Sarandon at the premiere of Speed Racer at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival.
|Born||Susan Abigail Tomalin
October 4, 1946
Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||The Catholic University of America|
|Spouse(s)||Chris Sarandon (1967–1979)|
|Partner(s)||Tim Robbins (1988–2009)|
|Children||3 (1 by Franco Amurri; 2 by Robbins)|
|This article is part of a series on
Susan Abigail Sarandon (née Tomalin; born October 4, 1946) is an American actress. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1995 film Dead Man Walking and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress for the 1994 film The Client.
Sarandon began her career in the 1970 film Joe and appeared in the soap opera A World Apart from 1970 to 1971. She has received five Academy Award nominations for Best Actress, for Atlantic City (1980), Thelma & Louise (1991), Lorenzo's Oil (1992), The Client (1994) and Dead Man Walking (1995), for which she finally won. On television, she has received five Emmy nominations, including for Bernard and Doris (2007) and You Don't Know Jack (2010). Her other films include The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Pretty Baby (1978), The Hunger (1983), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Bull Durham (1988), White Palace (1990), Little Women (1994), Stepmom (1998), Igby Goes Down (2002), Enchanted (2007), The Lovely Bones (2009) and Arbitrage (2012).
She is also known for her social and political activism for a variety of liberal causes. She was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1999 and received the Action Against Hunger Humanitarian Award in 2006.
Susan Abigail Tomalin was born in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City. She is the first of nine children born to Lenora Marie (née Criscione) and Phillip Leslie Tomalin, an advertising executive, television producer, and one-time nightclub singer. Her father was of English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry, his English ancestors being from Hackney in London and his Welsh ancestors being from Bridgend. On her mother's side, she is of Italian descent, with ancestors from the regions of Tuscany and Sicily. Sarandon was raised Roman Catholic and attended Roman Catholic schools; she is now lapsed as an adult. She grew up in Edison, New Jersey, where she graduated from Edison High School in 1964. She then attended The Catholic University of America, from 1964 to 1968, where she began dating actor Chris Sarandon. They were married in 1967.
Sarandon went to a casting call for the motion picture, Joe, in 1969, with her then-husband, Chris Sarandon. Although he did not get a part, she was given a major co-starring role in the film, which was released in 1970. Between 1970 and 1972, Sarandon appeared on the soap operas A World Apart and Search for Tomorrow, playing the roles of Patrice Kahlman and Sarah Fairbanks, respectively. On film, she acted in The Apprentice and Mario Monicelli's Lady Liberty (both 1971). She was in the TV movie "the Rimmers of Eldrich in 1974. In 1974, she co-starred in a film remake of The Front Page, and later appeared as Anthony Perkins' neglected wife in Lovin' Molly. In 1975, she starred as Janet in the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. That same year, she starred opposite Robert Redford in The Great Waldo Pepper. In Pretty Baby (1978), Sarandon played Brooke Shields's prostitute mother.
Sarandon received her first Academy Award nomination as Best Actress for her performance in Atlantic City (1980). In 1983 she appeared in Tony Scott's The Hunger, which generated controversy due to her lesbian love scene with Catherine Deneuve. In 1987, she played Jane in The Witches of Eastwick, opposite Jack Nicholson. One of her biggest commercial successes came in 1988 when she starred in Bull Durham with Kevin Costner. In 1989 Sarandon co-starred with Marlon Brando in A Dry White Season, followed by White Palace (1990) with James Spader. In the early 1990s Sarandon received three more Academy Award nominations for her roles in Thelma & Louise (1991), Lorenzo's Oil (1992) and The Client (1994). In 1995, she won the award for Dead Man Walking. In 1994 Sarandon was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award.
Additional film performances include King of the Gypsies (1978), Tempest (1982), Compromising Positions (1985), Little Women (1994), Stepmom (1998), Anywhere but Here (1999), Cradle Will Rock (1999), The Banger Sisters (2002), Shall We Dance (2004), Alfie (2004), Romance & Cigarettes (2005), Elizabethtown (2005) and Enchanted (2007). Sarandon has appeared in two episodes of The Simpsons, once as herself ("Bart Has Two Mommies") and as a ballet teacher, "Homer vs. Patty and Selma". She appeared on Friends, Malcolm in the Middle, Mad TV, Saturday Night Live, Chappelle's Show, 30 Rock, and Rescue Me.
Sarandon has contributed the narration to two dozen documentary films, many of which dealt with social and political issues. In addition she has served as the presenter on many installments of the PBS documentary series, Independent Lens. In 1999 and 2000 she hosted and presented Mythos, a series of lectures by the late American mythology professor Joseph Campbell. Sarandon also participates as a member of the Jury for the NYICFF, a local New York City Film Festival dedicated to screening films made for children between the ages of 3 and 18.
