About Susan Sarandon
Born Oct. 4, 1946 in Jackson Heights, NY, Sarandon was raised the oldest of 10 siblings by Phillip, a nightclub singer during the big band era who later became an advertising executive, and Lenora, a homemaker. She was a quiet, shy child who grew up in suburban Metuchen, NJ, where she attended Edison High School in nearby Edison. After graduation in 1964, she went to Catholic University in Washington, D.C., where she lacked direction or purpose, but did take acting classes, though without the intention of pursuing it as a career. In 1967, she married her first husband, Chris Sarandon, whom she had met at Catholic University. Shortly after getting married, Sarandon followed her husband to New York City, where he auditioned for an agent. On a whim, he brought Sarandon into the room with him in order to have a friendly face to read to - the agent came away impressed with both actors and signed both as his clients. Less than a week later, Sarandon was sent to read for a leading role in "J " (1970), playing a drugged-out hippie thrown into a mental institution after her father (Dennis Patrick) guns down her dealer boyfriend (Patrick McDermott), who then teams up with a gun-crazed bigot (Peter Doyle) to track her down in Greenwich Village after she escapes.
Despite stumbling upon an acting career, Sarandon took to her newfound calling with abandon, though not without its initial difficulties. She appeared in several smaller features roles, including "Fleur Blue" (1971) and "Mortadella" (1972), before turning to television with a regular role as Sara Fairbanks on "Search for Tomorrow" (CBS/NBC, 1951-1987). After landing more substantial parts with bigger names, notably Sidney Lumet's "Lovin' Molly" (1974) and Billy Wilder's underwhelming remake of "The Front Page" (1972), Sarandon made herself known - with the midnight crowd, at least - when she starred in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (1975), the cult classic that survived for decades with successive midnight showings that created a subculture of freaks and geeks dressing like the characters and acting out scenes in the theater. Sarandon was Janet, one half of a WASP-ish couple (the other half played by Barry Bostwick) who stumble upon a mansion occupied by a motley crew of Transylvanian weird s led by Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry), a transvestite claiming to be from another planet. One did not have to be a rabid fan to long remember Sarandon running around for most of the film in a bra and slip.
Around the time she had a co-starring role in the Robert Redford film "The Great Waldo Pepper" (1975), Sarandon and her husband, Chris, divorced. But her career continued unabated. In "Dragonfly" (1976), she played a woman who falls for a man (Beau Bridges) recently released from a psychiatric hospital, then followed with a small supporting role in the goofy road comedy "The Great Smokey Roadblock" (1976). Following turns in "Crash" (1976) and "The Other Side of Midnight" (1977), she played a New Orleans prostitute at the turn of the century whose 12-year-old daughter, Violet (Brooke Shields), attracts the attention of a photographer (Keith Carradine) shooting a photo series on prostitutes in the controversial "Pretty Baby" (1978), directed by her then-companion, Louis Malle. She was directed by Malle in "Atlantic City" (1980), the crime drama that finally turned her into a star. Sarandon played Sally, a casino croupier who comes into possession of a large amount of mob-owned drugs courtesy of her thieving boyfriend (Robert Joy). With the mob on her trail, Sally turns to an old-time gangster (Burt Lancaster), who reinvigorates his life by killing the thugs sent to kill her. Sarandon's exceptional turn - which included an infamous scene of bathing her breasts in lemons - earned her an Oscar nod for Best Actress.
After co-starring in a contemporary telling of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" (1982), she played a premature aging expert who gets sucked into the blood-thirsty seduction of a vampire (Catherine Deneuve) in "The Hunger" (1983), perhaps the more infamous of Sarandon's early work, thanks to a lesbian love scene with Deneuve. Sarandon then found prominent work on television, starring in movies-of-the-week like "A.D." (NBC, 1985) and "Women of Valor" (CBS, 1986), before getting back on track in features playing one of three women - along with Cher and Michelle Pfeiffer - who fall prey to the temptations of Satan (Jack Nicholson) in "The Witches of Eastwick" (1987). Though not as prominent as her two other female costars, Sarandon's character went through the most significant physical change onscreen, going from a bespectacled matron to raven-haired wild woman. Looking back, Sarandon considered "The Witches of Eastwick" to be one of the worst film experiences of her career. But she quickly rebounded with her best experience, "Bull Durham" (1988), deftly playing Annie Savoy, a sultry groupie to a minor league baseball team who takes in a member of the hapless Durham Bulls as her lover every season. She decides to have an affair with a young, but dumb pitcher, Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins), only to find herself falling for his mentor, aging catcher, Crash Davis (Kevin Costner).
