Bryan Cranston is reflecting on his unstable childhood with the U.K.’s Sunday Times this week, opening up to the newspaper about being abandoned by his parents and the emotional scars that plague him to this day.
The actor spoke at length with the news outlet about his parents — father Joe, and mother Peggy — who were incapable of caring for him and his two siblings when the “Trumbo” star was just a tween.
When Cranston was 11 years of age, his father fled from home after failing to launch an acting career of his own. “[My father] chose not to be with us or see us or be a father,” the actor says of his absent dad. “My mother chose to become an alcoholic and drown her sorrows and sadness and resentment. She was like a ghost of herself. And no one ever explained why he left.”
Now, at 60 and having achieved years of success in Hollywood, Cranston is still coping with the scars of his childhood. “There’s still a lot of pain I’m dealing with,” he admits. “It’s worse than if they died in a car crash, because they were still there physically, somewhere. My mom and dad up through 10-years-old were really wonderful, that’s what was so awful about it. My mother was engaging and my dad was my coach; we did things together and he brought home a donkey for us to play with.”
“Then it all disappeared,” he adds.
Years later, Cranston was able to repair his relationship with his parents and managed to bond with his father shortly before his death.
A touching note written by his dad only three days before he died at his home revealed: “The highlight of my life was when my children forgave me.”