Let’s be honest; we’re totally obsessed with watching TV series’. Sure, we COULD go outside and hang out with actual people – but people suck, so why would we want to do that? Instead, we can sit happy as Larry (apparently Larry is pretty happy) on our comfortable couch, with our feet up, the sound turned up to full volume, and avoid the human race completely (apart from the pizza delivery guy, of course). Yep, we love our fictional people more than real, human people, and we can’t get enough of their epic storylines; especially when they involve an old chemistry teacher making illicit substances as a little (okay, MAJOR) side job after he is diagnosed with lung cancer. Of course, we’re talking about Breaking Bad – one of the best TV shows in the history of TV shows. This epic neo-western crime drama graced our screens in January 2008 and spanned across 5 seasons, and 62 episodes, before it sadly ended in September 2013.
Over the course of its run, the show brought in millions of viewers who couldn’t tear their eyes away Walter White and Jesse Pinkman’s life of crime. Because despite the dangers involved in making these illegal substances, Walter is set on providing financial stability for his family before his impending death. Will he be able to do so without being caught in the process?
One of the (many) reasons fans love Breaking Bad so much is because of the cast. You’ve got Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Bob Odenkirk and some of the biggest male names in Hollywood. However, Breaking Bad received major backlash due to its lack of female characters. Sure, there’s the odd few ladies here and there – but they rarely got the credit they deserved. So, we’re here to change that! We’re going to delve into the lives of the women who appeared on the show, and take a look at the Breaking Bad women: then and now…
Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader – Then
Marie Schrader is the kind of character we love to hate. Sure, she’s a loving sister and probably a nice woman in real life – but she just has to put her nose in everyone’s business, which isn’t great when you’re trying to run an illegal substances business (yep, we’re looking at you, Walter). Nevertheless, the purple-loving Marie Schrader does prove that she is a wonderful wife to DEA agent Hank Schrader, and takes amazing care of her husband after he is shot by Leonel and Marco Salamanca, more commonly knows as ‘The Cousins.’
Betsy Brandt – Now
Although she is a successful actress, Betsy Brandt is still largely recognized for her role in Breaking Bad – but she has had some pretty high profile roles that most of us would be pretty jealous of. Throughout her career, she has acted both on the stage and the screen and has had minor guest roles on shows such as ER, NCIS, Without a Trace, The Practice, and Boston Legal. Currently, Betsy is a series regular on the popular CBS show, Life in Pieces.
Jessica Hecht as Gretchen Schwartz – Then
We were first introduced to Gretchen Schwartz in season 1, and she later made appearances in season 2 and 5 – and what an appearance it was. Although she was not a major character, she did serve a vital role in the Walter White story. Yep, after Gretchen and her husband offered to pay for Walter’s cancer treatment, he turned them down. However, Walter later told his wife that they WERE paying for his treatment; when, in fact, he was cooking up illegal substances instead. Let’s just say it all got a bit messy.
Jessica Hecht – Now
Although she only appeared in a few seasons of Breaking Bad, Jessica didn’t need the show to boost her celeb status – as she had already proved that she was a force to be reckoned with. Over the course of her career, Hecht has appeared in numerous TV shows, including Friends, Lois & Clark, Law & Order, The Good Wife and ER. However, she has also made a name for herself as an incredible Tony Award-nominated Broadway actor. In 2016, she appeared as Golde in Broadway’s Fiddler on the Roof. Pretty cool, huh?
Tina Parker as Francesca – Then
If you ever wanted to find Francesca, you would normally just be able to follow the direction of raised voices – because she would almost always be arguing with Saul Goodman. Francesca was Saul’s secretary in Saul Goodman & Associates, but she was also his second mother. She would always ensure he had taken the correct vitamins, and she would also do his dirty work for him. As time went on, Francesca became even more involved in Saul’s dodgy dealings. Oooooh.
Tina Parker – Now
Although we were incredibly impressed with Francesca’s ability to change from lawyer to secretary, to police impersonator, to gang communicator in seconds, Tina Parker is only really known for these roles. Of course, Saul Goodman’ secretary would not only appear in Breaking Bad – Tina also reprised her role for the popular Breaking Bad spin-off series, Better Call Saul, which focused primarily on Francesca’s boss Saul Goodman, rather than Walter White. We’ll leave it to you to discuss which one is better…
Kaija Bales as Kaylee Ehrmantraut – Then
Kaylee Ehrmantraut is a true example of an innocent young mind getting caught up in a whole load of drama. As the granddaughter of Mike Ehrmantraut, Kaylee has no real idea of the illegal activities that are going on around her. Instead, she focuses her time on playing games (Hungry Hippos is her favorite, obviously) and creating a bond with her grandfather. However, her life soon becomes bait as Mike is interrogated by the DEA, who questions Kaylee’s whereabouts.
Kaija Bales – Now
Nowadays, Kaija Bales looks a little different to her 10-year-old character on Breaking Bad. In fact, she is now 17-years-old! From an early age, Kaija knew she wanted to be a performer, and would often be found at dance recitals and local stage productions. However, she was offered the opportunity of a lifetime in 2009 when she was cast in seasons 3 and 5 of Breaking Bad. Since then, she has yet to be cast in any other movie or TV series, so we hope to see her back on our screens soon.
