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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Who is Francisco James Muniz IV?

Who is Francisco James Muniz IV?  [1] The entertainment and acting world knows him as  Frankie Muniz, he is an American actor, musician, and race-car driver. He is known primarily as the star of the FOX television family sitcom, Malcolm in the Middle. In 2003, Muniz was considered "one of Hollywood's most bankable teens".[2] In 2008, he put his acting career on hold to pursue an open wheel racing career. He competed in the Atlantic Championship.

Early life

Muniz was born on December 5, 1985, in Wood Ridge,[3] New Jersey, the son of Denise, a former nurse, and Francisco James Muniz III, a restaurant manager.[4][5] His father is Puerto Rican and his mother is of Italian and Irish descent.[6] He has an older sister, Christina.[6] Muniz was first discovered at age eight at a talent show in the Raleigh, North Carolina, suburb of Knightdale (shortly after the family moved from Wood Ridge), where he was cast as Tiny Tim in a local production of A Christmas Carol. His parents divorced shortly after. Muniz subsequently moved to Burbank, California, with his mother. He appeared in commercials and made his film debut in the made-for-television movie, To Dance With Olivia (1997), starring Lou Gossett Jr. The same year, he appeared in the CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of What the Deaf Man Heard. A small role in the film Lost & Found (1999) led up to his breakthrough role as the title character on Malcolm in the Middle.

Career

Acting

Fox premiered Malcolm in the Middle on January 9, 2000, as a mid-season replacement, and the show was quickly overcome with accolades. The premiere episode was watched by 23 million people[7] and the second episode by 26 million.[8] Muniz anchored the show with his narration and central role in many of the series' plots, although he has said that he does not consider himself a comic actor and does not find himself loved.[9] He was nominated for the Emmy Awards in 2001,[10] and was honored with the Hollywood Reporter "Young Star Award" for his work in the series.

Throughout his television career Muniz made guest appearances on the shows Lizzie McGuire, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and MADtv. His first starring role in a feature film was as Willie Morris in the 2000 family period piece My Dog Skip, released around the same time as the pilot for Malcolm In The Middle. That same year, he played the voice of Domino in the 2000 video game, 102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue. He was featured on the video game Stargate Worlds.
The following year, he contributed a voice to the animal cast of the film Dr. Dolittle 2. He had a moderate hit with the 2002 release Big Fat Liar, which teamed him with teen actress Amanda Bynes as a pair of students seeking revenge on a sleazy movie producer (Paul Giamatti). He was also part of the ensemble for the gang film, Deuces Wild, released that same year. In 2003, he made a cameo appearance as Cher's underage boyfriend in Stuck on You. That same year, he appeared in the series premiere of Ashton Kutcher's MTV practical joke series Punk'd, in which Kutcher pranked Muniz into thinking that his car had been stolen.
Muniz subsequently played the title role in the film Agent Cody Banks, as well as its sequel, Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London. The first film opened in March 2003 and grossed $47 million; the sequel, which opened a year later, grossed $28 million.[11] Muniz trained in martial arts for the films, and performed most of his own stunts; he also commented that it was the point in his career where he should "make the transition from child actor to an adult actor or a respectable actor."[9]
Muniz had a cameo in the 2003 comedy Stuck on You and voiced a racing zebra, Stripes, in the 2005 film Racing Stripes. That same year, he made a guest appearance as himself in "Mr. F", an episode of the Fox comedy Arrested Development. In April 2006, Muniz began filming My Sexiest Year, an independent film in which Harvey Keitel played his father.[12] The same month, Muniz announced he was taking a break from acting to pursue a career in race car driving, with a full-time two year deal with Jensen Motorsport in the Formula BMW competition.[13][14]
Malcolm in the Middle finished its run May 14, 2006. Ten days later, Muniz appeared in the horror movie Stay Alive. Muniz expressed a desire to leave traditional Hollywood film roles behind, saying:
Growing up has never scared me until last year. I started thinking about getting older, being an adult, and it scared me. Hopefully things will work out in my career. If they don't, then it was never meant to be.[15]
Despite his earlier stated intention to take a break from acting, in May 2006, he signed on to star in the R-rated, teen sex comedy Extreme Movie.[16] The film was originally planned to be released in 2007 by Dimension Films,[17] but was ultimately released straight to DVD in February 2009.
In late 2007, he made a significant guest appearance in an episode of the popular and critically acclaimed CBS crime drama, Criminal Minds. The episode, entitled "True Night", featured Muniz playing a famous comic book writer who becomes a violent serial killer that preys on a group of local gang-bangers after they force him to watch while they rape and murder his pregnant fiancee. In December 2007 he made a cameo appearance in the movie Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, playing Buddy Holly.

