How the Actors From “Malcolm in the Middle” Have Changed After 20 Years
2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the premiere of one of the most emblematic series of the last decades, Malcolm in the Middle. Despite how much time has passed, most episodes still feel fresh and make viewers laugh. Also, despite each member of the cast having parted ways (some of them have managed to build a successful acting career, while some others are still waiting to come back into the spotlight or have simply moved on from the whole “lights, camera, and action” thing) they all still share something worth remembering.
Bright Side researched what became of the actors and actresses who were part of this series, and we want to share all the information we found out about them with you.
1. Frankie Muniz — Malcolm
Frankie is now 34, and he was the star of the series. He played a child genius with a huge ego. Recently, he said he did not remember what it was like to take part in the project that launched him to fame because he suffered from transient ischemic attacks, which damaged his memory. In 2008, 2 years after Malcolm in the Middle was over, he took a break from acting to pursue a career in motor racing.
Since 2017, he has been the manager of the Astro Lasso group, and bought Outrageous Olive Oils & Vinegars, a shop specializing in organic and healthy products.
2. Jane Kaczmarek — Lois
The 64-year-old actress was a big name in the series, where she played Lois, a dominant and controlling mother and wife. When Malcolm in the Middle was over, she became the star of the series Help Me, Help You, and became the voice of Judge Constance Harm in The Simpsons. She went on to have small roles in several series like The Big Bang Theory and in some movies, but without the same success she achieved with the role of Lois.
3. Bryan Cranston — Hal
Bryan, 64, played Hal, a hard-working office dad. He was noted for being a dreamer and obsessing over silly things, as he suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder. He was also a bit of a hopeless man, because he struggled to find practical solutions to his problems.
According to many, he was the best actor in the whole cast. 2 years after Malcolm in the Middle’s finale, he got the role of Walter White in Breaking Bad. In fact, this performance earned him several Emmy Awards. He also appeared in the film Godzilla.
4. Chris Masterson — Francis
Chris, 40, was Malcolm’s older brother, and was noted for his rebelliousness, which led to his mother sending him to a military academy. He began to play a more prominent role when he left school and escaped to Alaska, where he met his wife, Piama. After Malcolm in the Middle, Chris Masterson appeared in other television projects, but none really captivated the public’s attention. He is now a DJ and performs under the name Chris Kennedy.
5. Justin Berfield — Reese
Justin, 34, played a problem child who didn’t think about the consequences of his actions. Today he is still involved in television and film, but behind the scenes. He chose to go into production and, since 2010, has been the creative director of Virgin Produced, an entertainment division of Richard Branson’s company, Virgin Group.
6. Erik Per Sullivan — Dewey
The youngest of the clan is remembered for his charisma and intelligence. Today, Erik is 28 years old, and after Malcolm in the Middle he appeared in some movies. From 2009 to 2010 he attended the University of Southern California. His last appearance in a movie was in Twelve (2010) and he retired after that. Since then, he’s been pretty private.
7. Craig Lamar Traylor — Stevie Kenarban
This young man, who is now 31 years old, played Stevie, a young asthmatic, and disabled man, who was Malcolm’s best friend. Thanks to that job he got small roles in the film Matilda and This Bitter Earth. However, Craig chose to finish his studies and is now a jewelry designer.
8. David Anthony Higgins — Craig Feldspar
David is remembered for his role as Craig, a grown man who seemed modest and was a co-worker of Malcolm’s mother. He was also a neighbor of the family, and used to harass Lois (in the series they show how much he is in love with her, up to the point of becoming obsessed). Once the production was over, he worked as a writer and scriptwriter. He also participated in some Nickelodeon series, like Big Time Rush.
9. Emy Coligado — Piama Tananahaakna
Emy, 48, played Piama, an Alaskan woman who married Francis. She, like Lois, is controlling, although the 2 don’t get along at all. She has a degree in psychology. She still works on small television projects.
10. Eric Nenninger — Eric Hanson
Cadet Eric Hanson was played by Eric Nenninger, and appeared on the series as one of Francis’ friends at the military academy. He was the first to migrate to Alaska when he got out of school, and that led Malcolm’s brother to follow him. The 41-year-old actor didn’t stop acting after Malcolm in the Middle, and appeared in series like Mad Men, Bones, and Criminal Minds.
11. Hayden Panettiere — Jessica
Hayden appeared in the early seasons of the show as the boys’ nanny. She lived with the family for a while and then started to show how manipulative she actually was, until Lois discovered her. The 30-year-old is still acting. Her most prominent role was in the series Heroes.
12. Tania Raymonde — Cynthia
Like Jessica’s character, Cynthia appeared in Malcolm in the Middle’s early seasons. The young girl was Malcolm’s study partner, and his first platonic love. She was often obsessive and clingy. She also practiced martial arts, which came in very handy when Reese was picking on her. The actress appeared in the series Lost, and has continued acting, playing roles in movies and music videos.
If you saw Malcolm in the Middle, let us know who your favorite character was. Out of all the actors, who do you think experienced the most drastic change? And most importantly: are you going to have a Malcolm in the Middle marathon this year as a tribute to the series? Share your answers with us in the comments!