Template:Infobox actor

Susan Sarandon (born October 4, 1946) is an Academy Award-winning American actress. She has worked in films and television since 1970, and won an Oscar for her performance in the 1995 film, Dead Man Walking. She is also noted for her social and political activism for a variety of liberal causes.


Early life

Sarandon, the eldest of nine children, was born Susan Abigail Tomalin in New York City, the daughter of Lenora Marie (née Criscione) and Phillip Leslie Tomalin, who worked as an advertising executive, television producer, and nightclub singer during the big band era.[1][2] Sarandon's father was of English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry and her mother was of Sicilian/Italian descent;[1][3] the family was Roman Catholic. In 2006, Sarandon and 10 of her relatives (including her significant other Tim Robbins and her son Miles) traveled to Wales to trace her family's Welsh genealogy. Their journey was documented by the BBC Wales programme, Coming Home: Susan Sarandon.[3]

Sarandon graduated from Edison High School, in Edison, New Jersey, in 1964. She then attended The Catholic University of America from 1964 to 1968, earning a BA in drama, and working with noted drama coach and master teacher, Father Gilbert Hartke.


File:Susan Sarandon 2005.jpg

Sarandon at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival

In 1969, Sarandon went to a casting call for the motion-picture Joe with her then husband Chris Sarandon. Although he did not get a part, she was cast in a major role of a disaffected teen who disappears into the seedy underworld (the film was released in 1970). Five years later, she appeared in the cult favorite The Rocky Horror Picture Show. That same year, she also played the female lead in The Great Waldo Pepper, opposite Robert Redford. Her most controversial film appearance was in The Hunger in 1983, a modern vampire story which turned out to be a critical and box office flop. The film has gained some cult status for a rather graphic lesbian love scene between Sarandon and co-star Catherine Deneuve. It was the first mainstream American film to feature such a scene between two star actresses. However, Sarandon did not become a "household name" until her breakthrough in the 1988 film Bull Durham. which became a huge commercial and critical success.

Sarandon received five Academy Award nominations for best actress, in Atlantic City (1981), Thelma & Louise (1991), Lorenzo's Oil (1992), and The Client (1994), finally winning in 1995 for Dead Man Walking. Her other movies include Stepmom (1998), Anywhere but Here (1999), Cradle Will Rock (1999), The Banger Sisters (2002), Shall We Dance (2004), Alfie (2004), Romance & Cigarettes (2005) and Elizabethtown (2005).

Sarandon has appeared in two episodes of The Simpsons, one as herself ("Bart Has Two Mommies"), and another as a ballet teacher, "Homer vs. Patty and Selma". She has made appearances on the shows Friends, Malcolm in the Middle, Mad TV, Saturday Night Live, Chappelle's Show, and Rescue Me.

Sarandon has contributed the narration to some two dozen documentary films, many dealing with social and political issues; in addition, she has served as the presenter on many installments of the PBS documentary series, Independent Lens. In 2007 she hosted and presented Mythos, a series of lectures by the late American mythology professor Joseph Campbell.[4]

Sarandon joined the cast of the adaptation of The Lovely Bones, opposite Rachel Weisz, and appeared with her daughter, Eva Amurri, in Middle of Nowhere; both of the movies were filmed in 2007.[5][6]

Most recently, Sarandon joined the cast of "Peacock" starring opposite Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Bill Pullman and Josh Lucas. Filming will take place in Des Moines, Iowa.

Personal life

While in college, she met and married fellow student Chris Sarandon in 1967. They divorced in 1979 and she retained her married name as her stage name.[7]

In 1981, readers of Playboy magazine voted hers the Best Celebrity Breasts of the Summer of 1981. In response, she said, "It must seem to a lot of people that I am always naked or making love in my films. I think it's very hard to be in a scene and not be upstaged by your nipples".[8]

In the mid-1980s, Sarandon dated director Franco Amurri, with whom she had a daughter in 1985, actress Eva Amurri.[7] Since 1988, Sarandon has been in a relationship with actor Tim Robbins, whom she met while filming Bull Durham. The couple have two sons: Jack Henry (born 1989) and Miles Guthrie (born 1992).[7] Sarandon and Robbins are often involved in the same social and political causes.

