Bryan Cranston and his wife, Robin Dearden, met on the set of a television show, when Cranston “took her hostage”.
“My wife was the victim of the week, and I was the bad guy of the week, and I literally held her captive by gunpoint,” Cranston regaled, talking to Conan O’Brien.
Though they hit it off immediately, both stars were already dating someone else and decided not to pursue each other. A year later, they met again in an improv class—and realized they were the right people, and this was the right time. “I think it was serendipitous,” Cranston said. “Because, as Robin says, if we had been unencumbered at the time and started dating, she doesn’t think that we would have stayed together.”
They credit their ability to stay together to a clever arrangement: whenever one of them suggests therapy, the other person must accept and participate. Cranston described why this works to The Irish News, writing, “I might say, ‘I’ll probably listen because I don’t have anything to say’, but every time, without exception, I’ll engage, and pretty soon both of us are involved. And every time, we’ve always left there holding hands and just a little bit closer. We’ve been married 27 years and therapy had definitely helped secure our happy marriage.”
Their marriage began in 1989, when Cranston proposed to Dearden in the bathtub. Cranston put the engagement ring on one of his toes, because he was too nervous to ask Dearden to her face.
She said “yes”, and they had one daughter, Taylor Dearden, who is also an actress. Both Deardens were guest actors on Cranston’s pivotal project, Breaking Bad.
The actor and his wife now live in Southern California. Cranston is currently playing the title character on HBO’s, The Judge.