Tess Harper as Mrs. Pinkman – Then
We just have one question; why are you like this?! Yep, Mrs. Pinkman is the worrisome mother of Jesse Pinkman – Walter White’s associate and the deuteragonist of the show. From season 1, we discover that Mrs. Pinkman is thoroughly against Jesse’s chosen lifestyle, and maintains that he must stay clean to continue living at his Aunt’s house. If not, then he’s out on the streets. As the seasons go by, Mrs. Pinkman grows increasingly worried for her son, but Jesse becomes even more skilled at hiding his illicit actions…
Tess Harper – Now
Despite her pretty major role in Breaking Bad, Tess Harper is a Hollywood legend in her own right. Harper started her acting career in 1983 in the popular movie, Tender Mercies – and only went and received a Golden Globe nomination because of it! Since then, she has appeared in numerous other films, including Far North, Flashpoint, No Country for Old Men and Ishtar. She is currently filming for the 2017 movie, Burden, where she will be playing a character by the name of Hazel.
Julie Dretzin as Pamela – Then
If you have a pretty bad memory, you might not remember Pamela, as she only ever appeared in season 3. Nevertheless, she did play a relatively significant role in this season as Skyler White’s divorce attorney. During this season, Pamela served as a major source of comfort and also a voice of reason during Skyler and Walter’s divorce proceedings. However, she soon learns of Walt’s illicit side business and offers to turn him over to the police. Uh-oh.
Julie Dretzin – Now
Although she is a very talented actress, Julie Dretzin is still largely known for her role in Breaking Bad. However, we think her talents deserve even more credit (she doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page!) Throughout her acting career, Julie has appeared in numerous movies, including Ride, Beastly and Goodbye World – so she is kind of a big deal. Dretzin is also pretty used to the world of fame and fortune, as she is married to the famous author, Sam Catlin.
Mary Sue Evans as Janice – Then
Let’s be honest, Janice didn’t have the biggest role on Breaking Bad – but she did provide vital support for Hank Schrader in his times of need. As his hard-working secretary at the Albuquerque DEA Field Office, Janice was always on hand to check over his papers and answer his calls. In season 3, Janice was provided vital information that helped him track down the illicit RV truck that would have led him to Walter White.
Mary Sue Evans – Now
Like many of the other actresses on this list, Mary Sue Evans is best known for her role on Breaking Bad – but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t done anything else in her professional acting career. Throughout her time in Hollywood, Evans has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, including Killer Women, The Night Shift, The Astronaut Farmer (which sounds like something we really want to watch), Swing Vote and Wildfire. However, she hasn’t been on our screens since 2015.
Catherine Haun as Margaret – Then
If there’s one thing we learned from Breaking Bad, is that you should NEVER throw a flowerpot in Margaret’s office – because she won’t be happy about it. If you cast your memories back to seasons 2 and 3 of the show, you’ll probably remember Beneke Fabricators, where Skyler applies for a job. When she turns up to her interview, she is greeted by Margaret, the receptionist. Although she doesn’t have much to say herself, she definitely sees a lot going on in that office…
Catherine Haun – Now
Although she was relatively unknown when she appeared on Breaking Bad, Catherine Haun is slowly but surely making a name for herself in the world of Hollywood. Since her time on the show, she has appeared in major TV series, such as Manhattan, Preacher, Longmire, and In Plain Sight. However, she is currently dominating the movie world, considering she has worked on eight movies in 2017 alone! Now that is impressive. She has recently completed filming of the 2018 movie, Soldado.
Dale Dickey as Spooge’s Lady – Then
Yep, we kinda think she should have a better name than simply ‘Spooge’s Lady’ too – but alas, that is what the show decided to call her. Nevertheless, this woman appeared in various episodes of season 2 of Breaking Bad and was mostly known as a devastating and dangerous addict who teams up with her husband to steal narcotics from dealers, namely Skinny Pete. They do this by holding their victims at knifepoint – so you wouldn’t want to meet this one on a dark night.
Dale Dickey – Now
Despite her seemingly insignificant role in Breaking Bad, Dale Dickey has actually procured a rather impressive resume. From her experiences on the stage and the screen, Dickey has won numerous awards, including an Independent Spirit Award for her role in Winter’s Bone. She has also starred in popular TV shows, including True Blood, My Name Is Earl, Vice Principals, and Justified. As if that wasn’t cool enough, she has also starred alongside Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man (which is the dream).
Julia Minesci as Wendy – Then
Okay, considering Breaking Bad is all about illegal activities, cartels, and questionable substances, it’s no surprise we had a character like Wendy. As a ‘lady of the night,’ Wendy is in a pretty bad place during seasons 1, 2 and 3. She does her ‘work’ in a parking lot, she’s addicted to narcotics, and she hangs around with the wrong crowd. As if that wasn’t enough to deal with, she also has to try and look after her young son. At one point, she even has to deal with Jesse Pinkman…
Julia Minesci – Now
Julia Minesci first rose to fame in the late ‘00s, when she was cast in Breaking Bad. In fact, Breaking Bad was her first ever professional gig! (Not a bad starter, ey?) After two years on the show, her career seemed to slow down. Although she was cast in the TV miniseries, Breaking Bad: Original Minisodes and the movie short, Me & My Deadbeat Husband, she hasn’t really been seen or heard from again. We hope she makes a return to acting soon.
