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Whatever Happened To Lois From Malcolm In The Middle?

One of the major television sitcoms of the early 2000s was a Fox show centered on a genius teen struggling to deal with his chaotic family — his parents, his spoiled younger brother, and two dimwitted, troublemaking older brothers. Malcolm in the Middle debuted in January 2000 with a 16-episode first season, was promoted to a 20-plus-episode fall offering, and wrapped its seventh and final season in May 2006. In its run, the series was an awards staple, receiving 118 total nominations and 46 wins, including for acting performances, directing, writing, casting, and more.

Malcolm starred one of the darling child actors of the era, Frankie Muniz, as the titular middle child. Among its other stars was a man who'd been working in the business for about two decades prior but perhaps wasn't universally recognizable until he stepped into the shoes of Hal Wilkerson, the temperamental, zany patriarch of Malcolm's family. The actor, Bryan Cranston, went on to land an even more iconic role as teacher-turned-meth kingpin Walter White in the AMC megahit crime drama Breaking Bad. His work as Walt earned Cranston much awards attention, but first, he garnered buzz for Malcolm, picking up multiple awards nominations over the course of the comedy's run. But Cranston — and, for that matter, Muniz – weren't the only factors that made the show special and put it on the awards circuit.

Another key element was Jane Kaczmarek, the actress who played Malcolm's mother Lois. Lois was constantly exasperated, as befits a mother of four exceptionally misbehaved boys. Kaczmarek imbued Lois with a fierceness and energy you couldn't help but resonate and laugh with. Like Cranston (or even superseding him), she was a Malcolm in the Middle awards magnet. She was nominated for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy every year of the show's run, plus three Golden Globes, and she won the 2001 American Comedy Awards honor for Funniest Female Performer in a Television Series. Also like Cranston, Malcolm in the Middle wasn't her first or last role.

Here's what happened to Lois from Malcolm in the Middle.

Jane Kaczmarek has maintained a steady television presence

Prior to becoming Lois Wilkerson, Jane Kaczmarek appeared in numerous shows throughout the '80s and '90s. These include St. Elsewhere, Hill Street Blues, Party of Five, and Felicity.

After Malcolm in the Middle, Kaczmarek wasted no time returning to sitcoms. She starred alongside television legend Ted Danson in the 2006 ABC comedy Help Me Help You. The show only lasted one season, but Kaczmarek stayed busy, landing a role in the 2008-09 legal drama Raising the Bar. Other post-Malcolm television roles include one-off appearances in Law & Order: SVU and This is Us and a recurring role in USA Network's Playing House from 2014-17.

Kaczmarek has also utilized what Malcolm fans know is a powerful voice in The Simpsons and the Disney Channel's Jake and the Neverland Pirates, among other animated projects. The Wisconsin-born actress is no stranger to the big screen, either, appearing in the 2017 buddy cop comedy CHIPS, the 2016 thriller Wolves at the Door, and more. In 2020, Kaczmarek appeared in the sitcom Mixed-ish and the indie dramedy Killing Eleanor. Next up, she's slated to appear in a short film and a television movie.

Might a reunion with her Malcolm in the Middle family also be in store? Well, she's had a mini-reunion, as she made a surprise appearance in the Breaking Bad DVD box set, as E! Online reported. In a hilarious "alternate ending" clip lauded by fans, Bryan Cranston wakes up in bed as Hal Wilkerson, next to his wife Lois, to realize that Walter White's Breaking Bad journey was all a dream. Kaczmarek also reunited with the whole cast in 2020 in a charity drive Zoom call to celebrate the show's 20th anniversary and do a script reading. For fans yearning to see the family actually back in the Malcolm world, that hasn't happened yet, but Cranston told E! Online it's possible. So, perhaps, Jane Kaczmarek will again grace screens as the charmingly frazzled but fierce Wilkerson matriarch.