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What Emy Coligado Has Been Up To Since Playing Piama On Malcolm In The Middle

Not many characters have had the nerve to withstand the force of nature that is Malcolm in the Middle's Lois Wilkerson, played by Jane Kaczmarek. But when Emy Coligado's Piama Tananahaakna was introduced to the hot-tempered matriarch as her new and totally unexpected 19-year-old daughter-in-law, Lois met her match.

It wasn't just the character who held her own in a family of strong personalities. Coligado joined Malcolm in the Middle during its third season in 2002, and her deadpan delivery and unflinching comebacks as Piama made her an instant fit with the show's well-established central cast.

Malcolm in the Middle wrapped for good in 2006, and although many people would like to see a reboot, there's no word yet. (At least one actor has been too busy lately, and we don't mean Bryan Cranston. Have you wondered why the Joker from Gotham looks so familiar?) While we're wondering where the cast of Malcolm In The Middle is now, we know that Coligado has been busy on and off-screen since we last saw her playing Piama. You may have seen her pop up on one of several hit shows, recognized her in a Toyota ad, caught her in an indie film, or even run into her while she was volunteering at a Los Angeles animal shelter. 

Here's what Emy Coligado has been up to since playing Piama on Malcolm in the Middle.

After Malcolm in the Middle, Emy Coligado appeared on multiple hit shows

A few months after the last episode of Malcolm in the Middle aired, Coligado had a memorable guest role on an episode of Grey's Anatomy. (Sadly, it wasn't as one of the stars who took home shockingly massive paychecks.) She played Janelle, a pregnant woman who shows up to the ER covered in blood. It turns out her heart has been pierced by a shard of glass during a car crash, which meant plenty of delicious drama for Coligado. A year later, in 2007, Coligado returned to Piama's home (i.e. Alaska) for an appearance on the romantic sitcom Men in Trees. That year, she also appeared on an episode of the action-comedy series Chuck

Coligado has also had a couple of recurring roles on smaller series since Malcolm in the Middle. From 2001 to 2007, she appeared on 30 episodes of Crossing Jordan, a Boston-set drama about a medical examiner's office. She portrayed an assistant named Emmy. In 2009, she landed a lead role on the NBC web series Ctrl, based on a short she starred on in 2007. Coligado played Elizabeth, the love interest of a man (Arrested Development's Tony Hale) who finds a way to improve his mundane office job with the help of a magic keyboard. That daydream will last longer than the series did – Ctrl wrapped after 10 episodes in August 2009.

More recently, Coligado has added some even more impressive series to her TV resume. In 2014, she played a sympathetic social worker on Shameless, and in 2017, she appeared on episodes of Fresh Off the Boat and Claws

You may have seen Emy Coligado in commercials, on the stage, or on Instagram

If you know Coligado's face from TV but you haven't caught the shows she's been on, you might have spotted her in a commercial. Coligado has tried her best to sell us on the Samsung Galaxy Note II, a Toyota sale, and even Navy Federal Credit Union.

Outside of her commercial appearances, Coligado has also been working hard in indie movies and theater projects. She's especially keen to promote work by other Filipino Americans. In December 2019, the actress appeared in two plays written by people of Filipino descent. Coligado also has a major role in the upcoming movie musical The Girl Who Left Home, which boasts a Filipino American cast. Before that, in October 2019, she had the chance to warm up her musical theater skills when she appeared in Interstate, a musical about two transgender Asian Americans. But even without the practice, all-singing-all-dancing shows come naturally to Coligado, who kicked off her career in Miss Saigon on Broadway.

Away from work, Coligado splits her time between in LA, Texas, and New York, but makes an effort to volunteer at LA Animal Rescue. She has a diabetic, one-eyed rescue dog named Butters, whom she absolutely adores. If you also like rescue dogs (one-eyed or otherwise), Coligado regularly uses her Instagram to promote dogs looking for a home. We knew and loved Piama for her tough exterior and sharp comebacks, but the warmth buried underneath clearly lives on in the actress who made her so memorable.