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 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.
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.
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.
Breaking Bad credits
- 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 "", 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 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.
- 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 "", with a wig and different beard/glasses. This would make him one of the only actors playing multiple characters in Breaking Bad.
- Bryan's wife and daughter, Robin Dearden and Taylor Dearden, appear in Season 3 episode "" of season 3 of Breaking Bad.
- Bryan Cranston was paid $225,000 per episode in season 5.
- BryanCranston.com—Official website
- AMCTV.com—Bryan Cranston's bio at AMCTV.com
- Bryan Cranston at Wikizilla
- Bryan Cranston at Malcolm in the Middle Wiki
- Bryan Cranston at Power Rangers Wiki
- Bryan Cranston on Twitter
- Bryan Cranston on Facebook
- Bryan Cranston on Instagram