Skip to main content
Select source:

Sarandon, Susan 1946- (Susan Tomalin)

Sarandon, Susan 1946- (Susan Tomalin)


Original name, Susan Abigail Tomalin; born October 4, 1946, in New York, NY (some sources say Jackson Heights, NY); daughter of Phillip Leslie (a nightclub singer, television producer, and advertising executive) and Lenora Marie (maiden name, Criscione) Tomalin; married Chris Sarandon (an actor and producer), September 16, 1967 (divorced, 1979); companion of Tim Robbins (an actor, producer, director, writer, and composer), 1988—; children: (with Franco Amurri, a film director) Eva Maria Livia; (with Robbins) Jack Henry, Miles Guthrie. Education: Catholic University of America, B.A., drama and English, 1968.


Agent—International Creative Management, 10250 Constellation Way, 9th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90067.


Actress. Formed an improvisational theatre group with Richard Dreyfuss, Peter Boyle, Andre Gregory, and other actors, in the 1980s; appeared in television commercials, including Magic Lady Panty Hose, 1971, YMCA/YWCAA, 2002, Project Liberty, 2002, Lean Cuisine's Dinnertime Select, 2005, Stouffer's, 2006, and Revlon Age Defying Magic cosmetics. Worked as a model with the Ford agency, and as a secretary, switchboard operator, and house cleaner. Goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Affiliated with human rights organizations such as Madre and the AIDS group Act Up.


Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Amnesty International, National Organization for Women, American Civil Liberties Union, Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament, Madre.

Awards, Honors:

Academy Award nomination, best actress, 1981, and Genie Award, best foreign actress, Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, 1982, both for Atlantic City; Pasinetti Award, best actress, Venice International Film Festival, 1982, for Tempest; Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a comedy or musical motion picture, 1989, for Bull Durham; Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a motion picture drama, 1991, for White Palace; National Board of Review Award (with Geena Davis), best actress, 1991, ALFS Award, actress of the year, London Film Critics Circle Awards, David di Donatello Award (with Davis), best foreign actress, Academy Award nomination, best actress, Golden Globe Award nomination, best actress in a motion picture drama, Film Award nomination, best actress in a leading role, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and MTV Movie Award nomination (with Davis), best on-screen duo, all 1992, all for Thelma and Louise; Acting Award, Gotham Awards, 1992; Academy Award nomination, best actress, and Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a motion picture drama, both 1993, for Lorenzo's Oil; Crystal Award, Women in Film, 1994; Academy Award nomination, best actress, Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, best actress, and Film Award, best leading actress, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, all 1995, for The Client; Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award, San Sebastian International Film Festival, 1995; Film Excellence Award, Boston Film Festival, 1996; Hasty Pudding woman of the year, Hasty Pudding Theatricals, Harvard University, 1996; achievement award, Palm Springs Film Festival, 1996; selected among the fifty most beautiful people in the world, People Weekly, 1996; Academy Award, best actress, Screen Actors Guild Award, best actress, David di Donatello Award, best foreign actress, and Golden Globe Award nomination, best actress in a motion picture drama, all 1996, Blockbuster Entertainment Award, favorite actress in a drama, and MTV Movie Award nomination, best female performance, both 1997, all for Dead Man Walking; CineMerit Award, Munich Film Festival, 1997; Humanitarian Award, ShoWest Convention, National Association of Theatre Owners, 1998; San Diego Film Critics Society Award, best actress, 1998, Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a motion picture drama, Golden Satellite Award nomination, best actress in a motion picture drama, International Press Academy, and Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination, favorite actress in a drama, all 1999, all for Stepmom; special tribute, Deauville American Film Festival, 2000; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding guest actress in a comedy series, 2001, for "The One with Joey's New Brain," Friends; Blimp Award, favorite voice from an animated movie, Kids Choice Awards, 2001, for Rugrats in Paris: The Movie; Governor's Award, Cape May NJ State Film Festival, 2002; Daytime Emmy Award (with others), outstanding special class series, 2002, for Cool Women in History; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding gust actress in a comedy series, 2002, for Malcolm in the Middle; Freedom in Film Award, Nashville Film Festival, 2002; Maverick Award, Taos Talking Picture Festival, 2002; Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame—Motion Picture, 2002; Gala Tribute, Film Society of Lincoln Center, 2003; Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a motion picture, 2003, for Igby Goes Down; Sierra Award, best supporting actress, Las Vegas Film Critics Society, 2003, for Igby Goes Down and Moonlight Mile; Excellence Award, Locarno International Film Festival, 2005; Hollywood Film Award, supporting actress of the year, 2005; Gold Hugo, Chicago International Film Festival, 2005; Mary Pickford Award, Satellite Awards, 2005; World Lifetime Achievement Award, Women's World Awards, 2006; Artistic Achievement Award, Philadelphia Film Festival, 2006; Honorary Award of the Festival, Marrakech International Film Festival, 2006; Honorary Lady Harimaguada, Las Palmas Film Festival, 2007.


Stage Appearances:

Interpreter/Tricia Nixon, An Evening with Richard Nixon and, Sam S. Shubert Theatre, New York City, 1972.

Maude Mix, A Coupla White Chicks Sittin Around Talkin Astor Place Theatre, New York City, 1980-81.

Marjorie, Extremities, Westside Arts Center, New York City, 1982-83.

Joan, The Guys, The Actors' Gang, Hollywood, CA, 2002.

Also appeared in Albert's Bridge; Private Ear, Public Eye; A Stroll in the Air.

Film Appearances:

Melissa Compton, Joe, Cannon, 1970.

Elizabeth Hawkins, Fleur bleue (also known as The Apprentice), 1971.

Sally, Lady Liberty (also known as La mortadella and The Sausage), United Artists, 1972.

Peggy Grant, The Front Page, Universal, 1974.

Sarah, Lovin Molly, Columbia, 1974.

Janet Weiss, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1975.

Mary Beth, The Great Waldo Pepper, Universal, 1975.

Chloe, Dragonfly (also known as One Summer Love), American International Pictures, 1976.

Catherine Alexander Douglas, The Other Side of Midnight, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1977.

C. C. Wainwright, Checkered Flag or Crash (also known as Crash), Universal, 1978.

Ginny, The Great Smokey Roadblock (also known as The Last of the Cowboys), Dimension Films, 1978.

