Bryan Cranston: '80s television commercial star

Long before "Breaking Bad," the actor was the face of Preparation H

By Prachi Gupta
September 12, 2013 11:00PM (UTC)
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(Helga Esteb /

A recent New Yorker profile of "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston reminds Walter White fans that 30 years ago, the meth kingpin "scrabbled after guest-star roles on crappy TV shows while making his living in commercials."

It's hard to imagine now, but in the 1980s Cranston played "a bland smoothie with bread-load hair who just happened to love Shield Deodorant Soap, Arrow Shirts, Coffee-mate, and Excedrin, a middle-of-the-bell-curve guy who, despite his initial skepticism, was really sold on the product."


"I had that everyman look--nonthreatening, non-distracting, no facial hair. I fit in," he told profiler Tad Friend.

Here are more of "the everyman's" old commercials:

Preparation H

Coors Light

JC Penney


Shield Deodorant






And of course, Cranston in his 1982 debut role as Sam, a bisexual man who cheats on his wife with another man in cheesy CHN/Lifetime show "Crisis Counselor":

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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