Jonathan Banks – how he looked before Breaking Bad might surprise you

Jonathan Banks, renowned for his compelling performances spanning five decades, is best known as Breaking Bad’s Mike Ehrmantraut. The 77-year-old actor, with a career starting in the 1970s, faced a slow rise to stardom, finding prominence in the late 1980s with his role as FBI Special Agent Frank McPike in Wiseguy.

Banks reflected on his breakthrough role, saying, “It spoke to the darkness in all of us.” Following this, he portrayed antagonists in series like TJ Hooker and Simon & Simon. However, it was in 2009, with Breaking Bad, that Banks’ career took a transformative turn. His portrayal of Mike Ehrmantraut, described as “the hardman with a heart,” left an indelible mark, blending his own experiences into the character.

The actor candidly acknowledged his unconventional leading-man appearance, stating, “In the world of Hollywood and television, if you’re not beautiful, you better be able to act a little bit.” Despite often playing police officers or villains, Banks’ personal life has been less dramatic. Married twice, he expressed profound love for his second wife, Gennera Gonzalez Cebian, whom he met in Spain in 1988.

As Banks turns 77, he embraces the joys of family life. His daughter, Rebecca Elena Banks, follows in his footsteps, working as a film director and writer. Describing himself as “wildly lucky,” Banks appreciates the richness his wife, Gennera, brings to their family celebrations, showcasing a content and fulfilled side beyond his on-screen intensity.

In celebrating Jonathan Banks, we toast to his enduring talent, versatile legacy, and the silent moments that make him a maestro in the world of acting.