Hattie, Pretty Baby, Warner Bros., 1978.

Rose, King of the Gypsies, Paramount, 1978.

Madeleine Ross, Something Short of Paradise (also known as Perfect Love), American International Pictures, 1979.

Sally Matthews, Atlantic City (also known as Atlantic City, U.S.A.), Paramount, 1980.

Stephanie, Loving Couples, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1980.

Aretha, Tempest, Columbia, 1982.

Sarah Roberts, The Hunger, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1983.

Herself, When the Mountains Tremble, 1983.

Emily, The Buddy System, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1984.

In Our Hands (documentary), 1984.

Judith Singer, Compromising Positions, Paramount, 1985.

Jane Spofford, The Witches of Eastwick, Warner Bros., 1987.

Annie Savoy and narrator, Bull Durham, Orion, 1988.

Sandra Boon, Sweet Hearts Dance, TriStar, 1988.

Da Grande, Titanus, 1988.

Christine Starkey, The January Man, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1989.

Melanie Bruwer, A Dry White Season, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1989.

Narrator, The Monkey People (documentary; originally released with different narrator as Le peuple singe), Revcom, 1989.

Erik the Viking, Orion, 1989.

Narrator, Through the Wire (documentary), Original Cinema, 1990.

Nora Baker, White Palace, Universal, 1990.

Herself, Building "Jacob's Ladder," 1990.

Louise Sawyer, Thelma & Louise, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Pathe, 1991.

Ann, Light Sleeper, New Line Cinema, 1992.

Michaela Odone, Lorenzo's Oil, Universal, 1992.

Tawna Titan, Bob Roberts, Paramount/Miramax, 1992.

Herself, The Player, Fine Line Features, 1992.

Narrator, Wilderness: The Last Stand, 1993.

Mag Singer, Safe Passage, New Line Cinema, 1994.

Mrs. March (Marmee), Little Women, Columbia, 1994.

Narrator, School of Assassins (documentary short; also known as School of the Americas Assassins), Richter Productions, 1994.

Reggie Love, The Client, Warner Bros., 1994.

Sister Helen Prejean, Dead Man Walking (also known as After Midnight, Sister Prejean, Dead Man, and Death Watch), Gramercy Pictures, 1995.

Herself, The Celluloid Closet (documentary; also known as Gefangen in der traumfabrik), Sony Picture Classics, 1995.

Herself, Rocky Horror Double Feature Video Show, 1995.

Narrator, Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press (documentary), Goldsmith Productions, 1996.

Voice of spider, James and the Giant Peach (animated), Buena Vista, 1996.

Narrator, Father Roy: Inside the School of Assassins (documentary), Independent Television Service, 1997.

Narrator, The Need to Know, National Film Board of Canada, 1997.

Voice, 187: Documented, Emerging Nation Productions, 1997.

The Magic Hour, 1997.

Catherine Ames, Twilight, Paramount, 1998.

Jacqueline "Jackie" Harrison, Stepmom (also known as Class Divided and Good Night Moon), Columbia/TriStar, 1998.

Narrator, For Love of Julian, 1998.

Celimene, Illuminata, Artisan Entertainment, 1999.

Adele August, Anywhere but Here, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1999.

Margherita Sarfatti, Cradle Will Rock, Buena Vista, 1999.

Voice of Mrs. Clark, Our Friend, Martin, Twentieth Century-Fox Home Entertainment, 1999.

Baby's in Black, 1999.

Alice Neel, Joe Gould's Secret, October Films/USA Films, 2000.

Narrator, Iditarod: A Far Distant Place (documentary), Mineral King Productions, 2000.

Narrator, This Is What Democracy Looks Like (documentary), Big Noise Film/Independent Media Center, 2000.

Voice of Coco LaBouche, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie (animated; also known as Rugrats in Paris: The Movie—Rugrats II), Paramount, 2000.

Ljuset haaler mig saellskap (documentary; also known as Light Keeps Me Company), First Run Features, 2000.

Time of Our Lives, Legacy Filmworks, 2000.

Herself, The Making of "Rugrats in Paris," 2000.

Herself, Between the Lines: The Making of "Bull Durham," 2001.

Mimi Slocumb, Igby Goes Down, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 2001.

Narrator, 900 Women (documentary), Women Make Movies, 2001.

Narrator, Rudyland (documentary), 7th Art Releasing, 2001.

Narrator, Uphill All the Way (documentary), Lean Parator Productions/May Pictures, 2001.

Voice of Ivy, Cats & Dogs, Warner Bros., 2001.

Narrator, The Shaman's Apprentice, 2001.

Narrator, Ghosts of Attica, 2001.

Herself, Last Party 2000 (also known as The Party's Over), 2001.

Narrator, Goodnight Moon, 2001.

Lavinia Kingsley, The Banger Sisters, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2002.

Jojo Floss, Moonlight Mile, Buena Vista, 2002.

Narrator, Little Miss Spider (animated short), 2002.

Narrator, The Next Industrial Revolution, 2002.

Tibetan voiceovers, Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion, 2002.

XXI Century, 2003.

Narrator, The Nazi Officer's Wife, 2003.

Narrator, Burma: Anatomy of Terror, 2003.

Narrator, Journey of the Heart: Henri Nouwen, 2003.

Herself, Igby Goes Down: In Search of Igby, 2003.

Herself, "Thelma & Louise": The Last Journey, 2003.

Rose Collins, Noel, Screen Media Films, 2004.

Beverly Clark, Shall We Dance (also known as Shall We Dance?), Miramax, 2004.

Liz, Alfie, Paramount, 2004.

Narrator, Fragile Hopes from the Killing Fields, 2004.

Herself, Jiminy Glick in Lalawood, 2004.

Hollie Baylor, Elizabethtown, Paramount, 2005.

Kitty, Romance & Cigarettes, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 2005.

Herself, The Peace! DVD, 2005.

Sophie, Irresistible, First Look International, 2006.

Narrator, Secrets of the Code, 2006.

Herself, Home, 2006.

Joan Deerfield, In the Valley of Elah, Warner Independent Pictures, 2007.