Writing, producing and music

Muniz started writing in 2004, when he wrote the screenplay of the TV movie Granted. To date, that is his only screenplay. In 2004, he was the executive producer of Granted. In 2006, he also executive produced the movie Choose Your Own Adventure: The Abominable Snowman. A year later (2007) he became the associated producer of the film Choose Connor.
Muniz joined the unsigned band You Hang Up as a drummer. He said, "This is something I have always wanted in my life, and I'm thrilled to be associated with such a great group of guys!"[18] He said he learned how to play the drums from Zac Hanson.[18]






Racecar driving

Muniz's career in car racing traces back to 2005, when he won the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race as a celebrity participant. While investigating the possibility of joining a racing team as an owner, Muniz was granted a test in a car and instead signed a two year deal with Jensen Motorsport as a driver.
Muniz entered fourteen races during the 2006 Formula BMW USA series and failed to finish in a points scoring position. Muniz was selected as one of the thirty–six drivers to compete in the annual Formula BMW World Final, despite his poor performance in the national series. The event, dominated by German Christian Vietoris, saw Muniz make a small impact, as he finished twenty–ninth.[19]
For 2007, Muniz moved up to the more competitive Champ Car Atlantic Series[20] where he competed in the entire season of 12 races. For the season, his best finish was ninth place and he officially earned a total of 41 points and $17,000 in prize money. Even though he made little progress moving from the bottom half of the pack, by avoiding breakdowns and accidents he was able to log 351 season laps. This was more race mileage than most other drivers except for the winners, indicating more endurance and consistency but less outright speed than other drivers of similar performance.[21]
In January 2007, he placed second at the Sebring Winter National Phat Sack race.[22]
Muniz signed with Atlantic Championship winning team Pacific Coast Motorsports in January 2008 with a goal to compete consistently in the top-ten in the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. He finished the 2008 season in eleventh place.
At the end of the 2008 season, Muniz won the Jovy Marcelo Sportsmanship Award, an award for sportsmanship voted on by fellow drivers named in memory of the 1991 Atlantic Championship winner who was killed in practice for the 1992 Indianapolis 500.

Relationship

Muniz's rep released a statement on February 16, 2010 saying, "Frankie and Elycia had an argument a few days ago. The police were called to the residence. A gun played no part in the argument and was voluntarily given to the police for safekeeping. There were no bruises and neither left the residence. He was not suicidal. She was not assaulted."
The former TV star's rep added that the couple is still together and "moving forward with their lives and with their relationship."





Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1997 What the Deaf Man Heard Young Sammy
1998 Spin City Derek TV series
1999 Lost & Found Boy in TV Movie
2000–2006 Malcolm in the Middle Malcolm TV series
2000 Titus Ford Consultant
Miracle in Lane 2 Justin Yoder Disney Channel Original Movie
My Dog Skip Willie Morris
2001 The Fairly Odd Parents Chester McBadbat voice only
Deuces Wild Scooch
Dr. Dolittle 2 Boy Bear Cub voice only
The Simpsons Thelonius episode "Trilogy of Error"
2002 Big Fat Liar Jason Shepherd
2002 Lizzie McGuire Himself episode "Lizzie In The Middle"
2003 Agent Cody Banks Cody Banks
Stuck on You Cher's Boyfriend
2004 Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London Cody Banks
2005 Racing Stripes Stripes voice only
All That 10th Anniversary Reunion Special Himself Host
2006 Choose Your Own Adventure: The Abominable Snowman Benjamin North voice only
Stay Alive Swink Sylvania
2007 Criminal Minds Jonny McHale episode "True Night"
My Sexiest Year Jack
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Buddy Holly cameo
2008 Extreme Movie Chuck Original title Parental Guidance Suggested
2010 The Legend of Secret Pass Manu

Awards and nominations

Awards
  • 2000 - Bronze Gryphon: Free to Fly Section - Best Actor for My Dog Skip[23]
  • 2000 - YoungStar Award: Best Young Actor/Performance in a Comedy TV Series for Malcolm in the Middle[23]
  • 2000 - YoungStar Award: Best Young Ensemble Cast - Television Shared with Justin Berfield, Erik Per Sullivan, Christopher Masterson for Malcolm in the Middle[23]
  • 2001 - Golden Satellite Award: Best Performance by an Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical for Malcolm in the Middle[23]
  • 2001 - Young Artist Award: Best Ensemble in a Feature Film Shared with Cody Linley, Bradley Coryell, Daylan Honeycutt, Caitlin Wachs for My Dog Skip[23]
  • 2001 - Young Artist Award: Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series - Leading Young Actor for Malcolm in the Middle[23]
  • 2002 - Young Artist Award: Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series - Leading Young Actor for Malcolm in the Middle[23]
  • 2003 - Blimp Award: Favorite Television Actor for Malcolm in the Middle[23]
  • 2003 - Young Artist Award: Best Ensemble in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) shared with Justin Berfield, Erik Per Sullivan, Kyle Sullivan, Craig Lamar Traylor for Malcolm in the Middle[23]
  • 2004 - Blimp Award: Favorite Television Actor for Malcolm in the Middle[23]

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