From the virginal Janet in 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' to a gun-toting outlaw in 'Thelma & Louise', she has managed to mix sensuality, social activism and a Hollywood husband...
Susan Sarandon is one of Hollywood’s most respected and talented actresses. A student at the Catholic University of America, she expressed no interest in performing until marrying actor Chris Sarandon.
While accompanying her husband on an audition, Sarandon landed a pivotal role in the 1970 feature, ‘Joe’. She was soon to become a regular on the daytime soap opera, ‘A World Apart’.
However, it wasn't until her substantial part in Louis Malle's ‘Pretty Baby’ that audiences began to take notice of the glamorous redhead. Malle was so impressed by her performance, that she landed a role in his film ‘Atlantic City’, which was to earn her an Oscar nomination.
The 1986 hit ‘The Witches of Eastwick’ brought more attention, and in 1988 she delivered a breakthrough performance in Ron Shelton's hit baseball comedy ‘Bull Durham’, which finally made her a star, at the age of 40. More importantly, the film teamed her with co-star Tim Robbins, with whom she soon began a long-term relationship.
Perhaps her most infamous role remains that of ‘Louise’ in the cult classic, ‘Thelma & Louise’, which earned Sarandon and her co-star, Geena Davis, Academy Award nominations. Her role in ‘The Client’ earned her a fourth Best Actress nomination, before she finally won her first Academy Award for ‘Dead Man Walking’ (1995). The same film earned her a Chlotrudis Award, a David di Donatello accolade, a Kansas City Film Critics Circle gong, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe nomination.
Hungry for success and with her fan base growing, Sarandon went on to gain further critical acclaim for her role as Jackie Harrison in 1998's ‘Stepmom’. In addition to a San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress, she was rewarded with Golden Globe and Satellite awards for best actress nominations.
Several movies followed before she appeared in the 2002 comedy-drama film ‘Igby Goes Down’ in which she played the self-absorbed and distant mother to a rebellious New York teenager. Despite failing at the box office, Sarandon won the Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress for her character in the film and for ‘Moonlight Mile’.
Other roles that have helped her collect nearly 40 awards and get nominations for more than 30 across 100 titles include in 2007's ‘Emotional Arithmetic’ and ‘Bernard and Doris’, as well as 2009's ‘The Lovely Bones’.
Sarandon's success on the screen appears to have eluded her in her personal life as her relationship with Robins came to an end in 2009. She is an active supporter of a number of progressive political causes.
She was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1999, and has been a long-time anti-war protester. Along with her then partner, actor and director Tim Robbins, she actively spoke out against the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Sarandon was recently involved with helping homeless mothers and children by serving meals organised by the New York City Rescue Mission. Commenting on her decision to donate her time to the charity, Sarandon said in an interview with Eyewitness News, that "when you can recognize groups that are helping people through a bad time, it helps you to feel like maybe things aren't so out of control to give a little".
She described her contribution to the day as "really very self-serving" thanks to the fact that she met "fabulous people".
Sarandon is still very much in demand in an age-obsessed Hollywood, and she recently appeared in the film adaptation of David Mitchell's novel, 'Cloud Atlas'.
Her latest role was in the animated movie 'Hell & Back' (2014).