Thanks to "Bull Durham," Sarandon found herself in demand like never before and - just as nice - a new man in her life, in the form of co-star Tim Robbins, with whom she would spend the next two decades together in unwedded bliss. Meanwhile, she retreated to the comfortable confines of bland romantic comedy with "Sweet Hearts Dance" (1988), before starring opposite heavy hitters Marlon Brando and Donald Sutherland in the political drama about South African apartheid, "A Dry White Season" (1989). All throughout the 1980s, Sarandon - who had always been politically active - increased her public advocacy of progressive ideals, including traveling as part of a delegation to Nicaragua in 1983 to promote social and economic justice, and making contributions to EMILY's List, a political action committee dedicated to electing pro-choice Democrats. As she wore her political activism on her sleeve, Sarandon's career continued its ascent, as did Robbins' - who was equally politically outspoken. After starring in the offbeat cop thriller "The January Man" (1989) and the steamy May-December romantic drama "White Palace" (1990), Sarandon left an indelible mark on cinema history with "Thelma & Louise" (1991), a revisionist buddy road film that become something of a feminist anthem. Sarandon played a working-class woman who g s on a weekend getaway with her best friend, Thelma (Geena Davis), but the pair get into trouble when Louise shoots Thelma's would-be rapist in a bar parking lot, sparking a cross-country road trip where they encounter a young hustler (Brad Pitt) while trying to outrun a sympathetic police officer (Harvey Keitel). While the film created critical enthusiasm and loyal fan support, Sarandon benefited most with her second Academy Award nomination.
Fresh off her triumph with "Thelma & Louise," Sarandon made cameo appearances as a news anchor in Tim Robbins' political satire, "Bob Roberts" (1992), and herself in Robert Altman's "The Player" (1992), before giving a powerful and heartbreaking performance in "Lorenzo's Oil" (1992) as a mom who, along with her dedicated husband (Nick Nolte), desperately tries to find a cure for their son's supposedly incurable ALD, a debilitating and fatal nerve disease. With unbridled determination, the two parents refuse to accept a death sentence for their son; instead researching on their own a cure to the disease using rapeseed oil. For her moving portrayal, Sarandon earned her third Academy Award nomination for Best Leading Actress. She followed with another award-worthy performance, playing a recovering alcoholic lawyer who finds redemption by defending a young boy (Brad Renfro) after he witnessed the murder of a mafia boss in "The Client" (1994). Once again, Sarandon found herself the recipient of an Oscar nomination for Best Leading Actress. After narrating the documentary short, "School of Assassins" (1994), an investigative look at the infamous U.S Army School of the Americas, a training ground for right-wing paramilitary groups on American soil, she gave fine performances as a mother raising her four daughters during the Civil War in "Little Women" (1994) and as another mother raising seven sons in the family dramedy "Safe Passage" (1994).
If past is indeed prologue, then Sarandon's past near-misses for Oscar glory were mere preparation for her next worthy performance, playing anti-death penalty crusader Sister Helen Prejean in "Dead Man Walking" (1995), a Louisiana nun who acts as spiritual counselor to Matthew Poncelet, an unrepentant death row killer (Sean Penn). Though initially intimidated by the amoral, racist Poncelet, Prejean offers comfort and ultimately redemption in an effort to bring about an admission of his guilt in order to bring about forgiveness. Both audiences and critics responded enthusiastically to her unrelentingly dignified performance, finally leading to an Oscar win for the Best Leading Actress. Meanwhile, after voicing the seductive Polish spider in the animated "James and the Giant Peach" (1996), Sarandon easily slipped back into her femme fatale persona for Robert Benton's rather disappointing "Twilight" (1998), before giving another tough, but endearing performance as a mother struggling with raising her kids while fighting cancer in "Stepmom" (1998). Following a starring role as a mother who packs everything and moves with her daughter to Beverly Hills in search of a new life in "Anywhere But Here" (1999), Sarandon joined a large ensemble cast for Robbins' third directing effort, "Cradle Will Rock" (1999).
