Celebrity

Frankie Muniz Has No Idea He Starred In 'Malcolm In The Middle' And It's Tragic

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Former child star Frankie Muniz rose to fame when he starred as the titular character in the early 2000s hit show Malcolm In The Middle.  

However, acting wasn't his only passion.

In 2005, Muniz signed a two-year deal with Jensen Motorsport as a wheel race car driver, and by the time his show ended in 2006, he was already competing in major championships.

Frankie Muniz at the 2011 Toyota Grand Prix Celebrity Race.
'Malcolm in the Middle' star Frankie Muniz at the Toyota Grand Prix Celebrity Race in 2011.Wikimedia Commons/Real TV Films/Carole Lowe Photography

But at the height of his racing career, Muniz had to put everything on hold due to multiple health complications.

In 2009, he suffered a wrist injury that cut his season short, then not too long after, he was involved in a crash that left him with a broken back and severe injuries to his ribs and hands.

In 2012, at the age of 26, the actor suffered a mini-stroke, and almost a year to the day, he experienced a second one.

"I think we talk about my injuries every day because I have a creaky, old body. I’m 31 but feel like I have the creaky, old body of a 71-year-old," the actor told People in a recent interview.

Frankie Muniz in hospital
Frankie Muniz is photographed while laying on a hospital bed by his ex-girlfriend Elycia Turnbow shortly after suffering a mini-stroke.Elycia Marie/Instagram

Muniz has also opened up about his health struggles a few times while competing on season 25 Dancing With The Stars. During one of the dance competition's episode, he went into details about the extent of his injuries and it is very sad.

The actor revealed that after suffering two mini-strokes and nine concussions, he has lost part of his memories, including the six years he starred on Malcolm In The Middle.

The Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated entertainer made the heartbreaking revelation during rehearsals with his dance partner, Witney Carson.

Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson
Frankie Muniz and his 'Dancing with the Stars' partner Witney Carson.ABC/Craig Sjodin/Orlando Sentinel

He admitted that while his injuries may have played a big role in why he can't recall his past, they may not be the only factors.

"It makes me a little sad. Things pop back into my mind I should have remembered, said Muniz. "Truth is, I don't remember much [of Malcolm In The Middle], it almost feels like it wasn't me."

Since the car accident, Muniz has been experiencing transient ischemic attacks, which occur when the body temporarily stops supplying blood to the brain.

Frankie Muniz and his 'Malcolm in the Middle' costars
Frankie Muniz (far left) poses with his 'Malcolm in the Middle' costars Getty Images

Episodes can happen as often as multiple times a week, or as infrequently as once a year. For Muniz, attacks last for about 15 minutes, but it takes him days to recover.

"First, I lose my peripheral vision and I can see people but I can't recognize them," Muniz said in an interview with People. "I can see words but I can't tell what they say. Then I start going numb. It's a gross feeling, but I know now when it's going to come. I usually go lay down and wait."

He continued, "I've gone to so many neurologists who have done every single test. I have no answers as to why it happens. I got so tired of trying to find an answer that I don't think I'll search for an answer anymore. I've accepted it."

Muniz's former co-star and on-screen dad, Bryan Cranston, made an appearance on the DWTS clip to express his support for the actor, and told him that he shouldn't worry about what he isn't able to remember because he is around to help him.

"They are still [his] experiences," said Cranston. "It will me my job, I will tell him, ‘remember this? Remember that on Malcolm?’ What a life for you."

Muniz also has another supporter, his girlfriend Paige Price. She keeps a daily diary for him in case his short-term memory also fails.

Frankie Muniz and his girlfriend Paige Price
Frankie Muniz and his girlfriend Paige PriceFrankie Muniz/Instagram

Since this week's DWTS theme was "Most Memorable Year," Muniz chose to focus on the present instead of the past he can't remember. He still went on to score 24 out of 30 for his quickstep.

You can watch Muniz talk about his memory problems in the video below:

Do you remember watching Frankie Muniz on Malcolm in the Middle?

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.