How Bryan Cranston Achieved a Net Worth of $30 Million (2024)

How Bryan Cranston Achieved a Net Worth of $30 Million (1)

63-year-old actor Bryan Cranston is now worth an astronomical fortune… $30 million, to be precise. Anyone who’s familiar with the massive success of Breaking Bad probably isn't too surprised at the news. Those who’re unaware of its cult status, on the other hand, are probably a little bemused as to how an actor who didn’t get his big break until the age of 38 has managed to pull in such a massive fortune.

Net Worth$30 Million
NameBryan Lee Cranston
BornLos Angeles, California
Birth DateMarch 7, 1956
Source of WealthActor, Director, Producer, Screenwriter
CountryUnited States

A Slow Start

Cranston began performing in amateur productions as a youth, but discouraged by his parents (who weren’t too keen on their son becoming an “entertainer”), he held back from pursuing acting professionally until several years later. His early jobs were, not to put too fine a point on it, “interesting”, and he spent several years after graduating working as everything from a “minister for hire” to a truck loader to a camera operator for a video dating company. By the time he reached his 30s, he’d clearly decided that risking the wrath of his parents was probably a better option than taking any more fly by night jobs. By the late 1980s, he began popping up regularly in TV commercials and in minor roles on shows such as Amazon Women on the Moon and The Big Turnaround. Although the pay at that stage was barely worth writing home about (his voice-over work on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers between 1993-94 earned him a paltry $50 a day), things started to change when he landed the career-changing role of Dr. Tim Whatley, Jerry's dentist, on Seinfeld, a role he played from 1994 -1997.

The Rise to Fame

2 years after landing the part of Dr. Tim Whatley, Cranston took his career one step further when he featured in Tom Hanks’ directorial debut, That Thing You Do. A little of Hanks’ stardust must have rubbed off on the younger actor, as soon, casting directors were lining up to score him for their own features. After spending the next few years appearing in the likes of The X-files, Babylon 5, Strategic Command, The King of Queens, From the Earth to the Moon, and Saving Private Ryan (not to mention making a name for himself in theater productions of 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), Cranston was offered the leading role of Hal in Malcolm in the Middle. Cranston starred on the show throughout its entire 6-year run; by the end of it, he’d not only managed to score household name status and three Primetime Emmy Award nominations, but he’d also made headway behind the lens by directing several episodes of the hit comedy.

Malcolm in the Middle to Breaking Bad

After Malcolm in the Middle ended in 2006, Cranston spent several years capitalizing on his newly earned stardom by taking roles in such popular features as The Flash, How I Met Your Mother, Fallen, and the cult film, Little Miss Sunshine. It was 2 years after leaving Malcolm in the Middle, however, that Cranston’s career went stratospheric with the role of Walter White in Breaking Bad. The impact of the series can’t be overstated, and even now, several years after its end, it’s still considered one of the most seminal shows of the 21st century. At the heart of its success was Cranston’s performance as White, a performance that managed to land him a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for every one of the show's first three seasons, a nomination in the fourth season, and a further award for the 5th.

According to The Richest, Cranston managed to pull in around $125 thousand for each episode of Breaking Bad. While this in itself would have been enough to support a very comfortable lifestyle, Cranston decided to up the ante (and his income) by combing his TV career with a successful one in film and theatre. Among his credits from the period include roles in John Carter, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Rock of Ages, Godzilla, Robot Chicken, Total Recall and Argo, and a year in residence as Lyndon B. Johnson in the American Repertory Theater and Broadway productions of All the Way.

Post Breaking Bad

Some actors live and die by a show. No matter how bright their star during its run, the end of the series spells the end of their career. Fortunately, Cranston has managed to avoid landing up in this unlucky camp, going from strength to strength since Breaking Bad ended in 2013. As a director, he’s scored work on Modern Family, The Office, and Sneaky Peak. As a voice-over artist on video games, he’s entertained us on Madagascar 3: The Video Game, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, The Simpsons: Tapped Out, and Breaking Bad: Criminal Elements. On stage, he’s charmed us as Howard Beale in Network, and on TV and film, he’s kept us enthralled in everything from Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams (2017) and Curb Your Enthusiasm (2017) to The Infiltrator (2016), Wakefield (2016), Last Flag Flying (2017), Isle of Dogs (2018), and El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019).

Award Success Equals a Healthy Fortune

The result of Cranston’s impressive work ethic speaks for itself. At the time of writing, Cranston is the proud owner of 2 Golden Globe Awards, 6 Primetime Emmy Awards, 5 Screen Actors Guild Awards, 2 Tony Awards, 1 Annie Award, 2 Critic’s Choice Awards, 1 Drama Desk Award, 1 Hollywood Film Award, 1 Laurence Olivier Award, 5 Satellite Awards, 2 Saturn Awards, 1 Television Critics Association Award, 1 Monte-Carlo Television Festival Award, and more nominations than most of us have had hot dinners. With such an impressive trophy cabinet, it’s little wonder his bank balance is in such great shape.

