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Bryan Cranston will never know why his father abandoned the family when he was 11

Published 16/11/2015

Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston’s father “disappeared” from his life early on.

Bryan Cranston still has no idea why his father abandoned the family when the actor was 11.

The Breaking Bad star reconciled with his late dad in his early 20s but the old man would never discuss his reasons for leaving Cranston and his brother.

The actor tells Playboy magazine he feels sure alcoholism and drug abuse had something to do with his father's absence, revealing his dad was a failed actor, who "had a lot of issues, a lot of anger".

"We tried to talk about the past, about why he disappeared, but he wasn't interested in talking about it," Cranston explains. "He's of that generation that just likes to forget the past: 'It was a bad time,' he'd say.

"We kept trying, my brother and I, but we eventually realised he'd gone as far as he was willing or capable to go. So that was it."

The actor's dad died last year (14) and though he left his sons with little closure about why he abandoned them in their youth, a final gesture did at least let Cranston and his brother that he regretted his actions.

"The night before he died, he found a scrap of paper and scribbled out in his shaky handwriting, 'The best part of my life is when my children forgive me for the worst part of my life'," Cranston recalls. "We found it (note)... He knew the end was coming. He was feeling so awful. He died of congestive heart failure. He was in a bad place."

Cranston's bitter, aged dad inspired the star's Walter White character on Breaking Bad: "My dad has Walter's body shape. He carried the burden of missed opportunities on his shoulders, and therefore they were rounded.

"I think I told him a couple of times. It wasn't insulting, because he's 30 years older than me. I wanted Walter to have the body of a man who was much older than him."

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