Malcolm in the Middle
“Some kids are always getting into trouble or doing stuff, and I stay away from those types. I know I am no better than anyone else in this world. I'm just an actor, that's nothing special. But I'm not into anything bad. Just blackjack.” Frankie Muniz
One of the Hollywood’s rising stars, Frankie Muniz gathered a wealth of critical appreciation and is best known as the star of the popular Fox Network television sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle” (2000- ). Muniz’s magnificent turn as the whip-smart “Malcolm” handed the teen a Golden Satellite Award, a Young Artist Award and two Young Star Awards, as well as earned nominations at the Emmys and Golden Globes. In 2003, he also won a Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite TV Actor. Muniz initially gained notice for his fine portrayal of young Sammy in the made-for-TV film What the Deaf Man Heard (1997), a role which brought Muniz Young Star and Young Artist nominations.
As a movie actor, versatile Muniz acquired recognition with the starring role of Willie Morris in My Dog Skip (2000). As a result of his bravura performance, Muniz took home a 2000 Giffoni Film Festival Award. A New Jersey native, Muniz is also famous for playing James Bond’s nephew, an American teenage spy, in the successful Agent Cody Banks (2003) and its sequel Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004). Fans should not miss his performance in the forthcoming Stay Alive (2006), starring opposite Jon Foster, Samaire Armstrong, and Steve Zahn.
Off screen, Muniz, who earned $2,000,000 for Agent Cody Banks (2003) and $5,000,000 for Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004) has a mansion in Brentwood, California, and an apartment in Manhattan, in addition to a house in New Jersey where he currently resides with his family. As for his romantic life, Muniz is engaged to Jamie Grady, who is 6 years his senior. The couple met on the New Orleans production of his 2006 movie Stay Alive. He was previously linked to Megan Hubbell (together in 2003) and actress Hilary Duff. Being asked about his relationship with Duff, he said, “Very, very close ... we’re like a couple ... we don’t say we are.”
Childhood and Family:
Son of a Puerto Rican restaurant manager and an ex-nurse of Irish and Italian descent, Francisco James Muniz IV, who would later be popular as Frankie Muniz, was born on December 5, 1985, in Ridgewood, New Jersey. His mom began home schooling Frankie when he was 6. At age 8, he relocated with his family to the small town of Knightdale in North Carolina, but later moved back with his mother and his older sister, Christina Muniz (born in 1984), to his New Jersey birthplace following his parents’ separation.
While living in Knightdale, young Frankie realized he wanted to be an actor after watching her sister perform in a production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” He soon worked the audition circuits and landed his first role in a local community theater at the tender age of 8. By age 12, he had added TV roles to his acting resume.
5’ 4” Frankie is a golfer. He has practiced golf since age 5 under the guidance of his grandfather. The owner of a dog named Cadillac and a cat name Pumpkin, Frankie also loves playing tennis and is a die-hard basketball devotee. Frankie also plays the drums.
My Dog Skip
Motivated by his older sister after seeing her in a play, Frankie Muniz decided to give acting a try and was soon cast as Tiny Tim in a local production of “A Christmas Carol” at the Theater in the Park. 8-year-old Muniz reprised the role for the next two seasons and was also seem in such regional productions as “The Sound of Music,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Our Town.” By age 12, the young actor had made his TV movie debut in To Dance with Olivia (1997), wherein he landed the small part of Oscar. The CBS drama starred Louis Gossett Jr. and Joe Don Baker.
In 1997, he charmed audiences with his adept, convincing character of the young version of Sammy, a deserted boy who lives without speaking for nearly thirty years, in the “Hallmark Hall of Fame” TV production “What the Deaf Man Heard” (1997). Muniz was so good that he was nominated for Best Television Performance in a Movie or Miniseries at the Hollywood Reporter Young Star Awards and The Young Artist of Hollywood Awards. In the John Kent Harrison-directed comedy-drama, Muniz found himself acting opposite Matthew Modine, James Earl Jones, Claire Boom, Jerry O’Connell and Bernadette Peters. He followed it up with guest starring roles in the ABC sitcoms “Spin City” (1998) and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” (1999), in addition to a lead in the Hartford Stage Company production “The Death of Papa” (1999) by Horton Foote. In 1999, Muniz embarked on the wide screen with a spot in Lost & Found, starring David Spade and Martin Sheen, and appeared in the 1999 festival-screened film Little Man.
2000 was a banner year for Muniz due to high-profile roles on both the small and wide screen. On television, Muniz was cast in the title role of the whip-smart Malcolm, an agitated 9-year-old with a 165 IQ, on the off-beat Fox sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle” (2000- ). The role not only won Muniz attention, but it also handed him countless awards, including two Young Stars for Best Young Ensemble Cast and Best Young Actor/Performance, a 2001 Golden Satellite and a 2002 Young Artist for Best Performance. Additionally, he was nominated for an Emmy in 2001, as well as a Golden Globe in 2001 and 2002.
On the silver screen, Muniz made a name for himself when he was hired to star as Willie Morris in a touching and appealing World War II tale of a boy and his dog called My Dog Skip (2000). Delivering a brilliant acting job, Muniz was handed a Giffoni Film Festival for Best Actor in 2000.
Muniz next appeared in Steven Feder’s It Had to Be You (2000), a comedy-romance starring Natasha Henstridge, and had a feature role as a wheelchair youngster determined to win a soapbox derby in The Disney Channel original movie Miracle in Lane 2 (2000). He also did several voice-overs for such projects as the animated film Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001), and the TV series, “The Fairly Odd Parents” (2001) and “Moville Mysteries” (2002). In 2002, he was paired with another young actor, Amanda Bynes, as students who look for revenge on a dodgy film producer (Paul Giamatti) in the moderate-sized hit Big Fat Liar. He was also recruited to support Matt Dillon and Stephen Dorff in the period drama Deuces Wild (2002).
Muniz’s star status continued to rise when director Harald Zwart cast him in the title character of an American teenage boy, who is trained to become a spy, in the teen hit Agent Cody Banks (2003). Muniz reprised the role for the sequel Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London in the following year. 2004 saw Muniz spend a great deal of his time off screen. He participated in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach for the second year running, flew to Jamaica for Sehorn’s Corner Mother’s Day Weekend and went on tour with Hanson. In 2005, his voice could be heard in the animated feature Racing Stripes (2005), where he voiced the title character Stripes. He is scheduled to play Swink Sylvania in the upcoming Stay Alive (2006), starring with Jon Foster, Samaire Armstrong, and Steve Zahn.