Frankie Muniz Says 'Dancing With the Stars' Exaggerated His Memory Loss

Frankie Muniz is setting the record straight when it comes to chatter about his memory loss, saying that the idea was highly exaggerated during his time on Dancing With the Stars in 2017. The former child actor, now 36, opened up on the misunderstanding on the Pardon My Take podcast, explaining that the ABC show had made it seem like he suffered from some form of amnesia when that's not the case.

"For the 'Most Memorable Year' episode, they told me my most memorable year was 2001," said Muniz of the year in which he was nominated for both the Emmys and Golden Globes after Malcolm In the Middle's first season. "And I go, 'I don't know what to say,' and they're like, 'Why?'" Muniz said the way his answer was "cut together and the way they put it is I have zero memory of anything."

Muniz clarified that he remembers playing Malcolm, but also "did a lot of things" in the 2000s as a child star, and he doesn't "remember everything." He continued, "There's been a lot of speculation about my memory. A lot of it has to do with the fact that I did so much, so many episodes, so many things." Muniz explained that having filmed seven seasons of the sitcom, he doesn't actually "remember what happens in most of the episodes."

Muniz noted that he sometimes struggles distinguishing things he once dreamt from what happened in his childhood, which is all compounded by spending his formative years pretending to be someone else. "You get used to being in the moment and then you go on to the next part of your life," he added of acting at such a young age. 

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There are some of his memory issues that Muniz does contribute to his actual health, however, explaining that having suffered nine concussions in his youth, there is something real going on. "There's that," he said. "I was – and this only recently figured out – wrongfully diagnosed with TIAs [Transient Ischemic Attack]. 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 mini strokes for TIAs, which is a pretty big deal." After a number of tests, however, doctors eventually realized he had been misdiagnosed and was actually suffering from aura migraines.