What really happened to Frankie Muniz

Following a number of small roles in a handful of TV movies and series, Frankie Muniz broke out into the mainstream when was he just 14 thanks to Malcolm in the Middle. The hit Fox show, which ran from 2000 to 2006, turned the young actor into a star, earning him multiple nominations for prestigious awards, including one Emmy nod and two Golden Globe noms. During that time, Muniz also had success on the big screen in the Agent Cody Banks film series and the movie My Dog Skip, but in 2007, decided to leave Hollywood behind after essentially aging out of these kid-friendly roles.

What followed was a series of eyebrow-raising career changes, relationship woes, and more. You may not have heard from this former child star in a while, but he hasn't exactly had a quiet, low-key life since exiting his early days of fame. Keep on scrolling to find out what really happened to Frankie Muniz.

Frankie Muniz experienced severe memory loss

Malcolm in the Middle made Frankie Muniz a household name, but the actor doesn't actually remember much of his time on the show. As Entertainment Weekly reported in 2017, Muniz experienced severe memory loss after a streak of concussions and mini-strokes. 

Throughout his young life, the star suffered nine concussions (the first occurred while playing soccer at just seven years old), but things only got worse in 2012 when he had a mini-stroke, followed by another nearly a year later. Describing the initial terrifying incident to People, Muniz revealed, "I felt like I was getting stabbed in the head — the worst headache you could ever think of. I couldn't see anything." Speaking with EW, Muniz admitted to having had "at least" 15 of these transient ischemic attacks, and revealed that doctors had failed to pinpoint their cause. 

In September 2019, the actor shared the reality of his condition with People, but remained optimistic. "I'm only reminded of how bad my memory is when people I see, they come to me and go, 'Oh, you remember when we did this? Remember we went on this trip to this country?' And I have no recollection of it," Muniz told the outlet, adding, "In my head, it's not like I feel bad or sad about it ... I just try to live the most fulfilling, best life I can."

He became a professional racecar driver

In April 2007, Muniz announced that he was leaving Hollywood behind in order to become a professional racecar driver. Speaking about the surprising career change with People, a then-21-year-old Muniz simply said, "I never really wanted to get out of acting, but now I'm a professional racecar driver." 

He couldn't have been more satisfied with the transition, however. "I'm truly the happiest I've ever been in my life," he gushed, explaining, "I like the fact that I basically control my destiny with how much effort I put into working out, testing and training and becoming a racecar driver." Comparing his new gig to acting, he noted, "As an actor, it's all [about] what people think of you. You can do your best job possible but if someone says it sucks, it sucks. Whereas here, if I'm good, it will show."

According to Driver Database, Muniz was active from 2005 to 2011 and participated in 53 races, scoring four podium finishes. Unfortunately, his racing career wasn't all joyous. For one, it cost him his relationship with fiancée Jamie Gandy. As he told People, the pair "kind of took a step back for the racing purposes." Muniz explained that amid his busy racing schedule, "She's doing her own thing and she wants to have her own life and not just follow me around the world."

Frankie Muniz broke his back

After leaving acting for racing, Frankie Muniz eventually quit the latter endeavor following a serious (and very scary) injury. While the accident took place in 2009, the actor didn't open up about it until 2017 when he competed on Dancing with the Stars. Wanting to explain his struggles in the ballroom to dancing pro partner Witney Carson, he revealed in his first episode (via People), "I had a crash and broke my back and injured my hands and ribs." 

While speaking with the publication shortly after the episode aired, Muniz elaborated, "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." He added, "I've raced Indy cars, I've played every sport, I consider myself a pretty athletic person, but I'm so sore. I'm so dead." 

A few weeks later, Muniz shared even more details about the terrifying race track incident, telling People, "My car flipped a bunch and I crashed into a wall. In the end, I broke my back, ankle, four ribs and my hand."

This former child star dabbled in music for a while

While resting and mending from his back injury, Frankie Muniz found solace in music. Not just listening to it, but playing it. In yet another career shift, the actor-turned-musician joined a band called Kingsfoil — first as its drummer, then as its manager, too. According to All Music, the Pennsylvania-based alt-rock outfit formed in 2002 and had already released four albums when Muniz joined.