Beverly Farley, Mr. Woodcock, New Line Cinema, 2007.

Melanie Lansing Winters, Emotional Arithmetic (also known as Autumn Hearts: A New Beginning), 2007.

Queen Narissa, Enchanted, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, 2007.

Herself, Manufacturing Dissent (also known as Manufacturing Dissent: Uncovering Michael Moore), 2007.

Herself, On the Line: Dissent in an Age of Terrorism (also known as On the Line), 2007.

Mom, Speed Racer, Warner Bros., 2008.

Rhonda Berry, Middle of Nowhere, 2008.

Beyond Wiseguys: Italian Americans & the Movies, 2008.

Narrator, This Child of Mine, 2008.

Herself, Phys Ed Trauma Tales, 2008.

Herself, Pick Up the Pace: Making "Mr. Woodcock," 2008.

Narrator, Letter to Anna; The Story of Journalist Politkovskaya's Death, 2008.

Grandma Lynn, The Lovely Bones, DreamWorks, 2009.

Also appeared in Walk Away Madden.

Film Work:

Coproducer, The Great Smokey Roadblock (also known as The Last of the Cowboys), Dimension Films, 1978.

Executive producer, Stepmom (also known as Class Divided and Good Night Moon), Columbia/TriStar, 1998.

Executive producer, Moonlight Mile, Buena Vista, 2002.

Television Appearances; Series:

Patrice Kahlman, A World Apart, ABC, 1970-71.

Sarah Fairbanks, Search for Tomorrow, CBS, 1972.

Alicia Green, Rescue Me (also known as Rescue Me: FDNY), FX Channel, 2006-2007.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Edda Ciano, Mussolini: The Decline and Fall of Il Duce (also known as Mussolini and I, Ich und der duce, and Io e il duce), HBO, 1985.

Livilla, A.D. (also known as A.D.—Anno Domini), NBC, 1985.

Princess Wensicia Corrino, Children of Dune (also known as Dune—Bedrohung des imperiums, Dune—Der messias, Dune—Die Kinder des wustenplaneten, and Frank Herbert's "Children of Dune"), Sci-Fi Channel, 2003.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Allie Calhoun, F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Last of the Belles, ABC, 1974.

Kate, The Satan Murders, 1974.

Colonel Margaret Ann Jessup, Women of Valor (also known as Women of Valour), CBS, 1986.

Charlotte Emory, Earthly Possessions, HBO, 1999.

Dirty Pictures, 2000.

Dr. Jerri Neilsen, Ice Bound (also known as Ice Bound: A Woman's Survival at the South Pole and Prison de glace), CBS, 2003.

Sunny Jacobs, The Exonerated, Court TV, 2005.

Doris Duke, Bernard and Doris, HBO, 2008.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Patty Johnson, "The Rimers of Eldritch," Playhouse New York, PBS, 1972.

Deborah Reed, Lives of Benjamin Franklin: The Whirlwind (also known as The Whirlwind), CBS, 1974.

Eileen, "June Moon," Theatre in America, PBS, 1974.

Host, Your Water, Your Life (documentary), PBS, 1988.

AIDS: The Facts of Life, 1988.

Host, Postpartum: Beyond the Blues (documentary; also known as Postpartum: The Birth of the Blues and Signature), Lifetime, 1989.

Comic Relief IV, HBO, 1990.

Living in America (interview), syndicated, 1990.

Narrator, Primates: The Almost Human Animals (documentary), The Disney Channel, 1991.

A User's Guide to Planet Earth: The American Environment Test (educational documentary), ABC, 1991.

Free to Laugh: A Comedy and Music Special for Amnesty International, 1992.

And the Winner Is, syndicated, 1993.

Bitsy, Sesame Street's All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever! (also known as All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever!), ABC, 1994.

Narrator, "The Firebird," We All Have Tales, Showtime, 1994.

Narrator, From Fury to Forgiveness (also known as Discovery Journal Special), syndicated, 1994.

Premio Donostia a Susan Sarandon, 1995.

Narrator, "One Woman, One Vote," The American Experience, PBS, 1995.

Host, The Lifetime Women's Film Festival, Lifetime, 1997.

Host, Mythos, 1997.

Presenter, Divas Live: An Honors Concert for VH1 Save the Music (also known as VH1 Divas Live and Celine, Aretha, Gloria, Shania, and Mariah: Divas Live), VH1, 1998.

Bravo Profiles: The Entertainment Business, 1998.

Narrator, Walk This Way, 1998.

Narrator, Secrets of the Humpback Whale, 1998.

Hollywood & Vinyl: Disney's 101 Greatest Musical Moments, VH1, 1998.

Narrator, The Secret Life of the Geisha, Arts and Entertainment, 1999.

(Uncredited) "Saturday Night Live": 25th Anniversary, NBC, 1999.

Host, 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll, VH1, 1999.

Narrator, "Goodnight Moon," Goodnight Moon and Other Sleepytime Tales, HBO, 1999.

Narrator, Fresco, PBS, 1999.

Assignment E! With Leeza Gibbons: Celebrity Charity Connections, E! Entertainment Television, 1999.

Narrator, Broken Child, HBO, 2000.

Herself, Behind the Movie: "Rugrats in Paris" (also known as VH1's "Behind the Movie: ‘Rugrats in Paris’"), VH1, 2000.

Cohost, Reel Models: The First Women of Film, AMC, 2000.

Dirty Pictures, Showtime, 2000.

We All Dream of Oz, TNT, 2000.

Men Strike Back, VH1, 2000.

Ladies' Home Journal's Most Fascinating Women of '99, CBS, 2000.

Narrator, Dying to Be Thin, PBS, 2000.

Narrator, Secret Shelters, Secret Lives, 2000.

Host, Sci Fi Presents New York's Halloween Parade, Sci-Fi Channel and USA Network, 2000.

Art on Trial, Showtime, 2000.

An All-Star Tribute to Joni Mitchell, TNT, 2000.

Narrator, Islamabad: Rock City (also known as VH1 News Special: Islamabad Rock City), VH1, 2001.

Host, Cool Women in History, 2001.

The Concert for New York City, VH1, 2001.

Host, The Ghosts of Attica, Court TV, 2001.

Narrator, Behind the Labels, Oxygen, 2001.

