- NAME: Bryan Cranston
- OCCUPATION: Television Actor
- BIRTH DATE: March 07, 1956 (Age: 57)
- Did You Know?: Bryan Cranston once harbored dreams of becoming a police officer.
- Did You Know?: Bryan Cranston and Bill Cosby are the only actors to have won the Emmy Award for outstanding lead actor in a drama series three consecutive years.
- EDUCATION: Los Angeles Valley College
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Canoga Park, California
- Full Name: Bryan Lee Cranston
- AKA: Bryan Cranston
- ZODIAC SIGN: Pisces
Best Known For
A versatile actor, Bryan Cranston played the character Walter White, the high school teacher turned meth kingpin, on the hit television drama Breaking Bad.
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Born on March 7, 1956, in Canoga Park, California, Bryan Cranston spent the early part of his career taking on a variety of commercial jobs and single-appearance television roles. In 2000 he landed the character of Hal, the father in the sitcom, Malcolm in the Middle. His landmark role came in 2008 as Walter White in the critically acclaimed television drama, Breaking Bad. The show garnered Cranston three Emmy wins for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
"I love acting because it's empowering. It empowers me."
Bryan Lee Cranston was born in Canoga Park, California, on March 7, 1956. The son of an aspiring actor, Cranston spent much of his early childhood watching as his father, Joe, live a disappointed life for failing to achieve the movie-star status he longed for.
Eventually his father left show business, but his still-inconsistent earnings put too heavy a strain on the family and his marriage. At the age of 12, Bryan Cranston weathered his parents' divorce, then not long after, the foreclosure on the family home. The crisis forced Cranston and his older brother, Kyle, to move in with their grandparents for a year. The two boys didn't see their father for a solid decade.
In school, Cranston was a decent student and an unsure athlete, talented but lacking confidence. "It was not a great time for me," he later said. "I was really quiet and unassuming and insecure. And my timidity pushed me to the sidelines, literally and figuratively."
At the age of 16, Cranston joined the Los Angeles Police Department's Law Enforcement Explorer Program. He rose to the top of his class, setting his sights on earning a political science degree and embarking on a career as a cop. But when a guidance counselor said he needed to add an elective to his course work, Cranston opted for acting and quickly found he had a gift for stage work.
By the time he graduated from high school, in 1976, Cranston had ditched any dreams of a job in law enforcement and instead set out on a two year-motorcycle excursion with his brother, Kyle, in which the pair roamed the country, stopping just long enough to find short-term work to earn money and get back on the road.
The two brothers eventually settled back into a life in California, where they both set out to become actors.
Not harboring the same kind of star-studded dreams his father had, Cranston took on nearly any and all work that came his way. That included Preparation H ads and bit spots on shows such as Airwolf and Murder, She Wrote.
By the late 1990s, Cranston had assembled a respectable, low-key career. His credits from this period include recurring parts on Seinfeld and King of Queens. Additionally, he played Buzz Aldrin in the Tom Hanks television miniseries From the Earth to the Moon (1998), and portrayed an American colonel in Saving Private Ryan (1998).
His profile received a big boost in 2000 when he signed on to play Hal, the father of three rambunctious boys, on the hit FOX sitcom Malcolm in the Middle. The role garnered three Emmy Award nominations (outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series) for Cranston.
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