Birthplace: Woodridge, N.J.
The young star of TV's Malcolm in the Middle grew up in Knightdale, North Carolina. The home-schooled son of a restaurant manager and a nurse, he landed his first major role at age eight, playing Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol at the Memorial Theater in Raleigh, N.C. Following several regional theater successes, he made his film debut in the 1997 made-for-TV movie, To Dance with Olivia, which led to a series of appearances in minor TV productions during the late '90s. His career breakthrough came in 2000 when he was cast alongside Kevin Bacon in the critically acclaimed My Dog Skip. Almost simultaneously, he landed the Malcolm comedic lead that would make him a star. As Malcolm, the kid with a 165 IQ who struggles with a world that is so much less intelligent than he is, he revealed an unerring sense of comedic timing and an infectious charm accessible to both teenagers and adults. In 2001, his Malcolm success resulted in a Golden Globe Award and a nomination for an Emmy Award. In the same year he appeared with Stephen Dorff and Matt Dillon in the teenage gang film drama, Deuces Wild.