Intimate Portrait: Jane Kaczmarek, Lifetime, 2002.

Herself and Jo Jo Floss, "Moonlight Mile": A Journey to Screen, 2002.

Narrator, Women of Dune, Sci-Fi Channel, 2003.

75 Years of the Academy Awards: An Unofficial History, 2003.

The 100 Greatest Movie Stars, Channel 4, 2003.

AFI's 100 Years100 Heroes & Villains (also known as AFI's 100 Years, 100 Heroes & Villains: America's Greatest Screen Characters), CBS, 2003.

The 100 Greatest Sexy Moments, 2003.

The 100 Greatest Musicals, Channel 4, 2003.

Host, Troy: The Passion of Helen, Arts and Entertainment, 2004.

Host, Los Angeles Now, PBS, 2004.

Inside the Actors Studio: 10th Anniversary Special, Bravo, 2004.

Host, Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story, PBS, 2004.

Fahrenheit 9/11: A Movement in Time, Independent Film Channel, 2004.

Paula Goes Hollywood, Food Network, 2005.

Greatest Ever Screen Chases, 2005.

Host, Red Hook Justice, PBS, 2005.

Host, February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four, PBS, 2005.

Host, A Touch of Greatness, PBS, 2005.

Host, On a Roll: Family, Disability & the American Dream, PBS, 2005.

Narrator, Washing Away: Losing Louisiana, PBS, 2006.

Narrator, Stardust: The Bette Davis Story, TCM, 2006.

Generation Boom, TV Land, 2006.

Narrator, Christa McAuliffe: Reach for the Stars, 2006.

Turin 2006: XX Olympic Winter Games (also known as Torino 2006: XX Olympic Games), 2006.

Tribeca Film Festival Presents: Live from the Red Carpet, NBC, 2006.

Voice, Classical Baby (I'm Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show, HBO, 2008.

Voice, For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots, 2009.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

Presenter, The 55th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1983.

Presenter, The 63rd Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1991.

Presenter, The 64th Annual Academy Awards Presentation, ABC, 1992.

Presenter, The 65th Annual Academy Awards Presentation, ABC, 1993.

Presenter, The 67th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1995.

Presenter, The 13th Annual MTV Video Music Awards, MTV, 1996.

The 68th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1996.

Presenter, The 51st Annual Tony Awards, CBS, 1997.

Presenter, The 3rd Screen Actors Guild Awards, NBC, 1997.

Presenter, The 69th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1997.

Presenter, The 70th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1998.

Presenter, The 25th Annual People's Choice Awards, CBS, 1999.

Presenter, The 1999 MTV Video Music Awards, MTV, 1999.

Presenter, Sports Illustrated's 20th Century Sports Awards, CBS, 1999.

Presenter, The 2000 Essence Awards, Fox, 2000.

Presenter, The 10th Annual IFP Gotham Awards, Bravo, 2000.

Presenter, The Teen Choice Awards 2002, Fox, 2002.

Presenter, The 75th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 2003.

Presenter, The 76th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 2004.

Presenter, The 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 2004.

The BRICK Awards, The CW, 2007.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Joyce, "Burden of Proof," Owen Marshall, Counsellor at Law, ABC, 1971.

Calcucci's Department, CBS, 1973.

"The Haunting of Rosalind," Wide World Mystery, ABC, 1973.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, NBC, multiple appearances, 1974-84.

Fridays, 1981.

Helene Shaw, "Sense of Humor: Who Am I This Time" (also known as "Who Am I This Time?"), American Playhouse, PBS, 1982.

Beauty, "The Beauty and the Beast," Faerie Tale Theatre, Showtime, 1984.

Late Night with David Letterman, NBC, 1984, 1988, 1993.

"Dolores Huerta," An American Portrait, CBS, 1986.

Natalie, "We'll See You Now," Oxbridge Blues, Arts and Entertainment, 1986.

"Tim Robbins/Sinead O'Connor," Saturday Night Live (also known as SNL, NBC's Saturday Night, and Saturday Night), NBC, 1992.

The Late Show with David Letterman (also known as The Late Show), CBS, multiple appearances, 1994-2000, 2007.

Voice of Bart's ballet teacher, "Homer vs. Patty and Selma," The Simpsons (animated), Fox, 1995.

Dias de cine, 1995.

The Charlie Rose Show, PBS, 1995, 2000, 2002.

Showbiz Today, CNN, 1995.

The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated, multiple appearances, 1997-2002.

Inside the Actors Studio, Bravo, 1998.

Voice, "The City of Tomorrow: 1931-1940," New York: Documentary Film (also known as American Experience: New York—A Documentary), PBS, 1999.

Voice, "The City and the World: 1945-Present," New York: Documentary Film (also known as American Experience: New York—A Documentary), PBS, 1999.

Host, Thursday Night with Oscar!, 1999.

The Barbara Walters Special, ABC, 1999.

"Rocky Horror Picture Show," Behind the Music (also known as VH1's "Behind the Music"), VH1, 1999.

Clive Anderson All Talk, BBC1, 1999.

Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, 1999.

The Queen Latifah Show, syndicated, 2000.

"Rocky Horror Picture Show," VH-1 Where Are They Now?, VH1, 2000.

Voice of herself, "The Shaman's Apprentice: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest," Reading Rainbow, PBS, 2000.

Mad TV, Fox, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005.

Jessica Lockhart, "The One with Joey's New Brain," Friends, NBC, 2001.

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show," Backstory (also known as Hollywood Backstories), 2001.

"The Making of ‘Cats & Dogs’," HBO First Look, HBO, 2001.

Meg, "Company Picnic: Parts 1 & 2," Malcolm in the Middle, Fox, 2002.

"The Banger Sisters," HBO First Look, HBO, 2002.

"Geena Davis," Bravo Profiles, Bravo, 2002.

"Rupert Evertt," Bravo Profiles, Bravo, 2002.

"Susan Sarandon," Revealed with Jules Asner, E! Entertainment Television, 2002.

On the Record with Bob Costas, HBO, 2002.

The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, CBS, 2002, 2004.

The Oprah Winfrey Show (also known as Oprah), syndicated, 2002, 2004, 2006.

The View, ABC, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007.

