For most of the cast, Malcolm in the Middle was the springboard to a lucrative career. The best and brightest was Bryan Cranston, who went on to star in Breaking Bad and become a household name, but don’t sleep on the financial accomplishments of Erik Per Sullivan. He played Dewey in the hit series, which ran from 2000-2006.
While he’s not quite a household name, Per Sullivan now claims a current net worth of almost $5 million. He’s done it through an interesting mixture of follow-up work since his days on Malcolm in the Middle, including some gigs that would surprise many people who knew him strictly as a child star.
He continued to land small childhood roles after Malcolm in the Middle ran its course, most notably in “Joe Dirt,” which starred David Spade, and “Unfaithful,” which featured Richard Gere and Diane Lane. He also had a role in the popular “Christmas with the Kranks” with Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Ackroyd, which is probably another lucrative source of cable residuals.
From there he scored a voice role in the Pixar film, “Little Nemo,” playing Sheldon, a small seahorse who was the classmate of the hero. That in turn led to the same role in the “Finding Nemo” video game, and while these roles might not sound lucrative, they do keep the cash coming in.
Sullivan went on to land other roles as he left his childhood acting days behind him, including a film called “Twelve,” a film about drugs, murder and a group of wealthy young children that definitely cast him against type.
He was out of acting by 2010, although there were rumors in 2009 that he was in a relationship with actress Daveigh Chase. Sullivan has kept a low profile and has avoided several Malcolm in the Middle cast reunions. He’s now 31 and still single, but his unusually diverse background provides many possible options when it comes to keeping busy.
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Sullivan went to Phillips Exeter Academy, and he enrolled at the University of Southern California in 2009. In addition to his acting talents, he has studied piano and the saxophone, so he definitely isn’t short on talent.
He attended KD College for acting classes, and Sullivan played a prominent role in a children’s book called “Together” for a nonprofit charity called Heifer International. He also speaks fluent Swedish, something many of his fans probably didn’t know about back in his Malcolm in the Middle days.
Another little-known fact about Sullivan is that he won numerous awards as a childhood actor. These include the Young Artist Award, which he copped in 2003, and he was nominated multiple times for Teen Choice Awards. Playing Dewey earned him the Young Star Award, so clearly he’s not lacking for accolades.
Sullivan does maintain an Instagram account, but it’s unclear whether he’s actually doing the posting. And while he could certainly live well on the wealth he’s accumulated, his fans would love to see him resurface in some kind of entertaining adult role. Sadly, Erik wants to avoid the spotlight and just live a private life.