See the cast of ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ Then and Now
Centering on a family made up of a pint-sized genius, grade school arsonist, master strategist and a father as hairy as a Sasquatch, ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ offered countless laughs over the course of seven seasons and a wide array of wild misadventures. It’s been nearly seven years since the show called it quits, but we still can’t get its theme song out of our heads!
Most of the show’s core cast reunited last fall, and seeing their familiar smiling faces made us wonder what one of our favorite dysfunctional TV families is up to now.
Frankie Muniz, Malcolm
Then: After scoring a few supporting roles on television shows like ‘Spin City’ and ‘Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,’ Muniz landed the lead role of this wacky sitcom at 14. During the series’ run, he fronted family-friendly films like ‘My Dog Skip,’ ‘Big Fat Liar’ and ‘Agent Cody Banks.’
Now: Muniz continues to act, scoring an appearance as Buddy Holly in the biopic parody ‘Walk Hard: the Dewey Cox Story,’ and as himself in the sitcom ‘Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23.’ However, he’s also explored other interests, including producing, racecar driving, and music. He is currently the drummer for the indie rock band Kingsfoil.
Erik Per Sullivan, Dewey
Then: Only eight-years-old when the show premiered, Sullivan has previously appeared in the Oscar-winning Lasse Hallström drama ‘The Cider House Rules.’ ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ marked his television debut.
Now: Since the show wrapped, he has only worked in a handful of lesser-known movies, including the animated adventure ‘Arthur and the Invisibles,’ the family dramedy ‘Mo’ and the 2010 thriller ‘Twelve,’ which co-starred Chace Crawford and 50 Cent. Notably, he did not turn up to the aforementioned “family” reunion last year.
Justin Berfield, Reese
Then: Years before he played Malcolm’s bullying and dim-witted brother, Berfield starred opposite Drew Carey in the short-lived sitcom ‘The Good Life.’ Then he was a regular on the comedy series ‘Unhappily Ever After’ opposite Kevin Connolly and Nikki Cox, until it was cancelled in the spring of 1999.
Now: Berfield has moved behind the scenes, and now works as a producer. He’s gone from producing the reality TV show ‘Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive,’ to the TV movie ‘The Pet Detective,’ to the sitcom ‘Sons of Tuscon’ and the feature film ‘Departure Date.’
Christopher Masterson, Francis
Then: The younger brother of ‘That ’70s Show’ star Danny Masterson already had appearances in movies like ‘Cutthroat Island’ and ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ to his credit when, at age 19, he landed the role of the brother banished to military school.
Now: Since ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ was cancelled, Masterson has appeared in a string of projects, including independent sex comedy ‘Made For Each Other,’ the gritty thriller ‘Impulse’ and the upcoming drama ‘Chapman.’
Bryan Cranston, Hal
Then: Cranston had been working in television for 20 years by the time he strutted his stuff as the often panicked Hal, but mostly in one-offs and brief recurring roles. Still, he’d appeared on such memorable series as ‘Hill Street Blues,’ ‘Murder, She Wrote,’ ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘3rd Rock from the Sun.’
Now: You’d have to be living under a rock not to know Cranston is ‘Malcolm in the Middle’s’ most successful alum. Already known for his exemplary comedy skills, Cranston has been wowing audiences with his dramatic chops on the meth-centered series ‘Breaking Bad’ for five seasons so far. Besides earning three Golden Globe nods and three Emmy wins to date, he has also scored roles in a slew of films. In 2012 alone he hit movie theaters in six different efforts, including ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,’ ‘John Carter,’ and Academy Award nominee for Best Picture ‘Argo.’
Jane Kaczmarek, Lois
Then: Like Cranston, Kaczmarek had been working in television since the ’80s, often earning recurring roles in dramas like ‘Hill Street Blues,’ ‘The Paper Chase,’ ‘Felicity’ and ‘Party of Five.’
Now: Her masterful turn as the comically stern matriarch of ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ went on to score her a recurring role on ‘The Simpsons’ where she lends her voice to Judge Constance Harm. While she’s appeared on comedies like ‘Help Me Help You,’ ‘Whitney’ and ‘Wilfred,’ she has also returned to drama with parts on the short-lived lawyer-centered series ‘Raising The Bar’ and ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.’ Plus, this spring she will perform opposite her former onscreen husband on two back-to-back episodes of ‘Breaking Bad.’
Cloris Leachman, Ida
Then: When she first donned Ida’s curly wig and housecoat, Leachman was already a 50+ year veteran of film and television. She was well known for her sidesplitting performances in the Mel Brooks’ spoof ‘Young Frankenstein’ and the popular sitcom ‘Mary Tyler Moore,’ but also well-respected for her Oscar-winning performance in Peter Bogdanovich’s 1971 drama ‘The Last Picture Show.’
Now: As Malcolm’s petty and mean grandmother, Leachman was darkly hilarious and widely praised. Her work on the show scored six Emmy nominations over the course of its run, and led to two wins in 2002 and 2006. In 2011, Leachman earned another Emmy nod, this time for playing the demented grandmother on another dysfunctional family sitcom, ‘Raising Hope.’
David Anthony Higgins, Craig Feldspar
Then: Prior to playing Lois’ pining coworker on ‘Malcolm in the Middle,’ Higgins was best known for his role as Joe Farrell, the cynical barista of Ellen DeGeneres’ sitcom ‘Ellen.’
Now: An established character actor, Higgins has been especially in demand the last three years. Not only was he a recurring performer on the Nickelodeon series ‘Big Time Rush,’ he also made memorable recurring appearances on the Emmy-winning sitcom ‘Mike & Molly’ and the Golden Globe-winning mystery series ‘American Horror Story: Asylum.’
Craig Lamar Traylor, Stevie
Then: After making his television debut on an episode of ‘ER’ in 1996, Traylor broke into film with a supporting role in the Danny DeVito-directed family-comedy ‘Matilda,’ adapted from the beloved Roald Dahl book.
Now: Once ‘Malcolm’ ended, Traylor took a break from performing. However, he returned to movies in 2011 with the comedy ‘Dance Fu.’ He’s gone on to appear in the independent movies ‘Fred & Vinnie,’ and ‘This Bitter Earth.’ He is still best known for the role of the wheelchair-bound and always out of breath Stevie.
Tania Raymonde, Cynthia
Then: At 12, Raymonde was only starting her acting career as Krelboyne girl Cynthia. Her first appearance on the show in ‘Krelboyne Picnic’ marked her small screen debut.
Now: Cynthia was written off the show in 2002, allowing Raymonde to be a series regular on another family-centered sitcom, ‘The O’Keefes.’ Despite boasting Judge Reinhold as its star, the show was cancelled after five episodes. Raymonde rebounded with a string of small parts in film and television. She’s scored recurring roles on drama series like ‘Lost,’ the new ‘90210’ and ‘Switched at Birth,’ and recently starred in the hit horror movie ‘Texas Chainsaw 3D.’