Susan B. Anthony, "Working for Freedom," Freedom: A History of Us, PBS, 2003.

Mary Hagidorn, "Revolution," Freedom: A History of Us, PBS, 2003.

Richard & Judy, Channel 4, 2003.

V Graham Norton, Channel 4, 2003.

"Kevin Costner," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 2003.

The Daily Show (also known as A Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Jon Stewart, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Global Edition), Comedy Central, 2003.

"Susan Sarandon," Ruby Wax With, 2003.

"Dustin Hoffman," The Hollywood Greats (also known as Hollywood Greats), BBC1, 2004.

"Jack Nicholson: The Joker Is Wild," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 2004.

"Richard Gere," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 2004.

Live with Regis and Kelly, syndicated, 2004.

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, 2004.

Real Time with Bill Maher, HBO, 2004.

The Jane Pauley Show, NBC, 2004.

Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show, syndicated, 2004, 2005.

The Tony Danza Show, syndicated, 2004, 2005.

The Film Programme, BBC, 2004, 2005.

HARDtalk Extra, 2004, 2006.

Hi-Jinks, Nickelodeon, 2005.

"American Gender," In the Life, PBS, 2005.

The Heaven and Earth Show (also known as Heaven and Earth with Gloria Hunniford), BBC, 2005.

GMTV, ITV, 2005.

The Footy Show, Nine Network, 2005.

Host, "Vietnam: The Next Generation," Independent Lens, PBS, 2005.

"Texture," Handmade Modern, 2005.

Parkinson, BBC, 2005.

Voice of herself, "Bart Has Two Mommies," The Simpsons (animated), Fox, 2005.

Herself, Corazon de, 2005, 2006, 2007.

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, CBS, 2005, 2008.

Chappelle's Show (also known as Chappelle's Show: The Lost Episodes), Comedy Central, 2006.

"Susan Sarandon," HARDtalk Extra, BBC, 2006.

The Bigger Picture (also known as Graham Norton's "Bigger Picture" and The Bigger Picture with Graham Norton), BBC, 2006.

L'hedbo cinema, 2006.

Rachael Ray, 2006.

Cinema tres (also known as Informatiu cinema), 2006.

Miradas 2, 2007.

The Dame Edna Treatment, 2007.

The Colbert Report, Comedy Central, 2007.

Access Hollywood, syndicated, 2007.

Entertainment Tonight (also known as E.T.), syndicated, 2007, 2008.

Cartelera, 2008.

Tavis Smiley, PBS, 2008.

Also appeared in The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News; Sesame Street, PBS; as herself, "Child Labor in Brazil," What's Going On?.



The Rocky Horror Picture Show (original motion picture cast), Rhino, 1976, released as The Rocky Horror Picture Show: 15th Anniversary Box Set (contains all recorded cast versions of the show, including motion picture and stage), 1990.


Herself, Film-Fest DVD: Issue 13—Toronto, Broadcast-DVD, 2000.



Contemporary Newsmakers 1986 Cumulation, Gale, 1986.

Newsmakers 1995, Issue 4, Gale, 1995.

Encyclopedia of World Biography Supplement, Volume 18, Gale, 1998.

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 3: Actors and Actresses, 4th ed., St. James Press, 2000.

Shapiro, Marc, Susan Sarandon, Prometheus Books, 2001.

St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, St. James Press, 2000.


American Film, May, 1983, p. 30; May, 1991, p. 22.

Empire, October, 1997, p. 194.

Entertainment Weekly, May 31, 1994, pp. 17-22; July 29, 1994, pp. 16-23; December 23, 1994, p. 49; March 22, 1996, p. 26; fall, 1996, p. 99.

Film Comment, March/April, 1993, p. 44.

Harper's Bazaar, July, 1983, p. 72; August, 1988, p. 122.

Interview, June, 1991, pp. 104-106, 112; October, 1994, p. 146.

Ladies Home Journal, January, 1999, p. 102.

Los Angeles Times, August 30, 1992, Calendar section, pp. 3, 26-32.

Mother Jones, February/March, 1989, p. 30.

Ms., January/February, 1996.

New York Times, January 14, 1983; July 17, 1994, pp. 13, 22-23.

Playboy, May, 1989, p. 63.

Premiere, May, 1988; January, 1996, p. 54.

Progressive, October, 1989, pp. 33-36.

Rolling Stone, February 9, 1989, p. 39.

Time, December 17, 1984, p. 82.

Variety, August 28, 2000, p. F22.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sarandon, Susan 1946- (Susan Tomalin)." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . 12 Oct. 2016 <>.

"Sarandon, Susan 1946- (Susan Tomalin)." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . (October 12, 2016).

"Sarandon, Susan 1946- (Susan Tomalin)." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved October 12, 2016 from

Sarandon, Susan


Nationality: American. Born: Susan Tomalin in New York City, 4 October 1946; grew up in Edison, New Jersey. Education: Attended Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., B.A., 1968. Family: Married the actor Chris Sarandon, 1967 (divorced 1979); daughter with the writer Franco Amurri; two sons with actor Tim Robbins. Career: 1970—film debut in Joe; member of improvisational group, New York; 1981—stage debut in A Couple White ChicksSitting around Talking.Awards: London Critics Circle ALFS Award for Actress of the Year, for White Palace, 1990; London Critics Circle ALFS Award for Actress of the Year, National Board of Review Best Actress Award, for Thelma and Louise, 1991; Women in Film Crystal Award, 1994; BAFTA Film Award for Best Leading Actress, for The Client, 1995; Best Actress Academy Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award for drama actor, for Dead Man Walking, 1995; San Sebastian International Film Festival Honorary Award of the City of Locarno, 1995; Munich Film Festival CineMerit Award, 1997; ShoWest Humanitarian Award, 1998. Agent: William Morris Agency, 1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019, U.S.A.

