More to the story. Five years after opening up about his struggles with memory loss on Dancing With the Stars, Frankie Muniz is clarifying his story — and shedding more light on his health battle.
“I did Dancing With the Stars in 2017 and they have an episode where it’s the ‘Most Memorable Year’ episode — they told me my most memorable year was 2001,” the 36-year-old former child star recently said on the “Pardon My Take” podcast. “And I go, ‘I don’t know what to say,’ and they’re like, ‘Why?’ … They’re interviewing me and the way it got cut together, the way they put it, was that I have zero memory of anything.”
Muniz was partnered with Witney Carson for season 25 of the competition show, finishing in 3rd place.
“Now if you search my name, it basically says I don’t remember anything — like 50 First Dates, my wife has to wake up every morning and plays me a video,” the Malcolm in the Middle alum continued. “I know I was Malcolm. I did a lot of stuff. I don’t remember everything. … I like to now talk about it because I have a better understanding of what it is. … People come up to me all the time and they’re like, ‘Do you know who you are? Your name is Frankie Muniz.'”
The actor explained that he was misdiagnosed as having TIAs — a Transient Ischemic Attack, often known as mini-strokes — years ago.
“I was having these episodes where, like, I’d lose my vision, I couldn’t recognize faces, couldn’t talk, all this kind of stuff. And it was happening pretty regularly. And I was told that I was having many strokes for TIAs, which is a pretty big deal,” he said, noting that the doctors kept running tests on him. “I finally had a doctor really kind of look into it, and it ends up I was just having aura migraines.”
Muniz said he’s still trying to figure out what “triggers” the recurring, extreme headache. “Am I eating something? Or is it high-stress situations?” he explained. “I’m trying to figure that out now, but I haven’t had one in a few years.”
During his DWTS stint, Muniz spoke to Us Weekly about not being able to recall moments of Malcolm in the Middle and more.
“It’s something I’ve never really talked about. But we were talking about being on Malcolm and how it started, and I don’t really have memories of being on the show. My memory of being on the show is seeing the episode and seeing the show. So that’s what we started talking about and it became the story for the night for me, but it is true. It’s a weird thing. My whole life, it’s not just now,” he said in 2017, noting he’s “had a lot of concussions” in his lifetime. “I’ve had nine concussions, which I think if I was a ballplayer, I wouldn’t be allowed to play anymore. But I don’t know. Like I said, it’s not something I’ve looked into … I’m not a doctor person. Every time I go to the doctors, they tell me I’m just crazy.”
“I get sad at the thought of losing my memory, because I know that I do. So [Paige] writes literally in detail — she’s a writer too, so it works — like a journal that I can look at any day. It does bring me back there because there is really cool, amazing detail,” he told Us in 2017.