What Happened To Frankie Muniz?

Frankie Muniz's career in Hollywood has been quite the wild ride — literally! The former teen idol is now a racecar driver, and it's actually his second attempt at being part of the sport. He told GQ that he first made a go of it back in the late 2000s, but his racing career was cut short. "I only stopped because I got badly hurt in an accident in 2009," he revealed. "I broke my back, had pins in my hand, broken ribs, a broken ankle. It took me a long time to heal."

Now he's back, trying to race in the Daytona 500 within the next few years. But how did he get here? And what about those memory-loss issues? Whereas it often seems like many child stars only have two options (adult success or flameout tabloid-fodder troublemaker), Muniz has charted his own path to success in his post-"Malcolm in the Middle" years.

He's kept acting every so often, but he's had a number of other careers in the meantime, following his passions wherever they take him. Sometimes, those interests bring him back into the spotlight for a moment. Other times, they take him to Scottsdale, Arizona. If you're wondering just what Muniz has been up to since "Malcolm in the Middle" went off the air and the "Agent Cody Banks" franchise fizzled out, read on!

Malcolm in the Middle made Frankie Muniz a household name

2000 was a big year for young Frankie Muniz. In January of that year, "Malcolm in the Middle" premiered on Fox. The hit comedy starred Muniz as Malcolm, a rambunctious, precocious, smart child in a lovably wacky family. He almost didn't get the part, because his audition was scheduled for the same time as when he was supposed to be filming a Pizza Hut commercial. However, he decided to go anyway. "I barely tried -– I was just anxious to get out the door to this Pizza Hut commercial because that was my big break," he told The Independent. "Lucky we did go, because it ended up being my lucky forever after."

A few months later, "My Dog Skip" hit theaters. The family film featured Muniz as Willie, a kid who gets a dog for his birthday that winds up changing his life. Muniz told The Chicago Tribune that working with the multiple dogs who played Skip meant they had to learn to trust him. "I fed all six of the dogs every day when I was there, and I could pet them," the child star said. "Most of the cast and crew were told not to get near them."

Thanks to "My Dog Skip" and "Malcolm in the Middle," Frankie Muniz had arrived.

He transitioned to grown-up (teen) fame

While "Malcolm in the Middle" was still going, Frankie Muniz made the jump from sitcom star to full-fledged movie star. In 2002, he starred in "Big Fat Liar" opposite fellow teen television royalty Amanda Bynes. Muniz played Jason, a teenage liar who runs afoul of a big-shot Hollywood producer; he steals Jason's English essay and turns it into a film. "One thing I love about acting is that I get to be so many different people and do so many different things; I don't want to be doing the same thing," he told IGN. "Right now I'm just trying to take things as they come and enjoy it, because you don't know what's going to happen in the future."

The following year paired Muniz with another teenage TV star, Hilary Duff. The teens teamed up for "Agent Cody Banks," a James Bond-esque spy adventure for the "Lizzie McGuire" set. He told Hollywood.com that working with Duff was easy. They were friends before the film. He explained, "She was one of the first people I met when I moved out to California. We kinda went through the trenches together."

Muniz reportedly commanded quite the payday for "Agent Cody Banks." According to "48 Hours," his paycheck was roughly $2 million. Still, the actor had no patience for the generation that presumably made him a star. He proclaimed, "I hate teenagers, you know what I mean. I think they are the most annoying people on the planet." 

When Malcolm in the Middle ended, he put his career on hold

Although his star continued to rise in the world of film, Frankie Muniz remained on "Malcolm in the Middle" until the show ended in 2006. In the show's final episode, Malcolm graduated high school, which was the perfect way to send the now-adult actors off into the world in the same way. "Going through those years — 13 to literally 19 or 20 when the show ended — they're the most important years of your life," Muniz later told The Independent. "You learn so much about yourself and who you want to be. Getting to do that on a show with Jane, Bryan, and everyone was an amazing experience."

With his schedule now freed up to concentrate on other things, Muniz shocked the industry by announcing that he would be taking a two-year break from acting in order to try his hand at being a racecar driver. He told The Associated Press, "You can't really juggle both [acting and racing] because if you do, you just don't get enough time in the car" (via E! News). To achieve his dream, Muniz signed with Eric Jensen's Jensen MotorSport. He told E! News that his racing prospects would start in the Formula BMW series. "He's got the basic ingredients: He's got intelligence and courage," Jensen said.

After starring in 2007's indie comedy "My Sexiest Year," it would be four years before Muniz led another film.

