Breaking Bad Wiki
Breaking Bad Wiki

Bryan Lee Cranston is an American actor who is best known for his role as chemistry teacher and drug kingpin Walter White in Breaking Bad and El Camino, for which won three consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He is also well known for his roles as Hal in Malcolm in the Middle and Dr. Tim Whatley in Seinfeld.

He is also a director, writer and producer. Bryan wrote, directed, and produced the film Last Chance, and has directed episodes of Malcolm in the Middle, Big Day and Breaking Bad.


Born in California's San Fernando Valley, Bryan grew up in Los Angeles and went to community college to study police science.

He got his start in acting in the theatre, and soon began doing commercial and TV work. His first big role was a 9-episode recurring spot on the TV series Raising Miranda as Uncle Russell. He continued to hold small television and film roles, including a recurring spot on Seinfeld as a dentist.

In 1997, he played Ranger Captain Ericsson in the Babylon 5 episode, "The Long Night."

In 1998, he was cast as Buzz Aldrin on the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon.

Also in 1998, he played Patrick Crump, the lead antagonist of the episode "Drive" of The X-Files. In the episode, the anti-Semitic Crump forces Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) to drive him west, supposedly to escape an ultrasonic signal that is slowly driving him insane and will eventually kill him. "Drive" was written by Vince Gilligan, who at that time was an executive producer on The X-Files. Gilligan said later that Bryan's performance as Crump - an unlikable person who nevertheless succeeds in gaining the audience's sympathy, but becomes less and less sympathetic as the episode goes on - was pivotal in Gilligan's decision to cast Bryan as Walter White, when Gilligan created Breaking Bad.


Bryan Cranston interview for Breaking Bad season 3 at the Paleyfest TV Festival

Bryan Cranston interview

Two years later, he was cast as Hal in the Fox sitcom Malcolm in the Middle which ran for six years. The producers of Breaking Bad were initially skeptical about Vince Gilligan's choice, since they associated Bryan with his comedic role as Hal, but changed their minds after Gilligan showed them Bryan's scenes from The X-Files.

He has appeared in a couple episodes of How I Met Your Mother as Ted's obnoxious boss. He also was on King of Queens as the loud neighbor with the pool over looking the privacy fence. 

In 2008, he was cast in Breaking Bad as Walter White, a role that earned him three Emmy Awards and numerous other awards.

In 2014, he starred in the movie Godzilla.

In 2019, he reprised his role as Walt in the movie El Camino, appearing in one of Jesse Pinkman's flashback scenes.


Breaking Bad

Episodes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5A
Season 5B

Breaking Bad credits


Episodes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5A
Season 5B



  • Bryan was a member of the chemistry club in high school.
  • On the set of the final 8 episodes, Cranston called the final 8 episodes "A roller-coaster ride to hell" and stated "You won't wanna miss this".
  • In the episode "Rabid Dog", Walt asks Patrick Kuby about his search for Jesse, and Kuby tells him, "I put a bug in the Mayhew tall kid's mom's place.  For three hours straight all he kept talking about was something called Babylon 5."  Bryan had a small part in that show as Ranger Captain Ericsson in the episode "The Long Night."
  • Before the series finale of Breaking Bad aired, Bryan released a joke alternate ending where his Malcolm in the Middle character, Hal, wakes up and all the events of the show are just a dream. This plot device has been used in Lost, Newhart, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Dallas.
    • It has also been an online joke among fans of Breaking Bad for years, that the events of the series were simply a dream of Hal's or that Hal was the assumed identity of Walter White in the Witness Protection Program.[1]
  • Bryan has frequently said that his stardom and the amount of subsequent film and television work he has been offered would not have happened had he not had the chance to appear in Breaking Bad; to commemorate this, he has the chemical symbols for bromine (Br) and barium (Ba) tattooed on his finger in the same style as they appear in the show's title logo.
  • According to the Breaking Bad Insider Podcast, Bryan plays one of the party guests in "Thirty-Eight Snub", with a wig and different beard/glasses. This would make him one of the only actors playing multiple characters in Breaking Bad.
    • Simon Drobik plays three separate police officers in Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, and El Camino
    • Christopher Dempsey plays three seemingly different medical professionals in Breaking Bad
  • Bryan's wife and daughter, Robin Dearden and Taylor Dearden, appear in Season 3 episode "No Más" of season 3 of Breaking Bad.


  • Bryan Cranston was paid $225,000 per episode in season 5.[2]

External links


Emmy Award videos