"I loved the band, I loved the guys, I loved every aspect of it," he told People of his time with Kingsfoil. That feeling only lasted until 2014, however, when he decided he needed to do something else yet again. The multi-hyphenate went on to explain, "From the time I was eight years old, I never stopped working. 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."

After his departure, Muniz still supported Kingsfoil — but as a fan. In 2018, he tweeted that he was "listening to unreleased songs of a band [he] was in eight years ago."

DWTS changed Muniz's life

Frankie Muniz made his Dancing with the Stars debut alongside pro Witney Carson in September 2017 — but despite his physical restrictions, he was soon impressing judges and audience alike. The pair kicked off Season 25 with a foxtrot to Harry Styles' "Sign of the Times," which scored an impressive 19 out of 30 and landed them in fifth place. Despite some setbacks along the way (in October, their jazz routine to "Holly Rock" was dubbed Muniz's "worst performance"), the pair made it to finale night and finished the competition in third place

In addition to boasting a not-too-shabby run, it turns out the show had a major impact on Muniz's life. While reflecting on his journey during his final episode (via People), the actor broke down in tears, saying of his dance partner, "Witney helped prove that I could face my fears and do anything. She helped me get here to the finals and to where I am as a person right now. I'll always be thankful to her for that."

Muniz added, "I never in a million years when I started this show thought I would make it to the finals. But more than that, I never expected to gain so much confidence. This is the most amazing thing I've ever been a part of."  

Frankie Muniz has gotten engaged ... three times

In July 2005, a 19-year-old Muniz got engaged to Jamie Gandy, whom he had met in New Orleans earlier that spring. Sadly, the romance crumbled when Muniz began focusing most of his time on racing — but in October 2011, a 25-year-old Muniz was engaged yet again, this time to Elycia Turnbow. He tweeted out the happy news, writing, "After four years together, I'm so happy to be ENGAGED to the love of my life @ElyciaMarie!!!" But again, it wasn't meant to be. Given their history (they reportedly had a massive argument in 2011 that resulted in the cops being called after the actor allegedly put a gun to his head), their split wasn't a shock. 

Around 2016, Muniz began dating Paige Price, and, in 2018, he popped the question. After a rough month, during which he lost all of his possessions when his home flooded following the death of his uncle, Muniz decided to turn things around. First, he shared a touching note about Price, writing, "Thank God I have @paigey_price to help me get through this. I'd be lost without her. She's so strong and exactly what I need." Not long after, he proposed. Speaking about the engagement, Muniz told People, "Paige and I, we don't spend a minute apart. I don't get bored of her." 

Muniz promised they'd tie the knot "within 2019," but by December, it had yet to happen.

He also entered the olive oil business

Leave it to Frankie Muniz to completely change careers for the upteenth time. In 2018, he and his love, Paige Price, decided to tackle a new business venture and bought ... an olive oil shop! As AZCentral reported, they purchased Outrageous Olive Oils & Vinegars in Scottsdale, just a few miles away from their home in Phoenix. Muniz joked about the endeavour, tweeting, "From actor, to racecar driver, to drummer in a rock band to....THIS!!! Seems about right!" 

Explaining the surprising choice, Muniz told AZCentral, "We were looking for something to do together. We had been customers at the store before and we just knew we liked the product." But they're not just putting their names behind it, they're doing absolutely everything themselves. While he manages payroll and finances, Price runs their website and social media. "We're not just ordering product and putting it on the shelf," Muniz added. "We bottle everything. We label the bottles. We seal everything. We do all that ourselves here in store. It's a lot of work, but it's really rewarding when people come in and rave about the product." 

He confessed, "We live and breathe this store right now," which sells, as he put it, "the highest-standard olive oil in the world."

