| Last updated
People in side-by-side generations would have grown up with a very different Bryan Cranston on their TV screens.
Some who were gifted with the brilliant Malcolm in the Middle would have seen Bryan as this bumbling, middle-aged dad who was trying to keep control of his family and find purpose in his life - in a humorous way.
Those that were first introduced to Cranston in Breaking Bad would have seen almost the complete opposite character; a man who started out as meek before turning into a force to be reckoned with.
But his journey to becoming Hal and Walter was a long and rocky one.
His parents, who were both actors, weren't keen for their son to get into show business, mainly due to their mixed success in the industry.
Before he pursued his passion and he worked as an ordained minister, waiter, night-shift security guard, truck loader, camera operator and CCTV security guard at a supermarket. He came across Charles Manson while riding a horse at age 12, and was investigated for murder after the chef at the restaurant he worked at died suddenly.
Cranston got some minor roles and advertisement gigs before getting a voice role on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
The mid-1990s is where Bryan's career gathered pace, appearing in Seinfeld, The King of Queens and The X-Files, which is where he met Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan.
But before the pair worked together to create one of the best TV shows in history, Cranston landed a gig on Stephen Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan as War Department Colonel I.W. Bryce and Malcolm in the Middle - which he earned three Emmy Award nominations for Hal.
The 61-year-old appeared in a bunch of other films and shows before Gilligan came knocking for his new project with AMC.
Bryan became destitute and cancer stricken chemistry teacher Walter White who was struggling to find a way to look after his family. He could be mistaken as a more serious version of Hal, but as the seasons wore on and his death toll and meth empire climbed, the two characters couldn't be different.
His menacing, vengeful, take-no-shit attitude won him praise from critics and three back-to-back Emmy Awards for seasons one to three and another for the fifth chapter.
Bryan's role as Walter White was so brilliant that he received a fan letter from Sir Anthony Hopkins after the legendary actor binge watched the show.
In the letter, Sir Anthony wrote: "I know there is so much smoke blowing and sickening bullshit in this business, and I've sort of lost belief in anything really. But this work of yours is spectacular - absolutely stunning.
"From what started as a black comedy, descended into a labyrinth of blood, destruction and hell. It was like a great Jacobean, Shakespearian or Greek Tragedy.
"That kind of work/artistry is rare, and when, once in a while, it occurs, as in this epic work, it restores confidence. You and all the cast are the best actors I've ever seen. That may sound like a good lung full of smoke blowing. But it is not."
That's a pretty brilliant message from the bloke who brought us The Silence of the Lambs, The Remains of the Day, Nixon and Hitchcock.
At this year's Prince's Trust Awards, Cranston told LADbible: "When Tony wrote that, I was a little embarrassed to be honest. I was stunned. After the shock wore off, I was just grateful and amazed and so appreciative that a colleague reached out and said, 'what you've done affected me' and there's no better compliment."
Breaking Bad was definitely not the actor's last IMDB credit and he's gone on to appear in six films last year alone, as well as be the executive producer behind Sneaky Pete, Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams and All The Way.
Let's hope we get to see more of his brilliance in the future.
Featured Image Credit: 20th Century Fox/AMC
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read