Characters of Malcolm in the Middle

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The cast of Malcolm in the Middle as of season 5, (from behind, left to right): Christopher Kennedy Masterson as Francis, Frankie Muniz as Malcolm, Erik Per Sullivan as Dewey, and Justin Berfield as Reese. (In front, left to right) Jane Kaczmarek as Lois and Bryan Cranston as Hal.

The following characters had significant roles in the American television comedy series Malcolm in the Middle, which was originally televised from 2000–2006 on the Fox Network.

Main characters[edit]

Originally there were four brothers (although Malcolm's oldest brother attended a military school away from home, so Malcolm was still the middle sibling left at home). A fifth son was introduced in the show's fourth season, a boy named Jamie. The boys are, from eldest to youngest: Francis, Reese, Malcolm, Dewey, and Jamie. In the final episode, Lois discovered she was pregnant with a sixth child. In the third season, Francis travels home (to celebrate his father's birthday) with an Alaskan girl named Piama, and reveals that they are married.

During the first season, the writers decided to keep the family's last name a mystery. In the fifth season episode "Reese Joins the Army (1)", Reese uses a fake ID by the name of "Jetson" to lie about his age. In the series finale, "Graduation", Francis' employee ID reads "Nolastname" (or "No Last Name", a joke referring to the fact that the family name was never spoken aloud). In the same episode when Malcolm was introduced to give the graduation speech, the speaker announces Malcolm's name, but microphone feedback makes his surname inaudible, even though he does appear to mouth the phrase "No last name".[1]

In the sleeve notes for the season 5 DVD, the family is referred to as the Wilkersons in the "Block Party" episode description. In the "Pilot" the name Wilkerson can be seen on the name badge of the uniform Francis is wearing at Marlin Academy.


Malcolm, portrayed by Frankie Muniz (150 episodes, the only episode where he wasn't in is Clip Show 2 in Season 4), is the titular protagonist of the series. He is 5-years younger than his oldest brother Francis, 2-years younger than his older brother Reese, 4-years older than his younger brother Dewey, and about 15-years older than his youngest brother Jamie. In the first episode of the series, he is found to be a child prodigy and immediately moved from his regular class into the 'Krelboynes', a class for gifted students. Despite his high intelligence, he still gets into mischief either alongside or working against his brothers (in particular, Reese) although he becomes more self-absorbed and egotistical in the later seasons as he goes through puberty. Malcolm, like Reese, is not very popular. However, his best friend is Stevie and he has had a number of girlfriends during the series run.... Even though he is very intelligent, he has a short temper, can be easily manipulated and also has problems containing his opinion about himself. Malcolm also occasionally serves as the voice of reason, and does have a conscience, (for instance, despite emotionally manipulating a grieving Hal in "Hal Grieves" to buy him a car, when the time comes to make the purchase he finds he can't go through with it). In the series finale, it is revealed that Lois intended him to have a hard life, knowing that he is destined to assume the role of President of the United States; she wants him to remember where he came from to get there. Malcolm eventually comes to terms with his future, after being unable to tell Lois he can't do it. In the final episode, Malcolm matriculates at Harvard University.


Lois, played by Jane Kaczmarek (147 episodes), is Francis, Reese, Malcolm, Dewey, and Jamie's mother. She is an overbearing control freak despised by the neighbors to the point that they refuse to invite her to their gatherings, revealed in "Mono". Unlike Malcolm, Lois isn't bothered by it and tries her best to blend in with it. She was revealed to be a charming and a nurturing mother while Francis was little, but toughened up. She is also always right, to the point of being unable to say that she was wrong. It was also shown that she is overbearing and mad as a result of her children's bad behavior, and not her pure hate. At the series finale, Lois is revealed to be pregnant with a sixth child. Her unfairness and behavior also come from her miserable childhood, living with a tough mother and an uncaring father. She also has an older sister, Susan, who was the popular one and lead a successful life unlike Lois, and Hal almost married Susan over Lois. As a result, they have a very bitter relationship and they rarely visit each other.