Muniz turned his Twitter into 'the best thing on the Internet'

In October 2019, Vogue dubbed Frankie Muniz "one of the funniest people currently tweeting," thanks in part to the fact that "it's sometimes unclear whether he knows he's being funny." Just a few highlights include his food confessions ("I just ate an entire cake. It's 6:59 AM."), celebrity encounters ("Almost hit Megan Fox with my car today and sat next to Fabio at lunch."), and pep talks, such as, "Why does everyone like to see other people suffering? People get so excited at the chance of destroying someone else's life. Life is too short. Just live your best life." 

Meanwhile, BuzzFeed created an entire post focused on 21 bits of info Muniz's Twitter habits have taught us about the man himself, including his surprising bathroom habits ("I really like peeing into urinals filled with ice. Officially."), unorthodox diet ("A ribeye steak with a side of red Starbursts. Yes ma'am!"), and lifestyle choices. In April 2019, Muniz confessed, "Some people are just getting home from the club right now, I've already been sleep for seven hours and I'm up early to watch some infomercials." 

In a world where drama in the Twittersphere can lead to celebrity firings, meltdowns, and feuds, we'll take Muniz's penchant for the amusing anecdote any day.

Was Frankie Muniz thirsting after Lizzo?

Lizzo was the talk of the 2019 American Music Awards red carpet. She stole the show with the tiniest purse of all time, which quickly went viral – and Frankie Muniz was one of the millions paying attention. He didn't just appreciate her sartorial sense, however. Taking to Twitter, Muniz appeared to openly thirst after the pop star, writing, "Hey @lizzo, lemme be your accessory. I can be a purse... put a chain around me and I'll hold your stuff for you... just sayin." 

He followed that risque message with a drawing of Lizzo holding him on a leash, which he captioned, "New profile pic of @lizzo and me. Credit to @strawberry_cherub on Instagram." 

Muniz's eyebrow-raising comments quickly garnered plenty of praise ("This is peak excellence," one follower noted) and some criticism ("Are you okay, mate?" another asked). Meanwhile, Lizzo herself seemed to get a kick out of it. The singer-rapper responded to the actor's message with a simple, "Accessorary*" — a reference to her hit song, "Tempo."

He was 'scared' to return to acting

After two decades of trying his hand at different passion projects, Frankie Muniz decided to return to the career that made him famous. In 2018, the actor starred in the mystery thriller The Black String, playing a "lonely twenty-something" who starts hallucinating after a fling with a mystery woman. While his family is convinced he's experiencing mental health issues, he believes he's been cursed and is encountering something supernatural. 

Speaking with People the following year, Muniz revealed it was the script that caught his attention and pushed him to audition for the role. "It's funny, as an actor, I don't get nervous on set," he told the outlet. "I've done pretty much everything. I've worked with huge actors, I've been on big movie sets, Emmy-winning TV shows — I've done it." When it came to auditioning for the first time in two decades, however, nothing could prepare the TV star. "It is honestly the worst thing in the world," Muniz confessed. "It's nerve-wracking because you want to do a good job. I thought I blew it. I don't know how people do it all the time. It scared me."

Frankie Muniz's net worth is surprising

Frankie Muniz may have temporarily stepped out of the Tinseltown spotlight before he even turned 20, but this former child star has a seriously impressive net worth of (get this!) an estimated $40 million. Although the exact figure isn't known, Muniz revealed just how lucrative acting had been for him when he clapped back at a hater criticizing his acting with the ultimate tweet: "Yeah, but being retired with $40,000,000.00 at 19 has not been awful. Good luck moving out of your mom's house before you're 35." 

While his stints as a racecar driver, musician, and small business owner may not have raked in millions, as Romper pointed out, "with investments and saving, it's highly possible that Muniz has been able to maintain his astronomical net worth." Over the years, Muniz has also sold a number of prized possessions, which may have boosted his bank account. In 2016, he listed a four-bedroom Phoenix home for sale for $3.5 million, and put his five-bedroom, seven-bathroom Scottsdale mansion on the market for $2.4 million the following year. He also auctioned off a 1995 Volkswagen Jetta from The Fast and the Furious, which was signed by the late Paul Walker. Although Muniz paid $100,000 for the car when he purchased it in 2002 at the age of 16, he only made $46,200 back. Even so, that is a cool chunk of change!