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How Bryan Cranston Achieved a Net Worth of $30 Million (2024)


How Bryan Cranston Achieved a Net Worth of $30 Million? ›

Bryan Cranston's wealth primarily comes from his successful acting career. He has starred in numerous films and television shows, including "Breaking Bad," "Malcolm in the Middle," and "The Powerpuff Girls." He has also directed and produced several projects.

How much money did Bryan Cranston make from Breaking Bad? ›

How much do Cranston and Paul earn per episode as meth cooks? Cranston takes home a cool $225,000 per episode, while Paul earns $150,000. (Not bad for someone who was originally supposed to be killed off at the end of season one.) That puts Cranston's salary for the final eight episodes of the series at $1.8 million.

How did Bryan Cranston get the role of Walter White? ›

Gilligan cast Bryan Cranston for the role of Walter White based on having worked with him in "Drive" from The X-Files, on which Gilligan worked as a writer. Cranston played an antisemite with a terminal illness who took Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) hostage.

Who is the richest actor in Breaking Bad? ›

Bryan Cranston: $40 million (£31.7m)

Like many of his co-stars, Cranston reprised his Breaking Bad character in Better Call Saul and El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. He's since gone on to appear in a number of blockbuster films, including Godzilla (2014), Why Him? (2016), and Wes Anderson's Asteroid City (2023).

What is the net worth of Bryan Cranston? ›

As of 2024, Bryan Cranston's net worth is estimated to be $40 million. Most of his fortune comes from his acting jobs.

Why did Breaking Bad get Cancelled? ›

Breaking Bad cost $3 million per episode to produce, higher than the average cost for a basic cable program. Around 2010, AMC had expressed to Sony Pictures Television and Gilligan that they felt that the third season would be the last for Breaking Bad.

Who is the highest paid actor per episode? ›

Recently, Variety broke down some of the astronomical paychecks TV stars are earning, and the numbers are surprising. According to the report, Kevin Costner is possibly the highest-paid actor on TV, taking home $1.3 million per episode for his performance in Yellowstone.

Who was the first choice to play Walter White in Breaking Bad? ›

Bryan Cranston was not the first choice for the role of Walter White. In fact, casting him took some convincing by the show's creator and writer. At the show's inception, the role of Walter White was initially offered to actors Matthew Broderick and John Cusack.

How did Walter White get so rich? ›

Walter White's net worth increased significantly throughout Breaking Bad, as he transitioned from making money for his family to building an empire and becoming one of the most respected drug lords.

Who helped Walter White the most? ›

Skyler White

Similar to Saul and Jesse, Skyler ended up becoming one of Walt's biggest enablers. Instead of walking away for the sake of her family, she eventually assisted Walt in some of his biggest schemes, making him lose sight of all rationality.

What is Jesse Pinkman's net worth? ›

Net Worth of Aaron Paul

As of 2021, Aaron Paul's net worth is estimated to be $25 million. Paul began his career in the mid-1990s by appearing in television commercials and several minor roles in film and television productions until he found major success with his performance as Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad.

How much money did Saul make from Walter? ›

He also would have made money off of the many clients he helped. Because of Walt's dealings with Gus and the 80 million Walt received working with Lydia, Saul would have made almost 5 million alone over the course of BB serving Walt.

Are Tom Hanks and Bryan Cranston friends? ›

Tom Hanks is a Mentor for Bryan Cranston

“I have known [Hanks] for 30 years, and I've watched him on set. Our wives are very good friends, and my wife was in their wedding.

Who does Bryan Cranston live with? ›

She has been working at PEOPLE since 2022. Her work has previously appeared in Food & Wine, Insider and Apartment Therapy. Bryan Cranston and his wife, actress Robin Dearden, have shared more than three decades of marriage together.

How much of Breaking Bad did Bryan Cranston direct? ›

Bryan Cranston directed three episodes of Breaking Bad — "Seven Thirty-Seven," "No Más," and "Blood Money." "Seven Thirty-Seven" was the season 2 premiere of the AMC crime drama series, so Cranston stepped behind the camera only eight episodes into the show's run.

Do Breaking Bad actors get royalties? ›

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight Canada on a recent SAG-AFTRA picket line, the Emmy-winning actor blasted the current state of Hollywood residuals, saying, "I don't get a piece from Netflix on Breaking Bad, if we're being totally honest, and that's insane to me."

How much money did Walter White make throughout Breaking Bad? ›

By the time he retired from the drug business permanently, Walt had accumulated over US$80 million from his involvement in the drug trade.

How much did Vince Gilligan make from Breaking Bad? ›

Vince Gilligan, an acclaimed American television writer, director, and producer known for telling gritty stories on the small screen, has accumulated a net worth of $45 million after creating the popular show "Breaking Bad." He also went on to make "Better Call Saul," a spin-off of the show, during a career spanning ...

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