues with the public, yet he didn't necessarily agree with how it was portrayed in the press. He apparently blames his stint on "Dancing with the Stars" for that, since he felt the show exaggerated his memory loss. He explained on the "Pardon My Take" podcast, "The way they put it was that I have zero memory of anything and then the press took it ... and now if you search my name, it basically says I don't remember anything." He suggested that people apparently tease him because of it, asking if he even knows his own name.

Muniz appeared to be upset about the headlines that made it seem like he was very ill. Back in 2017, he told Entertainment Weekly, "It's a weird thing for me because I'm not sick." He also had to clarify to GQ in 2023 that he wasn't dying either, despite what had been written about him over the years.

The "Stay Alive" actor doesn't blame his memory loss entirely on his past afflictions either, but on the busy life he once led as a child star. He reasoned, "Since I was eight years old, I've never stopped moving ... And as an actor, I would become someone else, say their words, and then forget them the next day."

Frankie Muniz was involved in a domestic disturbance

Before Frankie Muniz was making headlines for his medical issues, he had another setback that he might have preferred to keep private. More specifically, a domestic disturbance between him and his ex, Elycia Turnbow, occurred at the race car driver's Phoenix home in 2011. Radar obtained Muniz's 911 calls where he told the operator that Turnbow was drunk and throwing expensive things around their house. "She is going crazy, she is hitting me in the face, I don't [know what] to do because I am about to lose control," he reportedly said, adding that he didn't want to give his identity because he's a celebrity.

Police responded to Muniz's home, where Turnbow allegedly told officers that Muniz had held a gun to his head. Muniz then turned over his gun to officers voluntarily. Muniz's representative, Lauren Tobin, later told People that Muniz was never actually suicidal and that he and Turnbow didn't break up over the incident. "It was a situation that escalated beyond a point that it needed to be," she said.

Muniz later described the event to Fox News as "a little argument" that got turned into something that it wasn't in the press. He explained, "There wasn't more to it, just a fake overblown story."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Frankie Muniz has had two broken engagements

Frankie Muniz has experienced his fair share of heartbreaks considering that the actor has had two broken engagements. Muniz was first engaged back in 2005 when he was just 20 years old, to his then-girlfriend Jamie Gandy. However, while holding a press conference for racing in 2008, he revealed that they were no longer on good terms. He explained to People (via Live Journal), "I am not engaged anymore. I'm still with her ... kinda. It's a very awkward situation." He went on to blame traveling for his work as the reason things were complicated. 

By 2011, Muniz had moved on and was engaged again, this time to Elycia Turnbow. The two met through their shared personal trainer and dated for four years before Muniz popped the question. At the time, he told Arizona Foothills Magazine, "I couldn't imagine my days without her," yet when asked about how they spend an average day, neither mentioned doing anything specific together. However, their relationship didn't last long after their aforementioned domestic disturbance, which resulted in the police being called.

Muniz eventually found true love with his current wife, Paige Price. And while she may have been his third engagement, she was the only woman who made it down the aisle with Muniz. The couple wed in 2020 and had already opened an olive oil business together before that. They later welcomed a son, Mauz Mosley, in 2021.

The star dealt with bullying and online trolls

Frankie Muniz clearly still has plenty of fans who have cheered him on in both his acting and racecar driving careers. However, he's also had to deal with the downsides of fame, like bullies and internet trolls. In recent years, Muniz has seemingly been victimized by those who circulate online rumors that he's either dying or already dead. Back in 2010, he also went viral for shutting down one troll who tweeted that he was an "awful actor." The "Sharknado 3" star responded to the criticism, writing, "Yeah, but being retired with $40,000,000.00 at 19 has not been awful. Good luck moving out of your mom's house before you're 35."

It wasn't just keyboard bullies who came for Muniz either — a fellow celebrity also tried to start beef with him. That celebrity was Shia LaBeouf, who apparently picked on Muniz for years when giving interviews. Once again, Muniz used his Twitter skills to put LaBeouf in his place, writing, "Dear Shia LaBeouf, It's getting creepy the fact that you can't stop talking about me."

After his feud with LaBeouf ended, Muniz still had to deal with other famous people trying to bring him down when he appeared with them on the reality show, "The Surreal Life." He explained to E! how he had to defend himself, saying, "There's only so much that you can potentially get kind of walked on or knocked down before you go, 'Hey, listen, here's my situation.'"