Laura Fraser as Lydia Rodarte-Quayle – Then
We first met Lydia Rodarte-Quayle in season five of Breaking Bad – and at first, she seemed like your ordinary, professional businessperson. As the Head of Logistics at Madrigal Electromotive GmbH, she seemed pretty legit, until she revealed she was involved with the cartel (yeah, that’ll do it). However, cartels just aren’t enough for her, as she later joins forces with Walt and Jesse AND the White Supremacist Gang. As you do. Unfortunately, these allegiances eventually end in her demise (spoiler alert).
Laura Fraser – Now
This Scottish actress has definitely made an impression on the American TV circuit – especially when it comes to gangs, violence, and crime (well, it is pretty niche). Alongside her role in Breaking Bad, Laura Fraser also bagged herself a major character in the popular Breaking Bad spin-off series, Better Call Saul. Nowadays, she is focusing her talents a little closer to her native home and has recently starred in two British crime dramas, The Missing, and The Loch.
Carmen Serano as Carmen Molina – Then
Carmen Molina is the kind of character that seemed to make everything okay – even if the world was going up in flames. As the Assistant Principal of J.P Wynne High School, and then eventually the Principal, Molina was Walter’s boss and served as a priceless friend during his cancer diagnosis. She was always supportive of him and was constantly there to lend words of encouragement. However, Walter then ruined it all by attempting to kiss her. Darnit, Walter.
Carmen Serano – Now
Carmen Serano is not one of the biggest names on this list, but she is definitely one of the most versatile. Over the course of her career, Serano has made a name for herself as the ‘other Carmen’ from Breaking Bad, but she has also taken on varied and diverse roles in the world of television and cinema. In 2007, she starred alongside Steven Seagal in the epic movie, Urban Justice – and if you’ve starred alongside Steven Seagal, you know you’ve made it.
Emily Rios as Andrea Cantillo – Then
Fans of Breaking Bad (which is everyone, right?) first met Andrea Cantillo in season three, while Jesse was attending Narcotics Anonymous – not for his own addictions, but to sell others his product. There he met Andrea, the mother of Brock Cantillo. Before too long, Jesse and Andrea had started a relationship together, and Jesse had a close bond with the single mother and her young son. However, as gang violence and illegal substances got involved, things became complicated, and Andrea was eventually killed.
Emily Rios – Now
Emily Rios first started her professional acting career in 2005, after she was discovered in a shopping mall (yep, there’s still hope for us yet!) Since then, she has appeared in various independent movies, including Quinceanera, For Them and Vicious Circle. She got her big break when she was cast as Andrea in Breaking Bad and has since bagged herself a role in Friday Night Lights, From Dusk til Dawn and The Bridge. Currently, she is starring in the FX drama, Snowfall.
Anna Gunn as Skyler White – Then
Of course, with a surname like White, it’s no secret who Skyler White was married to (the lucky lady). As the wife of Walter White, Skyler is also the loving mother of their teenage son and young daughter – but their marriage soon comes under strain as Walter becomes even more distant and strange (which was probably the fumes). For most of the show, Skyler had no idea what her husband was up to. Inevitably, she eventually found out, though. At first, she was mortified at what her husband was doing. Then, she offered him her help. After that, she tried to run away. We think she needed to make her mind up.
Anna Gunn – Now
The amazing Skyler White was played by Anna Gunn – and she certainly made an impression as Walter’s wife. In fact, she won two Primetime Emmy Awards for this role! Since her time on Breaking Bad, Gunn has appeared in numerous TV shows and movies, including Quantum Leap, Rita, and Secrets of Eden. In 2016, she appeared as one of the lead roles in the popular Wall Street movie, Equity. And it’s fair to say that she rocked it.
Krysten Ritter as Jane Margolis – Then
Although Jane Margolis had her demons, she was just so darn cool. With her brunette locks and her piercing stare, this tattoo artist first gained our attention as Jesse Pinkman’s landlord, neighbor, and ultimately, his girlfriend (oo-er). Although a recovering addict, Jane soon succumbs to Jesse’s ways and relapses back into old habits – with Jesse in tow. Of course, this is Breaking Bad we’re talking about, so it’s a bit more dramatic than that. So dramatic, in fact, that these substances cause Jane’s death. *sobs*
Krysten Ritter – Now
Let’s be honest, Krysten Ritter is one of our favorite actresses, like, EVER. Although she was a highly memorable character on Breaking Bad, her appearance is just a small speck on her lengthy resume. Over the course of her career, Krysten has been the face behind Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23 and has appeared in the likes of Veronica Mars, Gossip Girl, Confessions of a Shopaholic and more. More recently, she has starred as the epic superheroine in Marvel’s Jessica Jones. We love you, Krysten.