Films as Actress:


Joe (Avildsen) (as Melissa Compton)


Lady Liberty (Monicelli) (as Sallyi)


The Haunting of Rosalind (for TV) (as Dita)


The Satan Murders (Swift—for TV) (as Kate); The Front Page (Wilder) (as Peggy Grant); The Great Waldo Pepper (Hill) (as Mary Beth); Lovin' Molly (Lumet) (as Sarah); F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Last of the Belles (Schaefer—for TV)


The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Sharmon) (as Janet Weiss)


One Summer Love (Dragonfly) (Cates—for TV) (as Chloe)


The Other Side of Midnight (Jarrott) (as Catherine Douglas)


Pretty Baby (Malle) (as Hattie); King of the Gypsies (Pierson) (as Rose); Checkered Flag or Crash (Gibson); The Great Smokey Roadblock (The Last of the Cowboys) (Leone) (as Ginny, + co-pr)


Something Short of Paradise (Helpern) (as Madeleine Ross)


Loving Couples (Smight) (as Stephanie)


Atlantic City (Malle) (as Sally); Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law (Pattern of Morality) (Kulik—for TV)


The Tempest (Mazursky) (as Aretha); Who Am I This Time? (Demme—for TV)


The Hunger (Tony Scott) (as Sarah Roberts); The Buddy System (Glenn Jordan) (as Emily); Talking Nicaragua (Engel—doc)


Compromising Positions (Perry) (as Judith Singer); Io e il duce (Mussolini and I) (Negrin—for TV)


Women of Valor (Kulik—for TV)


The Witches of Eastwick (Miller) (as Jane Spofford)


Bull Durham (Shelton) (as Annie Savoy); Sweet Hearts Dance (Greenwald) (as Sandra Boon); Da grande (Amurri)


The January Man (O'Connor) (as Christine Starkey); A Dry White Season (Palcy) (as Melanie Bruwer); The Monkey People (doc) (as narrator)


White Palace (Mandoki) (as Nora Baker); Through the Wire (doc) (as narrator)


Thelma and Louise (Ridley Scott) (as Louise Sawyer)


Bob Roberts (Robbins) (as news anchor Tawna Titan); Lorenzo's Oil (Miller) (as Michaela Odone); The Player (Altman); Light Sleeper (Schrader) (as Ann)


The Client (Schumacher) (as Reggie Love); Little Women (Armstrong) (as Marmee March); Safe Passage (as Mag Singer)


Dead Man Walking (Robbins) (as Sister Helen Prejean)


James and the Giant Peach (Selick) (as voice)


Father Roy: Inside the School of Assassins (Richter—doc) (as Narrator); 187: Documented (Fong—docudrama) (as Voice)


Stepmom (Chris Columbus) (as Jackie Harrison + exec pr); Illuminata (Turturro) (as Celimene); Twilight (Brenton) (as Catherine Ames)


Joe Gould's Secret (Tucci) (as Alice Neel); Baby's in Black (Silberling); Cradle Will Rock (Robbins) (as Margherita Sarfatti); Earthly Possessions (Lapine—for TV) (as Charlotte Emory) Anywhere But Here (Wang) (as Adele August)


By SARANDON: articles—

Interview in Inter/View (New York), June 1983.

Interview in the Guardian (London), 24 May 1989.

Interview by Claudia Dreifus, in Playboy, May 1989.

Interview by Graham Fuller, in Interview, June 1991.

Interview by W. Schneider, in American Premiere, vol. 13, no. 1, 1993.

"Susan Sarandon: Uncompromising Positions," interview by Gavin Smith, in Film Comment, March-April 1993.

"Susan Sarandon: Lover, Lawyer, Marmee," interview by Bruce Newman, in New York Times, 17 July 1994.

"Susan Sarandon: The Bigger-Picture Revolution," interview by Graham Fuller, in Interview, October 1994.

"Susan Sarandon on Movies, Men and Motherhood," interview with M. Frankel, in Movieline (Escondido), January/February 1995.

On SARANDON: articles—

Kessler, Stephen, "Extremities," in Film Comment (New York), April 1985.

Farber, Stephen, "Who Is She This Time?," in American Film (Washington, D.C.), May 1983; see also June 1988.

Current Biography 1989, New York, 1989.

Queenan, Joe, "Miss Congeniality," in Rolling Stone, 9 February 1989.

Yagoda, Ben, "The Prime of Susan Sarandon," in American Film, May 1991.

Ruuth, M., "Susan Sarandon," in Chaplin, vol. 35, no. 2, 1993.

Cagle, Jess, "Laying down the Law," in Entertainment Weekly, 29 July 1994.

Reel West (Burnaby), August/September 1994.

Michiels, D., "Body and Brains," in Film & TV (Stockholm), May 1995.

Abramowitz, R., "Mother Superior," in Premier (Boulder), January 1996.

Lee, C., "Star style," in Movieline (Escondido), September 1996.

Stars (Mariembourg), no. 27, 1996; no. 28, 1997.

Thomson, D. and others, "Who's the Best Actress in Hollywood?" in Movieline (Escondido), November 1996.

Norman, Barry, "Small-time Losers, Big-time Dreamers," in Radio Times (London), 18 October 1997.

* * *

Flashing the most hypnotic movie star eyes since Bette Davis overworked her optic nerves, Susan Sarandon graduated from utility performer (Joe, Other Side of Midnight) to respected actress (Atlantic City, television's Who Am I This Time?) to one of the most durable stars of contemporary cinema. At an age when most actresses are scrambling for second leads and TV sitcoms, Sarandon became the rare kind of star you would go to see in anything. Unfortunately, at earlier periods in her career, she seemed to appear in just about anything (The Great Smokey Roadblock) and got by on cover girl looks alone (The Great Waldo Pepper, The Front Page) until Louis Malle recognized that her European sensuality was being miscast as Apple Pie Americana. Once Malle released her self-deprecating wit and unabashed sexuality, Sarandon seemed to relax on-screen.

Having shucked off the sorority sister wholesomeness (that netted her cult status as the square in Rocky Horror Picture Show), Sarandon plowed through the eighties in Hollywooden properties save for one bright spot: a sassy amateur detective in Compromising Positions, the first evidence an entire film could be fashioned around her star-presence.

In 1987 she was asked (via Cher's clout) to switch roles with that living legend in the unaccountably popular Witches of Eastwick and was then convinced to audition for Bull Durham. She landed the juicy part of Annie Savoy and has not looked back. Covering all of that rollicking romance's bases, her screen persona emerged: a sensualist who flaunts conventions because the rules make no sense to her. Obliterating the double standard that has always plagued popular entertainment, Sarandon did not accept the Madonna or Whore dichotomy, but instead created the figure of a sexual missionary who made no apology for her largesse. A lucky project for her, Bull Durham introduced her to co-star Tim Robbins, her now long-time companion with whom she has had two children.