Frankie Muniz has broken over 38 bones

Between the concussions and aura migraines, it's clear that Frankie Muniz's body has already been through a lot in his life, so it's wild that he's broken over 38 bones too. The "Fairly OddParents" actor told People that he sustained most of those injuries over time, beginning in 2006. Yet he did have a bad racing accident in 2009 where he flipped his car and hit a wall. "In the end, I broke my back, ankle, four ribs, and my hand. My thumb was dangling by the skin," he said.

That injury went on to make competing on "Dancing with the Stars" more difficult for Muniz, since he was constantly exerting himself while performing complicated dance numbers. He even told ET at the time, "It has been hurting so bad all week to where, with having to learn two dances, we have had to slow down and end early." Muniz didn't want to hurt his back more either, so he made it a point to add yoga and cryotherapy to his daily routine, as well as seeing a physical therapist.

Despite Muniz's best attempts to heal his body, he still struggled with old injuries. He was open with his feelings about that, telling People, (via Page Six), "I'm 31 but feel like I have the creaky, old body of a 71-year-old." He even joked to Us Weekly that he was "a walking disaster," keeping his sense of humor about his physical challenges.

The Big Fat Liar star's cat destroyed his home

In 2018, a freak accident practically destroyed Frankie Muniz's home. The "Deuces Wild" actor shared on Twitter that his cat had turned on a faucet while he was away for a few days, which resulted in most of his Brownstone house being under 3 feet of water. That not only ended up seriously damaging the house's interior but also his personal possessions, including furniture, artwork, and family photos. What made matters even worse was that Muniz was already going through a rough time, having been at his uncle's funeral when it all happened. He tweeted, "I'm devastated and exhausted from a tough week with the loss of my Uncle Skip, 45 hours of travel to and from France to walk in to find this disaster." He added, "I've cried more yesterday and today than my whole life combined."

Not surprisingly, Muniz and his then-girlfriend, Paige Price, had to relocate to a hotel because of how severe the damage was to their home. However, it seemed that the hotel was just as stressful because Muniz later tweeted that they were woken up by several fire alarms and had to evacuate the building.

Once Muniz was able to assess the damage, he found that some of his furniture could be saved. The renovation process was still pricey though. Paige Price revealed via Instagram stories that the couple had to rip out the walls, floors, and ceilings because of the potential for mold.

Frankie Muniz has issues with stress

It seems that for Frankie Muniz, staying clean and sober is a way for him to avoid the pitfalls of Hollywood that he's seen so many former child stars like himself experience. Despite his many hardships, the former Kingsfoil drummer has shared that he's never turned to drugs, smoked a cigarette, or even tried alcohol. Yet Muniz does have one problem that he struggles to control. He explained to Entertainment Weekly, "The only thing I've felt was stress. I'm a high-strung person," adding, "I'm not good at relaxing."

Muniz has apparently always put a lot of pressure on himself to accomplish everything he sets out to do. "I've always felt like I was running out of time ... I just felt like I needed to take advantage of having the opportunity to do things," he told CNBC.

Of course, stress can lead to a variety of other health problems, including high blood pressure and heart disease. Muniz has also suggested that stress might have contributed to what he thought were mini-strokes. In 2013, he told the BBC that he had recently taken on a lot of responsibilities for his band. He recalled, "I said to our manager, 'I'm going to have a stroke, because you know I'm so stressed.' And sure enough, I did."

Frankie Muniz was scared to return to Hollywood

Acting took a backseat for Frankie Muniz when he decided to pursue other endeavors as an adult. He still appeared in a few TV shows and movies here and there, but there apparently was a 20-year period during which he didn't audition for anything. That's probably why he was nervous to fully return to the entertainment industry for a lead role in the 2018 thriller, "The Black String," which he ultimately had to audition for. "It is honestly the worst thing in the world," he told People about the auditioning process. He continued, "It's nerve-wracking ... I don't know how people do it all the time. It scared me."

Muniz had obviously found major success as a child star before that, which presumably put more pressure on him to perform well. He even said in 2006 (via The Mirror) that he was afraid of getting older because he didn't know how that would impact him getting work. As an adult, Muniz seemed to need some encouragement from his wife, Paige Price, to step back into the limelight when he joined the reality show, "The Surreal Life" in 2022. He told E!, "She was the one who really kind of pushed me, saying, 'I think this will be good for you to go out and do something that's out of your comfort zone.'"

It appears that no matter what life throws at Muniz, he's been able to overcome it thanks to his remarkable resilience and positive attitude.