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‘The Middle’ Cast: Find Out What the Hecks Have Been Up To 

Catch up with your favorite American sitcom family!

For any sitcom fans out there, you were probably tuning into The Middle weekly from 2009 to 2018. The series follows the dysfunctional lives of the Hecks — a middle-class, middle-America family — from the fictional town of Orson, Indiana. As a family of five, The Middle cast brought the familial tension and hilarity in every single episode.

It’s led by a working-class mom, Frankie Heck, and her stoic husband, Mike, who struggle to make ends meet. They frequently shop at the Frugal Hoosier, a discount food store that sells expired items, and eat fast-food takeout most nights. Frankie works her day job at a car dealership, where she can’t seem to sell a car, while Mike manages a quarry.

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The Middle cast
The cast of “The Middle” (2009) and Blondie Productions

The couple has three kids together: the athletically talented but lazy Axl, the cheerful and optimistic Sue, and the quirky Brick. Though they have their own special qualities, the Heck siblings emulate a typical family. The older brother, Axl, often teases his younger sister; Sue, the middle sibling, looks for the bright side of things; and Brick, the youngest brother, often keeps to himself (and his books).

Though the series came to an end in 2018, the Heck family lives on with its fans. The Middle cast, which was chock full of stellar actors, has gone on to do great things after their time on the show. Catch up with the Hecks and see what The Middle cast has been up to.

Patricia Heaton as Frankie Heck

Patricia Heaton: the middle cast
2009/2021 Jean Baptiste Lacroix / Contributor / Getty // JC Olivera / Stringer / Getty

Everybody knows and loves Patricia Heaton as Debra Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond, but she also perfectly portrayed her role as Frankie Heck in The Middle. The overworked, overly stressed mother of three, who serves as the show’s narrator, usually unwinds with a can of icing and The Bachelor. Though she can often come off a tad overbearing to her children, Heaton’s character is a loving mother.

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While Heaton has played a mom on-screen twice, as Frankie and Debra, she is also playing the role in real life. Heaton said, “So much of what Frankie Heck went through on The Middle was paralleling exactly what I was going through with my kids, filling out college applications, your kid’s looking for work.” For future roles, she explained, “I would like to play something different.”

Patricia Heaton smiling
Patricia Heaton in The Middle (2017) and Blondie Productions

But in 2018, when the series came to an end, Heaton continued creating characters we adore. The actress voiced Mama Bear in the movie Smallfoot in 2018, a part of a star-studded cast which included, Channing Tatum, Zendaya, and Danny DeVito.

In 2019, she reentered the sitcom world in her CBS series Carol’s Second Act. In this show, Heaton stars as a retired schoolteacher who starts a second career as a doctor. Unfortunately, CBS canceled the series in 2020. Two years later, she starred in Mending the Line (2022).

Heaton’s upcoming projects include The Beldham, which is in post-production, and The Unbreakable Boy, which is set for release in 2025.

Neil Flynn as Mike Heck: The Middle cast

Neil Flynn: the middle cast
2009/2019 and Blondie Productions // Paul Archuleta / Stringer / Getty

Neil Flynn portrays the hilariously stoic character of Mike Heck. The devoted Colts fan tends to keep to himself and hardly ever smiles, but audiences start to see his soft side throughout the series. Oftentimes, the character only focuses on his oldest son, Axl, because of their shared love of sports, but he shows his love for his other children later in other ways.

One of the plot points for the series that recurs is his lack of emotion, but despite all his flaws, Mike Heck is a hard-working father who cares for his family.

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Neil Flynn holding a box
Neil Flynn in “The Middle” (2018) and Blondie Productions

Flynn, who was previously cast as the janitor on Scrubs (2001), was grateful for a more significant role on the sitcom. Flynn said, “With a bigger part comes many, many more hours at work. But I was 100 percent happy to be there; I welcomed the weightier part.”

But since his time as Mike Heck ended, Flynn has made a splash in the television world. He has done multiple voice-acting projects, including Superman: Man of Tomorrow (2020), Clone High (2023) and The Santa Clauses (2023). In 2019, Flynn starred in the sitcom Abby’s, but the series was canceled after just one season.