Refining her blue collar earth mother image further by bedding a younger man in White Palace, Sarandon then struck a nerve in the feminist fantasia Thelma and Louise. Harmoniously teamed with Geena Davis, Sarandon's fiercely guarded vulnerability lit up this turnabout-is-fair-play escapism and made the film seem more novel than it was.

Heart-wrenchingly, she next threw herself into the challenge of interpreting an unsympathetic character, a grimly determined mother alienating anyone who rains on her anti-medical establishment parade in Lorenzo's Oil as she seeks a cure for her dying son. In this unwieldy movie, which is a terminal illness weepie so clinical it turns into a horror film, crusading Sarandon provides the bleak life-and-death struggles with a heartbeat.

This unwavering, nurturing quality is an integral part of Sarandon's refurbished appeal. Known for her humanitarian efforts offscreen, Sarandon's compassion is imprinted on her roles as a mother surrogate outsmarting the Goodfellas in The Client (a creaky vehicle that solidified her box office power), as a Civil War matriarch role-modeling her brood in a perceptive remake of Little Women and as a nun grappling with capital punishment in Dead Man Walking. Even cast as a recreational drug dispenser in Light Sleeper, she zeroed in on this weary hedonist's speck of conscience. If any one scene crystallizes her image as fearless protector, it is the sequence in A Safe Place, in which she risks her life fending off a vicious dog threatening her son. Ferocity and passion characterize her every move as she invests the often-disparaged role of American mother with quiet heroism.

Whereas other stars condescend to mother roles to preserve the last vestiges of stardom, Sarandon has rediscovered herself in such parts without mummifying herself as a sexless, aproned martyr. More vividly beautiful with the passage of time, Sarandon unapologetically shows audiences that there is more to womanhood than Sharon Stone can reveal.

Sadly, a post-Oscar malaise has taken some of the steam out of her career; she seems less edgy and driven. Stuck in a child-rearing rut, if she wasn't a terminally ill mother in Stepmom, she was a terminally confused one in Anywhere But Here. Even in the Cable-TV May-December love story, Earthly Possessions (a slipshod adaptation of an Anne Tyler novel), this firebrand seemed to be playing a mother figure to her own romantic lead. Surprisingly, when Sarandon took a vacation from nurturing, she gave her least convincing interpretation of the decade. As the femme fatale in the flimsily written Twilight, Sarandon valiantly tried to find a substantive character to play in this pastiche film noir and failed to embody the filmmaker's vision of a temptress.

Will Sarandon go on being the Patron Saint of the PTA, while aging male stars go on playing a variety of roles? If only American moviegoers could imagine female stars like Sarandon masterminding crimes, leading expeditions, and saving the world! There's nothing wrong with addressing all sort of mother roles, as long as the inevitable next step isn't grandmother parts, with nothing else in between. A European director would know how to showcase her worldly wise personality (Imagine her teaming with Almodovar). Always a continental spirit, Sarandon runs the risk of being short-changed by that American short-sightedness about women of an certain age.

—Robert Pardi

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sarandon, Susan." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . 12 Oct. 2016 <>.

"Sarandon, Susan." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . (October 12, 2016).

"Sarandon, Susan." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Retrieved October 12, 2016 from

Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon (born 1946) is an American actress who has appeared in almost 50 films. Ben Yagoda, in American Film, suggests "Sarandon is a character actor, in the best sense of the word, with attributes that don't necessarily translate into the traditional notion of stardom." As an actress and a political activist, Sarandon presents an important side of American cinema.

Born to Phillip, an advertising executive, and Lenora Marie Crisicione Tomalin, Sarandon was the eldest of the couple's nine children. Growing up in a Welsh/Italian household she was raised Catholic. As a teenager in the 1960s Sarandon was active in the civil rights and anti-war movements and was arrested in high school for participating in protests.

After graduating from high school, she attended Catholic University in Washington D.C. She graduated from college with a degree in Drama in 1969. While in college she met Chris Sarandon who shared her love of acting. They were married on September 16, 1967. Following graduation, Chris Sarandon went to a casting call and asked Susan along to read scenes with him. Both Sarandons ended up with parts in Joe. With this debut, Susan Sarandon began a long career in film.

The Film World

Chris Baker, on his webpage, suggests Sarandon "is an intelligent and versatile actress having built a reputation for portraying strong, independent women on the screen." Yet many critics define her early films as her 'ingenue' period. Following her debut in Joe, Sarandon appeared in a number of soap operas, some television episodes, movies and mini-series. From 1970 through 1978, many of Sarandon's roles were minor parts. In 1975 she starred as Janet in the great classic cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which is quite possibly her most watched film.

Following her divorce from Chris Sarandon in 1979, Susan Sarandon went on to work with director Louis Malle in Pretty Baby and Atlantic City. She received critical acclaim for both films and was nominated for an Oscar for Atlantic City. In an interview with Eleanor Blau, for the New York Times, Sarandon said "I try for parts that frighten me or seem impossible. So to survive, I will have to learn something and overcome it." She is well known for taking acting risks as illustrated by these two films. In Pretty Baby Sarandon plays a prostitute whose child (played by Brooke Shields) also grows up to be a prostitute. She took another risk in one of the opening scenes of Atlantic City by bathing her bare breasts with lemons in front of an open window. In The Hunger, 1993, Sarandon has a same-sex love scene with Catherine Deneuve.

A Theatrical Detour

Another risk Sarandon took in the early eighties was to work in theater. She formed an improvisational company with friends. In 1981 she appeared off-Broadway in A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking, with Eileen Brennan and received favorable reviews. She followed this with a well-received performance in Extremities. The play deals with an attempted rape and what occurs when in a surprising twist the intended victim captures her would-be rapist. As Sarandon explained to Blau, "Extremities is a metaphor about the animal in you. And it's about power. Not sex-that's not what rape is about; it's the rage a rapist feels and the power he is exercising. She's learning from him about power. The play is about the contagion of violence."

