Date of Birth: December 5th 1985
Muniz was born Francisco James Muniz IV in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey, U.S., to Francisco Muniz III (a restaurant manager of Puerto Rican descent) and Denise (a former nurse of Italian and Irish descent); he has an older sister, Cristina. Muniz was raised in the small town of Wood-Ridge, New Jersey, where he found his interest in acting by watching his older sister in a play. He was soon cast as Tiny Tim in a local production of A Christmas Carol, a role he reprised the next two seasons. Productions of The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, and Our Town fleshed out his regional theater résumé; he sometimes appeared alongside now well-known actress Evan Rachel Wood, whose father ran a local theater.
After his parents' divorce, Muniz moved to San Diego, 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 the breakthrough role, which would make him a familiar face in millions of households.
FOX premiered Malcolm in the Middle on January 9, 2000, as a mid-season replacement, and the show was quickly swamped with accolades. The premiere episode was watched by 23 million people; and the second episode by 26 million. 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 funny. He was nominated for Golden Globes in 2000 and 2001, the Emmy Awards in 2001, and was honored with the Hollywood Reporter 'Young Star Award' for his work in the series.
Muniz subsequently played the title role in the film Agent Cody Banks, as well 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 $23 million. 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'.