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Bryan Cranston (1956)

Bryan Lee Cranston

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Bryan Lee Cranston is an American actor, voice actor, writer and director. He is best known for his roles as Hal the father in the Fox situation comedy Malcolm in the Middle, and Walter White in the AMC drama series Breaking Bad, for which he won three consecutive Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Emmy Awards. He is also known for his recurring role as Tim Whatley on Seinfeld.


 early life
Cranston was born in Canoga Park, California, the son of Peggy Sell, a radio actress, and Joseph L. "Joe" Cranston, an actor and producer. He grew up in the Los Angeles area, graduated from Canoga Park High School, and earned an associate degree in police science from Los Angeles Valley College.

He began his acting career after college in local and regional theatres, getting his start at the Granada Theatre in the San Fernando Valley. Cranston has worked regularly since the late 1980s, mostly in minor roles. His advertising work includes commercials for Lay's potato chips, Excedrin, Honda Accord, and Coffee-Mate. His voice acting includes English dubbing of Japanese anime, under the name "Lee Stone." He was an original cast member of the ABC soap opera Loving, where he played Douglas Donovan from 1983 to 1985. Cranston also starred in the short-lived series Raising Miranda in 1988.

His largest role prior to Malcolm in the Middle was as astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the HBO series From the Earth to the Moon. Cranston has also played astronaut Gus Grissom in the film That Thing You Do!.

In 1998, he appeared in Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan as a one-armed military officer.

From 1994 through 1997, his recurring role as Dr. Tim Whatley, Jerry's dentist on Seinfeld, earned him fans. Several episodes focused upon his relationship with Jerry and his paranoia about the dentist, in bizarre situations such as when he becomes obsessed with the notion that Tim and his female assistant were molesting him while he was unconscious during dental surgery, or when Whatley converts to Judaism and starts telling Jewish jokes while retaining the right to tell Catholic jokes as well (according to Jerry, Tim is attaining "total joke-telling immunity").

1999 marked his second appearance for a recurring role, on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens as Doug Heffernan's annoying neighbor, Tim Sacksky. He works in marketing then in a later episode as a water purifier salesman and recruits Doug to sell them as well.

In 2000, Cranston landed a breakout role on the series Malcolm in the Middle. Cranston directed several episodes of Malcolm in the Middle and received three Emmy nominations for his performance on the show. In a March 2009 interview on Anytime with Bob Kushell, Cranston discussed the episode "The Bots and The Bees" where he was covered in bees. Cranston stated that he was stung twice. Cranston reprised his role in a cutaway gag in the Family Guy episode "I Take Thee Quagmire," killing Lois with a refrigerator door because of her incessant babbling, thus "freeing" himself and the kids.

Cranston wrote and directed the 1999 movie Last Chance.

Cranston has guest-starred in many television series, including The Flash where he plays a white-collar criminal searching for his estranged wife and daughter; Sabrina the Teenage Witch in which he was a lawyer attempting to free Sabrina from a contract; the sixth season episode of The X-Files, "Drive", playing a bigoted man who is being driven insane by high-pitched sonar waves; and Babylon 5 as Ericsson, the captain of a White Star vessel ordered into a suicide mission to plant misinformation within the enemy ranks. He also had a guest role in late 2006 on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, playing main character Ted's obnoxious co-worker and former boss Hammond Druthers. He more recently had a role as Lucifer in the ABC Family miniseries, Fallen.

He appeared as Nick Wrigley, the irresponsible uncle who steals Santa's sleigh to have a crazy ride to practically destroy Christmas in 'Twas the Night, a Disney Channel Original Movie that was released in the winter of 2001.

He appeared in 2007 Academy Award Best Picture nominee Little Miss Sunshine as the more successful business colleague of Greg Kinnear's character.

He has done voice acting for English dubbed anime series, including Royal Space Force – The Wings of Honneamise, Macross Plus, and Armitage III Polymatrix. In September 2008, Cranston narrated a pre-teen adventure/fantasy audiobook called Adventures with Kazmir the Flying Camel. More recent voice work includes the voice of Jim Gordon in the animated Batman: Year One.

Currently, Cranston has the starring role on AMC's original series Breaking Bad in which he plays Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. His character teams up with former student Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul, to manufacture methamphetamine. For his work on the series, Cranston has won the Emmy Award for lead actor in a drama three consecutive times for the first three seasons of the show. The fourth season began airing in July, which was past the May 31 deadline for eligibility in the 2011 Emmy Awards. For the fourth season Cranston also became a producer for the series.

Most recently, Cranston had a supporting role in the drama The Lincoln Lawyer, and supporting roles in successful thrillers Drive, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, and Contagion, directed by Steven Soderbergh. He has upcoming supporting roles in Andrew Stanton's live action John Carter adaptation and a new adaptation of Rock of Ages and major roles in Ben Affleck's true story Iranian hostage drama Argo as well as the Len Wiseman directed Total Recall remake in which he plays the villain. He also participated in several episodes of the animated series Robot Chicken.

 personal life
Cranston is married to Robin Dearden, whom he met on the set of the show Airwolf . He was playing the villain of the week, and she played his hostage . They have a daughter, Taylor Dearden Cranston . Cranston was previously married to Mickey Middleton, a writer.

Cranston is a collector of baseball memorabilia and an avid fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In accepting his third Emmy as best lead actor in a drama series, he thanked his wife and daughter and told them that he loves them "more than baseball."

He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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