In an interview with Christian Williams, for the Washington Post, she compared theater to film. "Movies don't provide any instant gratification at all. Making them is very slow, and there's a lot of waiting around. But on a stage it's overwhelming. You and the audience become completely involved, laughing and crying together and if when it's over they applaud, there's no way to avoid believing that you contributed to it."

During this time Sarandon gave birth to her daughter Eva Maria Livia Amurri. Eva's father is writer-director Franco Amurri, Sarandon's partner at the time, but the relationship did not last.

Political Activist

Gloria Jacobs in Ms. magazine claims that for Sarandon "political activism is not a pastime but an inherent part of her life-part of her soul." As she told Clarke Taylor, in the Chicago Tribune, "It's a matter of extending one's sense of responsibility to others, and to the rest of the world. It's not altruism, it's understanding that we really are all connected. We're not isolated. We are the world. And understanding this is the basis of hope for the world."

As Baker noted, "she remains one of Hollywood's most visible activists, lending her name, time and presence to many political, cultural and health organizations." She was an early supporter of AIDS activism, particularly working with ACT UP. In 1984 she went to Nicaragua on behalf of MADRE, an organization which provides aid to war victims there and in El Salvador. She has been a longtime supporter of women's reproductive rights and the Equal Rights Amendment, as evidenced by her participation at numerous marches, rallies, and a stint as a guest columnist for USA Today on April 10, 1989. She has worked on issues facing the homeless and mentally ill. She also works closely with the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Throughout the years she has continued to oppose violence, supporting efforts towards nuclear disarmament. She was publicly opposed to the Persian Gulf war, which many others viewed as a risky professional stance. Her anti-violence work stems from her desire to teach her children that violence is an inappropriate way to accomplish goals. When Claudia Dreifus asked Sarandon about the impact on her career, in The Progressive, Sarandon replied "whenever anybody asks me that, I always say 'It's a little like worrying whether your slip is showing while you flee a burning building.' I don't know. I can't dwell on it. Maybe it has. Maybe being outspoken can cost you work. It's a very subjective business."

Where possible Sarandon has incorporated the issues into her work. In 1984 she narrated Talking Nicaragua, a documentary discussing U.S. involvement with Nicaragua. She has produced Public Service Announcements on the First Amendment. In 1995 she participated in the film, The Celluloid Closet, which discussed Hollywood's treatment of gays and lesbians in the movies. In 1995 she narrated two documentaries, Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press and School of Assassins a one hour documentary on the School of the Americas.

Since 1988 she has participated in many of these activities with her partner, actor/writer/director Tim Robbins. She and Robbins became involved following their work together in Bull Durham. Later, the pair had two children, Jack Henry and Miles. Both share a commitment to activism, perhaps best illustrated in their 1996 film Dead Man Walking. Sarandon persuaded Robbins to write and direct the film, based on the true story of Sister Helen Prejean. The film is a commentary on the use of capital punishment. Sarandon won an Academy Award for Best Actress for this role, and continues to work on this issue with the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Sarandon once told Nancy Mills in an interview for the Los Angeles Times, "I may not have control over whether my films are good or bad, but I certainly can turn down those with excessive violence, those that link sex and violence or those that propagate certain cliches about women. I think you can make a difference if you bring your own values to your work."

Feminism, Sarandon and Film

In an interview with Claudia Dreifus, for New Woman Sarandon noted, "People just don't know how to write stories about women. If you're an actress who cares about playing characters with some dimension, finding scripts is a problem." As Sarandon has moved into more starring roles she has had the opportunity to select roles which reflect the diversity of women's experiences. In addition to the parts noted above, she has played a journalist, Compromising Positions and Bob Roberts; prisoner of war, Women of Valor; medical researcher, The Hunger; fortuneteller, King of the Gypsies; music teacher, The Witches of Eastwick; college professor, Bull Durham; waitress, White Palace and Thelma & Louise; attorney, The Client; linguist, Lorenzo's Oil; mother, Little Women and Safe Passage; and a wife, Sweet Hearts Dance.

Vincent Canby, in a New York Times piece suggested Sarandon was an example of the new breed of "women's" movies. "These women are active forces in the environments that contain them. They aren't passive little creatures who accept their fates without question. They play roles more often associated by movies with men. They do things." This seemed evident in Thelma & Louise. At the time of its release the movie sparked a national debate over violence, women, and feminism. Some saw the film as a feminist manifesto, others claimed the film gloried male-bashing, and still others saw the film somewhere between these extremes. Sarandon noted in an on-line interview she "was surprised that the film struck such a primal nerve. I knew when we were filming that it would be different, unusual and hopefully entertaining. But shocking? I guess giving women the option of violence was hard for a lot of people to accept."

Sarandon clearly connects with the roles she has chosen. As she told Nina Darnton, of the New York Times, "There are really two kinds of actresses. Either you play essentially the same part over and over, playing whatever it is that endears you to the public as an actress, or you lose yourself in the character and let the character dictate the part. It's easier to be a star the first way. But it's also easier to become a caricature of yourself. To me, the whole point of acting is to experiment and learn-it's like living hundreds of lives in one lifetime."

Further Reading

American Film, May, 1991.

Chicago Tribune, June 14, 1987.

Editor & Publisher, November 12, 1994.

Los Angeles Times, June 21, 1988.

Mother Jones, February, 1989.

Ms., January/February, 1996.

National Catholic Reporter, May 3, 1996.

New York Times, January 14, 1983; September 1, 1985; November 10, 1985.

New Woman, September, 1988.

Progressive, October, 1989.

Washington Post, April 20, 1981.

"Chris Baker's Susan Sarandon Site, " (March 30, 1998).

Gerosa, Melina, "A Woman of Substance, " Ladies Home Journal, (March 30, 1998).

Glickman, Simon, "Susan Sarandon, " Contemporary Newsmakers, (March 24, 1998).

Internet Movie Database, "Biographical Information for Susan Sarandon, " (March 30, 1998).

"Susan Sarandon Fact Sheet, " E! Online, (March 30, 1998).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Susan Sarandon." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . 12 Oct. 2016 <>.

"Susan Sarandon." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . (October 12, 2016).

"Susan Sarandon." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Retrieved October 12, 2016 from