Frankie Muniz doesn't remember starring on Malcolm in the Middle due to mini-strokes and concussions.
Frankie Muniz in Dancing with the Stars (S25E05):
Full Entertainment Weekly article text (in case article or link disappears):
The theme on Monday’s Dancing with the Stars was “The Most Memorable Year.” But for Frankie Muniz, it’s not such a relatable concept.
Before opening the ABC show with a performance of the quickstep, Muniz revealed in his rehearsal video that he can’t remember most of the things he’s experienced in his life, including his six years on the Fox comedy Malcolm in the Middle. Muniz revealed that he’s suffered nine concussions and several mini-strokes, or transient ischemic attacks, but he can’t say for sure what prevents him from recalling the past, like when he did the sitcom from 2000 to 2006.
“It makes me a little sad,” Muniz said on the show. “Things pop back into my mind [that] I should have remembered.”
The show also included an interview with his former TV dad, Bryan Cranston, who marveled at how much Muniz has experienced in his life. “Frankie was a TV star, then he became a race car driver, and a drummer in a rock band. I said to him once, ‘What are you going to be, an astronaut next? You are doing all the things professionally that everybody dreams about.'”
“I’ve gotten to do anything that I really wanted to do,” Muniz replied. “But the truth is, I don’t really remember much of that.”
He admitted to his partner Witney Carson that he hasn’t gone to doctors about his memory loss. “To be honest, I’ve never really talked about it.”
Cranston said he told Muniz not to worry about what he can’t remember. Cranston starred with Muniz in 151 episodes of Malcolm. “They are still [his] experiences,” Cranston said. “It will me my job, I will tell him, ‘remember this? Remember that on Malcolm?’ What a life for you.”
Muniz went on to earn a 24 out of 30 for his quickstep with Carson. To stay with the Most Memorable Year theme, Muniz said he chose to focus on the present.
“Truth is, I don’t remember much [of my time on Malcolm]” said Muniz, whose girlfriend Paige keeps a daily diary for him. “It almost feels like it wasn’t me.”
Full People article text (in case article or link disappears):
Frankie Muniz's Secret Health Battle: How He Survived a Racing Accident and Is Fighting Mysterious Mini Strokes
In 2009, Muniz had a serious accident on the race track.
He’s proving himself to be a solid competitor on Dancing with the Stars, but Frankie Muniz is still adjusting to the occupational hazards of his new gig.
“I’m using muscles that I’ve never used before,” says Muniz, 31. “The backs of my knees are sore! Every day there are new pains, but I can’t stop.”
And for the former star of TV’s Malcolm in the Middle, some physical aches and ailments are nothing new. The actor, who left Hollywood in 2006 to become a professional race-car driver, admits that he can be somewhat injury-prone.
“Since 2006, I’ve broken 38 bones,” says Muniz, who has also endured nine concussions since the age of 7. “As a kid I did everything. I played ice hockey, soccer, basketball, soccer. But a year ago I went roller skating, and I was literally the dad holding onto the rail. I realized I have to take care of myself.”
In 2009, Muniz had a serious accident on the race track: “My car flipped a bunch and I crashed into a wall. In the end, I broke my back, ankle, four ribs and my hand. My thumb was dangling by the skin.”
During his recuperation, Muniz began drumming in the band Kingsfoil and found a new passion for music.
“I loved the band, I loved the guys, I loved every aspect of it,” he says. Muniz also managed the band and by 2014, he was ready for a change.
“From the time I was 8 years old, I never stopped working,” says the former child star. “In 20 years, I had maybe 30 vacation days. I realized I was exhausted. It was good in the sense that I could literally do whatever I wanted to. But bad in the sense that I don’t know how to operate when I don’t have to be somewhere.”
Muniz was also living with a puzzling condition. In 2012, he suffered his first mini-stroke, or transient ischemic attack, during which blood supply to the brain is temporarily cut off. (Unlike a stroke, there are no lasting effects). Since then, Muniz estimates he has had 15 mini-strokes, varying in frequency and length.
“First, I lose my peripheral vision,” explains Muniz of the attacks. “And I can see people but I can’t recognize them. 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 [for it to be over].”
“I’ve gone to so many neurologists who have done every single test,” he says. “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.”