Political activism

File:Susan Sarandon Tnz.jpg

Susan Sarandon with Tanzanian Children in Dar es Salaam, 2000

Sarandon is noted for her active support of progressive and left-liberal political causes, ranging from donations made to organizations such as EMILY's List[9] to participating in a 1983 delegation to Nicaragua sponsored by MADRE, an organization that promotes "social, environmental and economic justice."[10] Sarandon has also expressed support for various tolerance and human rights causes that are similar philosophically to ideas found among the Christian left.[11]

In 1995 Sarandon was one of many Hollywood actors, directors and writers who were interviewed for the documentary, The Celluloid Closet, which looked at how Hollywood films have depicted homosexuality.

In 1999, she was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and in that capacity has actively supported the organization's global advocacy, as well as the work of the Canadian UNICEF Committee.

File:Susan Sarandon by David Shankbone.jpg

Susan Sarandon in April 2007

During the 2000 election, Sarandon supported Ralph Nader's run for President, serving as a co-chair of the National Steering Committee of Nader 2000.[12] However, during the 2004 election campaign, she withheld support for Nader's bid, being among several "Nader 2000 Leaders" who signed a petition urging voters to vote for Democratic Party candidate John Kerry.[13]

Sarandon and Robbins both took an early stance against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, with Sarandon stating that she was firmly against the concept of the war as a pre-emptive strike.[14] Prior to a 2003 protest sponsored by the United for Peace and Justice coalition, she said that many Americans "do not want to risk their children or the children of Iraq."[15] Sarandon was one of the first to appear in a series of political ads sponsored by TrueMajority, an organization established by Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream founder Ben Cohen.[16][17]

Also in 2003, Sarandon appeared in a "Love is Love is Love" commercial, promoting the acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. She hosted a section of the Live 8 concert in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2005.

Along with anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, Sarandon took part in a 2006 Mother's Day protest sponsored by Code Pink;[18] she has expressed interest in portraying Sheehan in a movie.[19] In January 2007, she appeared with Robbins and Jane Fonda at an anti-war rally in Washington, D.C. in support of a Congressional measure to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq.[20]

In 2006 she was one of eight women selected to carry in the Olympic flag at the Opening Ceremony of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy

On May 29, 2008 Sarandon announced that she would move to Canada or Italy if John McCain is elected President of the United States.[21][22]


  1. 1.0 1.1 A fine romancer. The Guardian. 18 March 2006.
  2. Susan Sarandon biography. Film
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sarandon learns about Welsh roots 28 November 2006
  5. "Susan Sarandon set to star in 'The Lovely Bones' ". 27 July 2007.
  6. Chupnick, Steven. "Susan Sarandon on Speed Racer". Superhero 25 August 2007.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Susan Sarandon.
  8. Susan Sarandon Biography
  9. Susan Sarandon's Federal Campaign Contribution Report. Retrieved on 2008-01-13.
  10. Mission and History. Retrieved on 2008-01-10.
  11. Sheahen, Laura. 'The Power of One': Interview with Susan Sarandon. BeliefNet. Retrieved on 2008-01-14.
  12. Becker Complaint: Becker, et al. vs. Federal Election Commission. Retrieved on 2008-01-14.
  13. Nader 2000 Leaders United to Defeat Bush. press release, September 14, 2004. Retrieved on 2008-01-14.
  14. Iraq: Antiwar Voices. Washington Post, 13 February, 2003.
  15. "Sarandon To Bush: Get Real On War", CBS News, 14 February, 2003.
  16. Brennan, Charlie. "Cry for peace heard on web: Activists using Internet to spread word against war", Rocky Mountain News, February 8, 2003. Retrieved on 2008-01-11. 
  17. Anti-Iraq Ad Features Leader of Bush's Church. Fox News. Retrieved on 2008-01-14.
  18. Susan Sarandon Joins Cindy Sheehan to Protest Iraq War. Fox News, May 15, 2006. Retrieved on 2008-01-14.
  19. Asthana, Anushka. Sarandon tells of Iraq death threat. The Observer. 30 April 2006.
  20. Hunt, Kasie. Anti-War Actress Bored by Iraq Pitch. CBS News. 24 January, 2007.
  22. by Liz Smith, New York Post, 5/29/08

External links

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