Dueling Cranstons: 'Bad' teacher befriends Lenape teacher

This is the autographed "Breaking Bad" cast photo that actor Bryan Cranston (Walter White) sent to real high-school teacher Brian Cranston, of Medford, N.J.
This is the autographed "Breaking Bad" cast photo that actor Bryan Cranston (Walter White) sent to real high-school teacher Brian Cranston, of Medford, N.J.
Posted: August 26, 2014

 B RYAN CRANSTON thinks Brian Cranston spells his name wrong.

Bryan with a "Y" played Walter White in the critically adored "Breaking Bad," the AMC drama about a high-school chemistry teacher who turns to cooking meth after he's diagnosed with cancer.

Tonight, Bryan will vie for his fourth Emmy award as a lead actor, the final time he'll be able to win as White since the show wrapped up last year. He's not actually a chemistry teacher, he just played one on TV.

Brian with an "I" is actually a high-school chemistry teacher, molding young minds at Lenape High School, in Medford, N.J.

Andrew Ortner, a "Breaking Bad" producer, caught wind of the Medford Cranston and sent him a signed picture of the cast along with a script with a personal note from the more famous Cranston that read, "Brian, Let's make a deal, I'll stay out of the chemistry class and you stay out of the drug making business, Deal? Teach 'em well. P.S. You spell your name wrong."

Our local Cranston loves the attention that the much-lauded actor has given him. It has to be worth it alone for back-to-school night when he introduces himself to a whole new class of parents.

But does he even like "Breaking Bad"?

"We were latecomers to the show," said Amy Cranston, wife of incorrectly spelled Cranston and a director of social media at La Salle. "We had been hearing about it for years and we were obviously curious, but with three little kids we had no time to watch.

"We started watching this summer while I was on maternity leave and Brian is on break, and we are obsessed! We love it! Because of the show, I love two Brian Cranstons. My Brian Cranston only slightly more."

* Pitman's own Madeline Brewer, who wowed as Trish, the cornrowed shoplifter with a heart of gold, in the first season of Netflix's "Orange is the New Black," will be hitting the Emmys red carpet tonight. I hear the striking Brewer, who had a major arc on Netflix's horror show "Hemlock Grove," will be clad in Theia.


* King of the Parrotheads, Jimmy Buffet, was seen dining at Alma de Cuba (1623 Walnut St.) on Wednesday evening, the day after playing a sold-out show at the Susquehanna Bank Center. He ate with four buddies and was seen chatting it up with Alma de Cuba co-owner Douglas Rodriguez.

* Country superstars Lady Antebellum rocked the party at the Hamels Foundation's annual Diamonds and Denim event, with proceeds benefiting local schools and education in Malawi, Africa. Notables in attendance included Hamels' teammates (such as Ryan Howard and Dom Brown), New Orleans Pelican Ryan Anderson, former NHLer Jay Caufield and more.

* Diners caused quite the stir on Broad Street on Thursday night for Diner en Blanc, a pop-up picnic where revelers are required to wear white. (See Party People, Page 27.) There were some recognizable faces in the sea of white, including Fox 29's Mike Jerrick and his new co-anchor, Alex Holley; NBC10's Jillian Mele; QVC's Erin Elmore; Vanity Fair's Michael Callahan; and WMMR's Preston and Steve Show associate producer Marisa Magnatta, who also happened to be celebrating her birthday.

Stars flock to Martorano's

South Philly born-and-bred Steve Martorano hosted a few hundred of his closest friends Saturday night at the grand-opening bash for Martorano's, his red-gravy-and-pasta joint inside Harrah's Resort Atlantic City, reports the People Paper's own Chuck Darrow.

Among the revelers were former Eagle Vince Papale, actor Leo Rossi, Tony Luke Jr., Bobby Rydell and rappers Fat Joe and the Sugarhill Gang. Video greetings from the likes of Jimmy Kimmel and Ludacris were screened.

Several of the above guests sang for their suppers, as it were. Rydell offered rousing versions of two of his signature tunes, "Volare" and "Wildwood Days" ("I came here for a free dinner and I have to work," he mock-complained), while Luke crooned his self-penned "Right Here," which was released nationally last Tuesday. The Sugarhill Gang had most of the guests on their feet for an extended set that included their hit "Apache."

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