Bryan Lee Cranston (born March 7, 1956) is an American actor and director. He played Walter White on the AMC series Breaking Bad, Hal on the Fox sitcom Malcolm in the Middle, and Dr. Tim Whatley on the NBC sitcom Seinfeld. His performance on Breaking Bad is widely regarded as one of the best performances in television history.
After college, Cranston began his acting career in local and regional theaters, getting his start at the Granada Theater in the San Fernando Valley. He had previously performed as a youth, but his show business parents had mixed feelings about their son being involved in the profession, so he did not continue until years later. Cranston was ordained as a minister by the Universal Life Church and performed weddings for $150 a service to help with his income. He also worked as a waiter, night-shift security guard at the gates of a private LA community, truck loader, camera operator for a video dating service, and CCTV security guard at a supermarket.
He started working regularly in the late 1980s, mostly doing minor roles and advertisements. He was an original cast member of the ABC soap opera Loving, where he played Douglas Donovan from 1983 to 1985. Cranston starred in the short-lived series Raising Miranda in 1988. Cranston's voice acting includes English dubbing of Japanese anime (for which he primarily used the non-union pseudonym Lee Stone), including Macross Plus and Armitage III: Poly-Matrix, and most notably, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie as Fei-Long, and the children's series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Cranston did voice work for the 1993-94 first season of that series, playing characters such as Twin Man and Snizzard, for which he was paid about $50 an hour for two or three hours of daily work. The Blue Power Ranger, Billy Cranston, was named for him.
In 1994, Cranston got the recurring role of Dr. Tim Whatley, Jerry's dentist, on Seinfeld. He played the role until 1997. In 1996, he played the first of his two biographical roles as an astronaut when he portrayed Gus Grissom in the film That Thing You Do!
In 1997, he played a supporting role in the Michael Dudikoff action vehicle, the air hijack picture Strategic Command, with alongside Richard Norton, Paul Winfield, and Stephen Quadros. Later that year he had a small role in Babylon 5 as Ericsson, a starship captain who sacrifices himself to save humanity.
In 1998, Cranston appeared in an episode of The X-Files written by Vince Gilligan. That same year, he played his second astronaut role when he portrayed Buzz Aldrin in the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. In 1999, Cranston wrote and directed the film Last Chance. That same year he made his second appearance for a recurring role on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens, playing Doug Heffernan's neighbor, Tim Sacksky.
In 1998, he appeared in Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, as one-armed War Department Colonel I.W. Bryce, who reported to General George Marshall that Private Ryan was the last survivor of his brothers, and his assumed location. His theatrical credits include starring roles in The God of Hell, Chapter Two, The Taming of the Shrew, A Doll's House, Barefoot in the Park, Eastern Standard, Wrestlers, and The Steven Weed Show, for which he won a Drama-Logue Award. In 2000, Cranston landed a leading role as Hal on the comedy series Malcolm in the Middle. He would remain with the show until its end in 2006. Cranston ended up directing several episodes of the show and received three Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his performance
- Eagle Riders (1978-1980) - Joe Thax
- Dr. Slump (1981-1986) - Cop 2, Pencil Fowl, Coach 1, Rooster
- Teknoman (1992-1993) - Sargent Miles O'Rourke
OVAs & Specials
- Galaxy Express 999: Can You Love Like a Mother!? (1980) - Suitor
- Little Women (1980) - Theodore 'Laurie' Laurence
- Run for Life (1981) - Sarantus
- Undersea Encounter (1981) - Ricky
- Moldiver (1993) - Launch Control Center Technician (ep. 6)
- Orguss 02 (1993-1995) - Decimator Lookout (ep. 3), Gustav (ep. 3), Zafrin Gate Soldier 2 (ep. 3), On-Duty Soldier 2 (ep. 4), Outthrusted Rivilian Decimator Pilot (ep. 4), Rivilian Imperial Guard F (ep. 4)
- Macross Plus (1994-1995) - Isamu Alva Dyson
- Armitage III (1995) - Eddie Barrows
- Call of the Wild: Howl, Buck (1981) - Manuel, Pete, Gambler 2, Gambler 1, Bob's Comrade, Additional Voices
- Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (1987) - Matti Tohn
- Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie (1994) - Fei Long