Flynn starred in the movie Unexpected in 2023 ,but has mostly made guest appearances on TV shows, including Girls5eva (2022), PBC (2022) and Shrinking (2023).

Charlie McDermott as Axl Heck

Charlie McDermott: the middle cast
2009/2017 Steve Granitz / Contributor / Getty // Paul Archuleta / Contributor / Getty

Charlie McDermott portrays classic older brother Axl Heck. He is a big high school athlete, makes jokes at his sister’s expense (often referring to her as a dog), doesn’t clean up after himself and lounges around in nothing but his underwear.

Though it’s hard to imagine The Middle cast without McDermott, he almost wasn’t the lovable Axl for the series — he initially didn’t get the part. However, the series wasn’t picked up at first, so the role was up for grabs a year later. McDermott said, “[T]he audition came back again and it was the exact same audition sides except the character name was scratched out and it said Axl instead of Elvis.”

Charlie McDermott ; the middle cast
Charlie McDermott in “The Middle” (2017) and Blondie Productions

Axl makes a complete 180 by the end of the series, caring for his family and giving advice to his younger siblings. When his sister attends the same college as him, despite his resistance, Axl takes it upon himself to make sure she was comfortable at school.

Unlike his character, who loves attention, McDermott hasn’t been in the spotlight all too much since the series ended. He had a very small part in the Mark Wahlberg movie Instant Family (2018). Then in 2019, McDermott had a small arc in the mini-series Unbelievable. The same year, he appeared in the movie Countdown (2019).

McDermott has also been busy releasing his own music since his time as part of The Middle cast. He released an album in 2020 titled Some Things Just Fall Out of Your Hands and an EP in 2022, titled Blind Warm Light. McDermott and his wife, who he married in 2017, keep their relationship and lives very private.

Eden Sher as Sue Heck: The Middle cast

Eden Sher
2009/2019 Jeffrey Mayer / Contributor / Getty // Jeff Kravitz / Contributor / Getty

Sue Sue Heck (which is how her name appears on her birth certificate due to a mistake by her parents) is equivalent to a ray of sunshine. She has inspiring animal posters hung on her walls, wears bright colors and patterns (that often don’t match) and never quits at anything. Eden Sher perfectly portrays the dorky, yet adorable, teen.

Teachers and classmates often forgot Sue Heck, so she always had other names throughout the series. Some are sweet nicknames, like Suzy Q, courtesy of her neighbor and future husband, Sean Donahue (Beau Wirick). But many others are because nobody knows Sue — her name in the yearbook is Ana Hajarajanaan.

Eden Sher smiling
Eden Sher in “The Middle” (2018) and Blondie Productions

Like her character, who attempts dozens of different things, Eden Sher has been cast in a variety of projects. After the series ended, Sher continued her series regular role on Star vs. the Forces of Evil (2019).

She also appeared in a small part on the series Jane the Virgin (2019). In 2022 she voiced a character on the video game High on Life, also enjoying guest roles on How I Met Your Father (2023) and Chibiverse (2024).

Sher married her husband, Nick Cron-Devico, and the couple welcomed twin daughters in 2021.

Atticus Shaffer as Brick Heck: The Middle cast

Atticus Shaffer
2009/2018 Steve Granitz / Contributor / Getty // Paul Archuleta / Contributor / Getty

The often-forgotten, youngest child, Brick, who is more concerned with his books than anything else, is portrayed by Atticus Shaffer. The character is unusual and different from the rest of his family. He even has a designated “Brick chair,” which is a lawn chair, because there weren’t enough regular dining room seats.

Brick has many weird quirks — such as his need to whisper certain words after he says them or when he lets out “whoop” in the middle of a sentence. He remains one of the most hilarious characters because of his unique qualities.

Atticus Shaffer in a bookmark costume
Atticus Shaffer in “The Middle” (2016) and Blondie Productions

Atticus Shaffer has done a wide array of projects since his time on the series ended. He was a voice-actor in The Lion Guard while filming The Middle, but the show ended in 2019. The actor was also in the 2018 movie I’ll Be Next Door for Christmas.

Shaffer had arcs in the series’ Harvey Girls Forever! (2020), Never Have I Ever (2020) and Adventures in Odyssey (2020). He even booked another series in 2017, titled Pete the Cat, where he remained until 2022.

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