In 1999, Sarandon was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, a position traditionally given to celebrities in order to draw attention to the plight of impoverished children around the world. After playing a supporting role as Greenwich Village painter Alice Neel in "J Gould's Secret" (2000), Sarandon returned to the rather easy task of lending her voice for a pair of animated features - "Rugrats in Paris: The Movie" (2000) and "Cats & Dogs" (2001). In 2001, a rare sitcom performance as a soap opera diva on "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004) led to an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. Then in a rare misstep, Sarandon joined Goldie Hawn to play a former rock groupie in the comedic dud, "The Banger Sisters" (2002). She next played the wealthy, self-absorbed mother of a 17-year-old (Kieran Culkin) struggling to break away from his oppressive family in "Igby G s Down" (2002), then starred opposite Dustin Hoffman as one half of a married couple who take in their deceased daughter's fiancé in "Moonlight Mile" (2002). Back on television, she appeared in the elaborate television adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic "Children of Dune" (Sci Fi Channel, 2003), playing Princess Wensicia Corrinom.
Back on the big screen, Sarandon provided appropriate pathos as Richard Gere's wife in "Shall We Dance?" (2004), worried that her husband's newfound preoccupation with dance classes portends something more ominous for their drifting marriage. That same year, she appeared as one of Jude Law's extensive collection of paramours in the remake "Alfie" (2004), playing Liz, a successful businesswoman with a refreshingly no-nonsense approach to sex. It was then back to the small screen for the telepic "The Exonerated" (Court TV, 2005), the story of six wrongly convicted people whose death row sentences were eventually overturned through the hard work of dedicated lawyers. Sarandon then co-starred in Cameron Crowe's "Elizabethtown" (2005), playing the grieving wife and mother who distracts herself with a seemingly endless succession of hobbies after the sudden death of her husband, while her suicide-minded son (Orlando Bloom) returns home to help with the funeral. Though she only appeared fleetingly in the first two thirds of the film, "Elizabethtown" provided Sarandon with one of the most alternately touching, funny and memorable scenes of her career when she delivered a highly unorthodox eulogy at her husband's memorial.
Sarandon made the jump back to television for a recurring role on "Rescue Me" (FX, 2004- ), playing a wealthy Manhattanite who starts a relationship with Franco (Daniel Sunjata), only to steal his daughter from him so she can have a better life. After playing a seamstress who catches her ironworker husband (James Gandolfini) having an affair with a lingerie salesgirl (Kate Winslet) in the low-budget "Romance and Cigarettes" (2005), Sarandon landed a pair of big studio movies; first playing a widowed mother who shocks her son (Seann William Scott) by getting married to his abusive high school gym coach (Billy Bob Thornton) in "Mr. Woodcock" (2007). She then co-starred as an evil queen attempting to keep a princess-in-waiting (Amy Adams) from finding her true love in Disney's modern-day animation and live-action fairy tale, "Enchanted" (2007). By then comfortable playing the grieving mother in either comedy or drama, she next gave a sterling performance in "In the Valley of Elah" (2007) as a mother whose former military husband (Tommy Lee Jones) spearheads an investigation into the sudden disappearance of their son (Jonathan Tucker) after he returns from fighting in Iraq.