Hal, played by Bryan Cranston (151 episodes), is the father of the family. Though relaxed in his parenting when compared to Lois, Hal has shown that he can slide into a disciplinarian when confronted by the boys' behavior. He comes from a wealthy family who resent his choice to marry Lois over Susan. Hal has a hard time making good decisions, which he often deferred to Lois. Despite the fact many of the neighbors hate his family, Hal blends in well with them. He loves Lois more than she loves him, never even thinking about other women. He is also very scared of her, even more than the boys are, which is why he often bribes their sons to take the fall for his wrongdoings. He is very neurotic and has a slight obsessive-compulsive disorder, and also enjoys unusual hobbies. It was also revealed that he was a chain smoker before quitting the habit.


Reese, played by Justin Berfield (151 episodes), is the second oldest of the sons. He is 3-years younger than his older brother Francis, 2-years older than his younger brother Malcolm, 6-years older than his younger brother Dewey, and about 17-years older than his youngest brother Jamie. It was revealed in "Flashback", in season 2, that Reese has been vicious from the womb, so vicious in fact that when he kept kicking Lois during labour, she pushed him out by force. A complete moron by birth, Reese is the worst-behaved of his brothers. Reese is inclined to beat up the Krelboynes. He is intimidated by certain students, including Ira, a dumb jock at school. Despite his violent, idiotic nature and his lack of intelligence, Reese is a Culinary prodigy, after finding that he has a talent and genuine love for cooking, baking, etc. He is also the favourite of his grandmother, Ida, who taught him the importance of having patsies. In the series finale, Reese moves in with Craig and is a janitor at North High.


Dewey, played by Erik Per Sullivan (151 episodes), is portrayed as being quieter and more inclined to the arts than his brothers. He soon finds he is a musical prodigy and as the series goes on becomes more caring and thoughtful especially in regards to his younger brother Jamie who he decides not to bully like he was by Malcolm and Reese. Lois remarks at one point that unlike Malcolm, who would have to work hard to achieve success, Dewey would have success handed to him. Dewey joins the Buseys, a class for the emotionally disturbed, by mistake and ended up becoming the unofficial teacher. He ended up caring for his fellow students so much that, when the mistake was uncovered, he feigned severe emotional problems so he could remain. In the last episode, he and Jamie (the only other remaining brother living at home) continued the tradition of causing havoc all over the house.


Francis, played by Christopher Kennedy Masterson (119 episodes), is the oldest of the brothers. It's revealed in Sleepover and in The Bots and the Bees, in season 1, that Francis was a breech birth, and in Flashback, in season 2, that Lois was in labor with him during her and Hal's wedding. A rebel, he was exiled to Marlin Academy by Lois for his behavior and got himself emancipated incurring her wrath. Malcolm often looks up to Francis. He moves to Alaska and marries a local woman named Piama (who is about one year older than him, and had previously been married briefly), whom Lois doesn't like. In the series finale, Francis has a job as Amerysis which Hal knows about and he admits he likes sitting by a desk sorting computer data. However, he also admits that he has no intentions of telling Lois of the job and equally enjoys torturing her by mentioning that he's still unemployed.


Jamie was played by identical twin brothers James and Lukas Rodriguez (35 episodes). The youngest brother born who is the only brother to have beaten Lois in her own game, bordering to attacking her (though Reese was mostly responsible for feeding him soda). Like Malcolm and Dewey, Jamie is revealed to be intelligent, evident when he tricked Reese into taking a marker after he colored part of the wall. He was also the first brother to find Francis's secret stash, although it was in fact not the stash but their neighbor's stuff.