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 films were made in 2007. In June 2010 Sarandon joined the cast of the HBO pilot The Miraculous Year, as Patty Atwood, a Broadway director/choreographer. However, the series was not picked up. In 2012 Sarandon's audiobook performance of Carson McCullers' The Member of the Wedding was released at Audible.com. Sarandon was the voice actor for the character of Granny Rags, an eccentric and sinister old lady, in the stealth/action video game Dishonored, released in 2012.
While in college, she met fellow student Chris Sarandon and the couple married on September 16, 1967. They divorced in 1979, but she retained the surname Sarandon as her stage name. She then had a relationship with Louis Malle, who directed her in Pretty Baby and Atlantic City. In the mid-1980s Sarandon dated Italian filmmaker, Franco Amurri, and she gave birth to their daughter, actress Eva Amurri, on March 15, 1985. From 1988 to 2009 Sarandon was in a relationship with actor Tim Robbins, whom she met while they were filming Bull Durham; they have two sons — Jack Henry (born May 15, 1989) and Miles Guthrie (born May 4, 1992).
In 2006 Sarandon and ten relatives, including her then-partner, Tim Robbins, and her son, Miles, travelled to Wales to trace her family's Welsh genealogy. Their journey was documented by the BBC Wales program, Coming Home: Susan Sarandon. Much of the same research and content was featured in the American version of Who Do You Think You Are?. She also received the "Ragusani nel mondo" prize in 2006; her Sicilian roots are in Ragusa, Italy. Sarandon is the co-owner of New York table tennis club SPiN, and its Toronto branch SPiN Toronto.
Sarandon is noted for her active support of progressive and liberal political causes, ranging from donations to organizations such as EMILY's List, to participating in a 1983 delegation to Nicaragua sponsored by MADRE, an organization that promotes "social, environmental and economic justice." Sarandon has expressed support for various human rights causes that are similar philosophically to ideas found among the Christian left.
In 1995, Sarandon was one of many Hollywood actors, directors and writers interviewed for the documentary The Celluloid Closet, which looked at how Hollywood films have depicted homosexuality. In 1999, she was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. In that capacity, she has actively supported the organization's global advocacy, as well as the work of the Canadian UNICEF Committee.
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. During the 2004 election campaign, she withheld support for Nader's bid, being among several "Nader Raiders" who urged Nader to drop out and his voters offer their support for Democratic Party candidate John Kerry. After the 2004 election, Sarandon called for US elections to be monitored by international entities.
Sarandon and Robbins both took an early stance against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, with Sarandon stating that she was firmly against war as a pre-emptive strike. 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". 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. In 2003 she appeared in a "Love is Love is Love" commercial, which promoted the acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. The next year, in 2004, she served on the advisory committee for 2004 Racism Watch, an activist group. She hosted a section of the Live 8 concert in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2005. 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.
Along with anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, Sarandon took part in a 2006 Mother's Day protest, which was sponsored by Code Pink; she has expressed interest in portraying Sheehan in a film. 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.
In the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Sarandon and Tim Robbins campaigned for John Edwards in the New Hampshire communities of Hampton, Bedford and Dover. When asked at We Vote '08 Kickoff Party "What would Jesus do this primary season", Sarandon said, "I think Jesus would be very supportive of John Edwards."
Sarandon was appointed an FAO Goodwill Ambassador in 2010. “I am proud to help draw everyone’s attention to the very real and dramatic problems of hunger, food insecurity and extreme poverty,” she said.
On March 12, 2011, Sarandon spoke before a crowd in Madison, Wisconsin protesting Governor Scott Walker and his Budget Repair Bill. On September 27, 2011, Sarandon spoke to reporters and interested parties at the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City. Her use of the term "Nazi" to describe Pope Benedict XVI on October 15, 2011, created controversy, generating complaints from Roman Catholic authorities, and the Anti-Defamation League, which called on Sarandon to apologize. Sarandon's mother Leonora Tomalin is a staunch Republican, a supporter of George W. Bush and the Iraq War.
In 2006, Sarandon received the Action Against Hunger Humanitarian Award. She was honored for her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, an advocate for victims of hunger and HIV/AIDS and a spokesperson for Heifer International.
Awards and nominations
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- "ADL Says Susan Sarandon Should Apologize For Referring To Pope Benedict XVI As 'A Nazi'". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
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- Indian Express. November 20, 2013 http://www.indianexpress.com/news/iffi-2013-curtain-raiser-susan-sarandon-waheeda-rehman-kamal-haasan-at-opening-ceremony/1197350
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