He was in a band

Frankie Muniz continued to act intermittently after he tried racecar driving, but he also pivoted to music. Between 2012 and 2014, Muniz was the drummer in an indie rock band called Kingsfoil. The band participated in an interview for Fuse, during which they revealed that Muniz was initially in a different band. That project fell apart, and Muniz's manager suggested he go out for the vacant drummer spot in Kingsfoil. "It was perfect timing, like the perfect storm," Muniz said, claiming to have been a fan of Kingsfoil before he got involved. "I flew in and auditioned. I've never been so nervous and I never wanted something as much as I wanted to be a part of this band. I was a little scared, but did it, and here I am."

While playing with Kingsfoil, Muniz pulled double-duty, also directing several of the band's music videos released during that period. Muniz is barely visible in the music video for "What Your Mother Taught You," which he directed along with Lou Sparre.

Muniz's time in Kingsfoil was ultimately short-lived. In February 2014, he announced on Facebook that he was parting ways with his bandmates due to scheduling conflicts. "I want to thank all my fans and the fans of Kingsfoil for supporting me while I got to live out one of my dreams," he wrote. "Playing drums in a touring rock band was incredible, and I will remember the times I was lucky enough to experience forever!"

He revealed a memory issue on Dancing with the Stars

In 2017, Frankie Muniz competed on "Dancing with the Stars," against the advice of a certain father figure. Muniz told Conan O'Brien about a dinner with Bryan Cranston, during which his former TV dad told him, "Look, I support you in anything you do. Just promise me you won't do 'Dancing with the Stars'" (via YouTube). Muniz didn't take his advice, and he told O'Brien that he's glad he didn't. "I honestly love it," he said. "I'm mad I didn't do it sooner." 

Muniz's time on the show went well. He ultimately came in third place, and he even picked up a gig hosting "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors." However, it wasn't his tango that made headlines; it was something he revealed during an interview. According to Entertainment Weekly, while competing on the show, Muniz confessed that he doesn't remember much of his time on "Malcolm in the Middle" thanks to having suffered several concussions and mini-strokes (via YouTube). He explained, "I've gotten to do really anything I've wanted to do. But the truth is, I don't really remember much of that." In a follow-up interview with Us Weekly, he reiterated, "It's just how my brain is, so I thought that was normal. ... Going to the Emmys, I don't remember that. I know I went."

The revelation prompted an outpouring of support on Twitter. "That hurts my heart," one fan tweeted.

He ran an olive oil store

Frankie Muniz has had a lot of jobs in his life. He's been a television actor, a movie star, a drummer, a racecar driver ... and an olive oil proprietor! Along with his then-fiancée Paige Price, Muniz ran a store in Scottsdale, Arizona, called Outrageous Olive Oils & Vinegars. In an interview with The Republic, Muniz explained his surprising career move. It turns out, he and his fiancée bought the store in 2018 after searching for a project to work on.

"We had been customers at the store before and we just knew we liked the product and we wanted to do something together," he explained. "Now, it's become our lives." Muniz manned the register himself, among many other retail duties. Apparently, he enjoyed working with money. "I love doing payroll. I love doing anything with the financials," he said. "I'm a numbers guy, so this has been like a dream come true for me."

Perhaps because it was so much work, Outrageous Olive Oils & Vinegars didn't rest long under Muniz's ownership. He and Price sold the store in 2020 after running it for two years. He announced the sale of the business on his Instagram, thanking his fans for sticking with him through so many career changes. "I know I've jumped around to a bunch of different careers/passions of mine!" he wrote. "It really means a lot to me. I've sold my olive oil company and moved on to a new adventure!"

He's played himself numerous times

Though the peak of Frankie Muniz's career has long since passed, the actor's name still carries a certain amount of cultural cachet for a generation of fans who grew up watching him act on television and in movies. Looking back on that time in his life, Muniz says that it feels like a dream. "I mean, really, my whole life, when I think back [on] it, I did so many incredible things at a young age," he told Yahoo! Entertainment. " ... I was at the Emmys and the Golden Globes and traveled all around the world and hanging out at the Playboy Mansion. Almost to the point where I look back, and I go, 'Was that real?'"

If Muniz needs confirmation that it was all real — if he's wondering if anyone still cares — he only has to look at how many times he's been called on to play himself. Frankie Muniz played "Frankie Muniz" on "Don't Trust the B— in Apartment 23," cornered by James Van Der Beek, also playing himself in a grocery store.

He was himself in "Sharknado: Heart of Sharkness," "The Mysteries of Laura," "Preacher," and even Max's animated "Harley Quinn" series, to name a few. In other words, even though Muniz now may look back on that part of his life as if it were a dream, fans still remember.

He's a married dad

Frankie Muniz got famous playing Malcolm Wilkerson, a kid along for the ride in a wacky family. Now, the actor has a family of his own. He announced his engagement to Paige Price in 2018, writing on Instagram, "Yep, @pogprice said yes! She makes my life instantly better! We're eating our Thanksgiving dinner at Boston Market, but I wouldn't want it any other way, as long as I have her by my side!" 

