'Breaking Bad' star Bryan Cranston recalls crossing paths with Charles Manson when he was a kid

Carrie Wittmer
Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston

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  • Actor Bryan Cranston crossed paths with cult leader and serial killer Charles Manson when he was a kid.

  • Manson died on Sunday at age 83.

  • Cranston said that he was "within his grasp" about a year before the brutal murders occurred in 1969, while at the Spahn Ranch in California.


Actor Bryan Cranston — who is known for his Emmy-winning role as the school teacher turned super-villain Walter White on AMC's "Breaking Bad" — said that when he was a kid, he crossed paths with Charles Manson.

Manson, a notorious cult leader and serial killer who instigated the murders of nine people in the 1960s including actress Sharon Tate, died on Sunday at the age of 83. He was in prison for more than 45 years. 

In a tweet on Monday, Cranston wrote:

"Hearing Charles Manson is dead, I shuddered. I was within his grasp just one year before the brutal Tate-LaBianca murders in 1969. Luck was with me when a cousin and I went horseback riding at the Spahn Ranch, and saw the little man with crazy eyes whom the other hippies called Charlie."

The Manson Family lived at the Spahn Ranch, and Cranston had no idea he was around a future killer at the time. Cranston's real-life experience shows how chilling it can be to cross paths with a killer, especially as a child.   

This isn't the first time Cranston shared this story. He told it in more detail last year during a talk with the Hudson Union Society. In the interview, he recalls that he couldn't take his eyes off of Manson. A year later, he heard about the murders and made the connection.

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