WATCHING a man die in a grisly suicide shaped the stel­lar acting career of “Breaking Bad” star BRYAN CRANSTON!

The three-time Emmy winner – who previously played harried dad Hal in the cult comedy series “Malcolm in the Middle” – says the horrific experience has helped him deliver gritty performances as chemistry teacher-turned-meth kingpin Walter White on the hit AMC series.

“Bryan still uses that disturb­ing memory as a motivator when he’s acting,” a close pal told The ENQUIRER . “He’s gone as far as saying it is responsible for every bit of suc­cess he’s had.”

The now-56- year-old star was barely making a living in New York City when the incident oc­curred, and he still recalls it in vivid detail.

“In 1987, I was walking to the doctor because I had a gastrointestinal bug,” he said. “I was just turning the corner when I heard ‘Bam! Blunk! Aaah!’ I turn and see a man on the street…blood on the ground, his eyes are turning up.

“I put my hands under his head so it would be softer than the asphalt, and I could feel him gurgling.”

Cranston mistakenly thought the man was a victim of a hit-and-run accident. But when he realized that the guy had thrown himself from an upper-floor window, the horror of it struck a nerve.

“I was so delirious from illness that, as I watched him die…I became angry at the man and pulled back from him,” he said.

That feeling stayed with him, and he still draws from it.

In a re­cent interview, Cranston noted: “Every expe­rience feeds an actor.”