They eloped at the end of 2019, according to People, and then had a full wedding ceremony in February 2020. Muniz was glowing when he told the outlet about their special day, explaining that he finally understood the meaning of an old saying. "I always thought it was such a cliché for people to claim their wedding day as the best day of their life ... No, my wedding day was literally the best day of my life!"

Their family grew in 2021, when Price gave birth to a son. Muniz shared the news on his Instagram story, telling his followers, "I'm a dad, guys ... I love my baby so much" (via People). A few days later, he revealed the baby's alliterative name in an Instagram post. "World, meet my son Mauz Mosley Muniz," he wrote. " ... I didn't know it was possible to love anything as much as I love him."

Muniz says his health is better than reported

While fans were quick to show their support for Frankie Muniz after he revealed his issues with memory loss, the actor now says his initial comments on "Dancing with the Stars" were blown out of proportion. He now believes that his memory loss is simply a result of doing so much at such a young age. "Every moment of my life, from when I started acting until I stopped, I had to be somewhere and had to do something ... So there becomes a point, I think, where you just kinda start ... floating?" Muniz attempted to clarify on "Jackass" star Steve-O's podcast "Steve-O's Wild Ride" in 2021 (via YouTube). "You do what you gotta do, and you go where you need to go, and you do your best job, but then ... you forget it."

The "Stay Alive" star has attempted to explain himself several times in recent years. While speaking with Fox News in 2022, he chose a comparison that might make his reported memory issues make more sense to the average person. "I started thinking about it and I think, 'Do you remember every day of high school?' No. You remember certain moments, which I do, of my career in my past ... I might not have the best memory, but I think I have more memory than I think is being portrayed in some of the media for sure."

Frankie Muniz's surreal life

In late 2022, Frankie Muniz returned to television. He appeared as a cast member on the resurrected VH1 "celeb-reality" show "The Surreal Life," which went off the air back in 2006 before returning 16 years later. Muniz told E! News that his wife was the one who encouraged him to sign up for the show. "She is the one who really kinda pushed me, saying, like, 'I think this will be good for you, you know, to go out and do something that's out of your comfort zone. ... Maybe you'll even have a greater appreciation for home life, and being a father'" (via YouTube).

"The Surreal Life" put Muniz in a house with other celebrities, a cast that included basketball player Dennis Rodman, makeup influencer Manny MUA, "Living Single" star Kim Coles, singer August Alsina, and more. Muniz told Fox News that he really hit it off with Coles and Manny MUA, and he said the three bonded over their sobriety. "We immediately created this bond in this ... house because none of us drank," he explained. "So we're 'The Sober Three.' And we had an amazing connection and became really, really close because of it."

While Muniz enjoyed his experience on the show, he has been open about one particular complaint: just how often Rodman was naked around the house. He told Page Six, "I'm unfortunately, like, Dennis Rodman-dong height. I saw way too much of Dennis Rodman's dong." Surreal, indeed!

He's back to racing full-time

Though Frankie Muniz has dipped his toe back in the world of pop culture in the past few years with his stints on "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Surreal Life," the former teen idol is back to racing full-time again. This time around, he drives for ARCA, a NASCAR feeder league. He told CBS Sports that he understands some of the other professional drivers may not take his racing aspirations seriously because of his past as a sitcom actor.

"Talk is one thing. Saying I want to be there is one thing," he said. "Even going out on track, and if I was running really slow and at the back, it's another thing. But being competitive and earning the respect of the drivers is something that I'm really hoping happens this year."

One thing that will help Muniz earn the respect of the league — he's apparently quite good at what he does! As of May 2023, Muniz led the ARCA standings, according to The News Tribune. Muniz races on behalf of Rette Jones Racing, and the team's owner Mark Rette told the outlet that he thought his driver's position was "a great achievement." He added, "Still, Frankie is incredibly focused and he knows that if he just focuses on his craft behind the wheel, the points will follow."

A Malcolm in the Middle reboot?

In this day and age, as studios seem less interested in original ideas and more likely to rely on proven IP, numerous sitcoms have been revived for another go-round. "Will & Grace" returned in 2017 for three additional seasons. "Mad About You" came back as whatever a Spectrum Original is. "Roseanne" returned to television and then was re-rebooted as "The Conners" when its star proved herself to be ... unreliable, to say the least. So ... what about checking back in with the Wilkersons and reviving "Malcolm in the Middle"?

According to Frankie Muniz, such a reboot might in fact be in the works! In a 2022 interview with Fox News, Muniz revealed that he has since watched all 151 episodes of "Malcolm in the Middle," appreciating the show now as a fan rather than a cast member. He also teased that a former co-star might be spearheading an effort to get the group back together.

"I know Bryan Cranston is really into the idea and he's kind of heading writing the script and getting everything rolling," Muniz said. "So, there might be something. I would be down 100%."