Sarandon then had a superficial role as Mom Race in the overpriced Technicolor summer disaster, "Speed Racer" (2008), but returned to award contention with a compelling performance as tobacco millionaire, philanthropist and avid socialite Doris Duke, who controversially willed her entire fortune to her butler, Bernard Lafferty (Ralph Fiennes), in the television movie "Bernard and Doris" (HBO, 2008). Sarandon earned an eighth Golden Globe nomination; this time receiving a nod for Best Actress in the miniseries or television movie category. Meanwhile, after a 30-year absence, Sarandon returned to Broadway to play the elder ex-wife of a dying monarch (Geoffrey Rush) in Eugene Ionesco's absurdist drama, "Le Roi se meurt (Exit the King)" (2009). But while she continued her career undaunted, Sarandon and longtime partner Tim Robbins quietly split during the summer 2009; in fact, their separation after over 20 years together was kept so hush-hush that the press was caught unawares when she made an official announcement in December. Single once again, Sarandon was rumored to be involved with several men half her age as she enjoyed her newfound freedom. Back on the big screen, she was the grandmother of a murdered girl (Saoirse Ronan) who watches over her distressed family from heaven in Peter Jackson's muddled adaptation of "The Lovely Bones" (2009). Prior to her supporting role as the mother of twin sons (Edward Norton) in Tim Blake Nelson's "Leaves of Grass" (2010), Sarandon portrayed Hemlock Society activist Janet Good in "You Don't Know Jack" (HBO, 2010), director Barry Levinson's acclaimed biopic about the notorious right-to-life physician Jack Kevorkian (Al Pacino). Her performance earned Sarandon Emmy and Screen Actors Guild award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
|Louis Malle. Had two-year relationship in the late 1970s; Malle directed Sarandon in "Pretty Baby" (1978) and "Atlantic City" (1980)|
|Franco Amurri. Had one child together, daughter Eva Amurri|
|Tim Robbins. Met on the set of "Bull Durham" (1988); Sarandon also appeared in the Robbins-directed "Bob Roberts" (1992); she won an Oscar under his direction in "Dead Man Walking" (1995); split in summer 2009|
|Sean Penn. Together briefly in 1984; no longer together; later co-starred in "Dead Man Walking" (1995)|
|Chris Sarandon. Married on Sept. 16, 1967; divorced on Sept. 20, 1979|
|Jonathan Bricklin. Co-owned the NYC table tennis bar SPiN|
|Edison High School, Edison , New Jersey|
|The Catholic University of America, Washington , Washington D.C.|
|The Catholic University of America, Washington , Washington D.C.|
|Played multiple roles in "Cloud Atlas," based on David Mitchell's 2004 novel; film co-directed by Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, and Tom Tykwer|
|Re-teamed with Richard Gere as husband and wife in financial thriller "Arbitrage"|
|Co-starred in "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" opposite Jason Segel and Ed Helms|
|Nominated for the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries ("You Don't Know Jack")|
|Nominated for the 2010 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie ("You Don't Know Jack")|
|Co-starred as Hemlock Society activist Janet Good in the Barry Levinson directed HBO film "You Don't Know Jack," about Dr. Jack Kevorkian, played by Al Pacino; earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie|
|Appeared in Oliver Stone directed sequel "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"|
|Played the mother of twin sons (Edward Norton) in Tim Blake Nelson's "Leaves of Grass"|
|Played the grandmother of a young girl who is murdered in the film adaptation of Alice Sebold's bestseller "The Lovely Bones"|
|Returned to Broadway after more than 30 years as the elder ex-wife of a dying monarch, portrayed by Aussie actor Geoffrey Rush, in Eugene Ionesco's drama "Exit The King"|
|Portrayed tobacco millionairess Doris Duke in the HBO film "Bernard and Doris"; earned Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actress in a TV-movie|
|Played Mom Racer in the Wachowski brothers' live action film adaptation of the 1960s Japanese series "Speed Racer"|
|Played the evil queen in Disney's modern-day animation and live-action fairy tale "Enchanted"|
|Co-starred opposite Tommy Lee Jones in Paul Haggis' "In the Valley of Elah"|