Recurring characters[edit]

  • Stevie Kenarban, played by Craig Lamar Traylor (56 episodes), is Malcolm's best friend and classmate. He is wheelchair-bound and is missing a lung, requiring him to speak slowly and take deep breaths after saying a word. His parents are very overprotective of him as a result, and also nurture him.
  • Craig Feldspar, portrayed by David Anthony Higgins (39 episodes), is Lois' co-worker at the Lucky Aide. He is a hopeless romantic, and has strong feelings for Lois, which she does not return. He is very childish and is a coward.
  • Piama Tananahaakna, played by Emy Coligado (29 episodes), is Francis' wife. Piama is about a year older than Francis, and before him, Piama had previously been married briefly. Originally Lois didn't like Piama in their first meeting. However after an embarrassing encounter with her wealthy in-law's, it made Lois reflect on how unfair she was towards her daughter-in-law and got along with Piama much better since. She originally started off against having children, but by Graduation, Piama got over it after Reese's prank went awry and announced to Francis that she's ready to have kids ("We may as well go ahead and have kids now, I'm not afraid of changing diapers any more.")
  • Victor Welker and Ida Kenzel-Welker, played by Robert Loggia (1 episode) and Cloris Leachman (11 episodes) respectively, are Lois' parents. Victor dies some time before the events of "Christmas", which Ida is widowed. Ida harbors a strong dislike for both Francis and Lois, evident for the way she has been treated by them. She favors Reese, which allows him to love her. Ida belittles Malcolm for being weak in not standing up against his mother and ignores Dewey (though she did save him one time). Ida harbored resentment towards Victor's other family for stealing what was rightfully hers, until Lois discovered that she isn't blood related to Victor (and possibly Susan as well) and abandoned Ida.
  • Abraham "Abe" Kenarban, played by Gary Anthony Williams (19 episodes), is Stevie's father and Kitty's husband.
  • Kitty Kenarban, played by Merrin Dungey (5 episodes), is Stevie's mother and Abe's wife.
  • Cynthia Sanders, played by Tania Raymonde (4 episodes), is one of Malcolm's classmates.
  • Flora Mayesh, played by Kristin Quick (15 episodes), is one of Malcolm's other Krelboyne classmates. Flora was mostly just a background character and rarely had dialogue and was therefore not in the credits for 12 of her episodes.
  • Eraserhead, played by Will Jennings (12 episodes),
  • Kevin, played by Victor Z. Isaac (5 episodes)
  • Caroline Miller, played by Catherine Lloyd Burns (15 episodes), is Malcolm's teacher in the first and second seasons.
  • Lionel Herkabe, played by Chris Eigeman (8 episodes), is Malcolm's teacher back in his time as a Krelboyne in "Emancipation". He still remains a teacher in North High, but tricked previous principal, Mr. Block, into letting him accept a vice principal position to keep his hated rival in line. Herkabe's downfall came in "Malcolm Defends Reese", when he made the mistake in admitting to Malcolm that he flunked gym and lied in not taking the course that lead to North High's current principal, Mr. Hodges (Steve Vinovich), in revoking his GPA award. He got his just desserts when an overly excited Reese and his friends tossed dodge balls at him.
  • Commandant Edwin Spangler, played by Daniel von Bargen (16 episodes), is the military veteran in charge of the cadets at Marlin Academy.
  • Cadet Eric Hansen, played by Eric Nenninger (28 episodes), one of Francis's friends from both Marlin Academy and the Lodge in Alaska. Eric is left to hitchhike home by Francis, possibly as revenge for even suggesting to find work in Alaska.
  • Lavernia, played by Brenda Wehle (10 episodes), is Francis and Eric's malevolent boss who owns the logging site. She has a debt book and presumably knows every dirty secret about her workers. Lavernia has a personal grudge towards Piama for both blackmailing her to be nice to Francis using her pet parakeet as Piama's hostage.
  • Otto Mankusser, played by Kenneth Mars (13 episodes), is Francis' friendly and cheerful boss, albeit a bit naïve at times.
  • Ed, played by Paul Wilson (5 episodes), is one of the many neighbors who despises Hal and Lois, along with Reese. He has shown some favoritism towards Malcolm for helping him set up his new computer.


  1. ^ Malcolm In The Middle, Fox, "Graduation", May 14, 2006, Production #722, Episode #151

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