|Guest starred on several episodes of Denis Leary's FX drama "Rescue Me"|
|Co-starred as James Gandolfini's wife in "Romance & Cigarettes," directed by John Turturro|
|Played Orlando Bloom's mother in Cameron Crowe's drama "Elizabethtown"|
|Starred opposite Jude Law in "Alfie," a remake of the 1966 film starring Michael Caine|
|Cast as Richard Gere's wife in "Shall We Dance?" a remake of the 1996 Japanese film|
|Co-starred opposite Dustin Hoffman in "Moonlight Mile"|
|Co-starred with Goldie Hawn in "The Banger Sisters"|
|Played the title character's mother in "Igby Goes Down"; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress|
|Made guest appearance on an episode of "Friends" (NBC) playing a soap opera actress; received Emmy nomination|
|Voiced the dog Ivy in the feature "Cats & Dogs"|
|Provided the voice for Coco La Bouche in the animated film "Rugrats in Paris - The Movie"|
|Had cameo role as painter Alice Neel in "Joe Gould's Secret," directed by Stanley Tucci|
|Made cameo appearance in Robbins' feature "The Cradle Will Rock"|
|Starred as a single mother of a teenager in Wayne Wang's "Anywhere But Here"|
|Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame|
|Co-starred with Ed Harris and Julia Roberts in the comedy-drama "Stepmom"; also served as executive producer|
|Cast as a movie star married to Gene Hackman who calls upon old friend detective Paul Newman for assistance in Robert Benton's "Twilight"|
|Provided the voice of the Spider for "James and the Giant Peach"|
|Starred in Robbins' "Dead Man Walking" opposite Sean Penn; finally won Oscar as Best Actress; Robbins' nomination as Best Director made them the first couple since Cassavetes and Rowlands to be jointly nominated for their work together|
|Picked up a fourth Best Actress Oscar nomination for her turn as a non-nonense Southern attorney in "The Client"|
|Portrayed the matriarch of the March family in Gillian Armstrong's "Little Women"|
|Played small role in Robbins' feature directing debut "Bob Roberts"|
|Reteamed with Miller for "Lorenzo's Oil," earning her third Best Actress Academy Award nomination|
|Made cameo appearance as herself in Robert Altman's "The Player," starring Robbins|
|Co-starred with Geena Davis in the female buddy film "Thelma & Louise," directed by Ridley Scott; earned second Best Actress Oscar nomination|
|Portrayed older waitress who becomes involved with younger yuppie James Spader in "White Palace"|
|Met companion Tim Robbins while co-starring in hit comedy "Bull Durham"|
|First film with director George Miller, "The Witches of Eastwick"|
|Co-starred as Edda Ciano, the dictator's daughter in the HBO miniseries "Mussolini: The Decline and Fall of Il Duce"|
|Starred as a housewife investigating a murder in the comedy-drama "Compromising Positions"; was pregnant with first child during filming which was noticably visible in some scenes|
|Love scene with Catherine Deneuve in Tony Scott's "The Hunger" created a minor furor|
|Starred opposite Christopher Walken in the acclaimed PBS drama "Who Am I This Time?"|
|Acted with John Cassavetes and wife Gena Rowlands in Paul Mazursky's "Tempest," loosely based on Shakespeare's play|
|Off-Broadway debut in "A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking"|
|Reteamed with Malle for "Atlantic City"; earned first Best Actress Oscar nomination playing a young casino employee who falls for older Burt Lancaster|
|First film with director Louis Malle, "Pretty Baby" playing Brooke Shields' prostitute mother|
|Was leading lady to Robert Redford in "The Great Waldo Pepper"|
|Co-starred as newlywed Janet in cult hit "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"|
|Played the fictionalized heroine in the TV dramatization "F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Last of the Belles" (ABC)|
|Acted on the daytime soap "Search for Tomorrow" (CBS, NBC)|
|Broadway debut as Tricia Nixon in Gore Vidal's "An Evening With Richard Nixon and . . ."|
|First regular TV role, appeared on the ABC daytime soap "A World Apart"|
|Screen debut in "Joe"; had accompanied then-husband Chris Sarandon to his audition for the film but she was hired instead|
|Began career as a model with the Ford Agency|
|Born in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY and raised in Metuchen, NJ|