Raised in a humble family, Susan Sarandon stood out as a good student while she was a cheerleader in high school. Politically committed from a young age, Susan was arrested for the first time at a demonstration against the Vietnam War when she was still a student. Enrolled at the Catholic University of America Drama School, Susan oriented her academic career towards the world of acting but still did not know very well what to do with her future. It was at the university where she met her first husband, Chris Sarandon, with whom she moved to New York in 1968. And it was while accompanying him to a casting that Susan was discovered by John G. Avildsen, who gave her her first film role in the film Joe, back in 1970. Brief roles in The Front Page or The Rocky Horror Picture Show opened the doors of Hollywood and in1980 she got her first Oscar nomination for her performance in Atlantic City. Her rise to the elite was then meteoric and made her one of the most admired actresses on the planet. The icing on the cake comes in 1995 with the Oscar for her moving character in Dead Man Walking, directed by her husband Tim Robbins, whom she met in the late 1980s. In recent years, she has remained in the breach thanks to titles such as Shall We Dance? And in A Bad Moms Christmas (2017)—which is the sequel to the film Bad Moms (2016)—as the mother of Carla Dunkler.
Susan Sarandon: 14 Secrets You Never Knew About The Famous Actress!
1. Her real name is Susan Tomalin:
Sarandon was born Susan Abigail Tomalin 75 years ago in New York City. She was the first of nine children born to the marriage of singer and advertising executive Philip Lesley and his wife Lenora Criscione.
2. She took the first college acceptance to get out of her house:
When she finished high school, she enrolled in the Catholic University. Not so much because she was clear about her vocation but because it was the first to be accepted and the one that allowed her to leave home. College was expensive, and in order to pay for it, she worked as a waitress, a hairdresser, and cleaned apartments. It was in college that she met and fell in love with Chris Sarandon, they married in 1968 and decided to live in the Big Apple because they longed to succeed on Broadway.
3. Chris and Susan Sarandon wanted to be actors, but Susan had an edge:
At the time, Chris auditioned for the movie Joe, an American Citizen and his wife accompanied him. but fate decided to cross paths and she was the one summoned.
In 1969 she went with Chris Sarandon to a casting for the movie ” Joe, American Citizen ” (1970) and although he did not get the role, she was chosen for the main role of a teenager who disappears into the underworld.
In the late 1970s, she divorced Chris. She kept two things from her marriage: a very good memory and her ex’s last name: Sarandon.
4. Susan Sarandon’s first major role came in 1974:
As Peggy Grant in The Front Page, she was just a rookie but stood alongside actors Jack Lemmon and consecrated as Walter Matthau. The following year another great opportunity appeared with the cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, an ironic musical that mixed without prejudice rock and roll, science fiction, horror, and a lot of fun.
The first year of the 1980s would bring Susan Sarandon her first Oscar nomination for her role as Sally in the movie Atlantic City.
5. Susan Sarandon had romances with Sean Penn, David Bowie, and Christopher Walken:
In 1983 she filmed The Hunger with David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve. There she starred in a lesbian scene with the French actress that caused such a stir that both she and her mother received threatening letters for “undermining morals.” Years later, she would mischievously recall that to shoot the shot they suggested she drink a few drinks, but she refused because “you don’t have to be drunk to want to sleep with Deneuve”.
The actress continued to date other actors like Sean Penn and ofcourse Tim Burrows who she would end up with for twenty years.
In 1988 she was summoned to star in Bull Durham. In that movie she met and fell in love with Tim Robbins. The actor was 12 years younger but neither of them cared. They had two sons, Jack and Miles, and they lived together for 21 years. If they asked her why he was not getting married, she replied that she liked “the idea of constantly choosing each other, staying by his side, without the need for a contract” that is why when they separated it was a shock. “People come up to me and say ‘I cried when I found out about your split from Tim Robbins’ and I understand them. I also believed that it would last forever ”.
6. The couple who never got married, collected Oscars:
With Robbins who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work in Mystic River as director, Susan earned her first Oscar for her starring role in Dead Man Walking.
It was her fifth nomination after Atlantic City, Thelma and Louise, Lorenzo’s Oil and The Client. The actress took the stage to receive her award, quite an achievement since it had been banned. It is that in the 93 gala, in the middle of the ceremony, she was encouraged to request the closure of a camp for AIDS patients in Guantánamo. Her words lasted just 23 seconds but the Academy was offended because it is one thing to wear a ribbon for the photos and another to be encouraged to denounce injustices instead of thanking awards with a smile. A little political incorrectness is fine but not so much. Maybe that’s why Susan keeps the long-awaited statuette in a privileged place … in the bathroom of her house.
Although the Academy was offended, those who knew her knew that the strange thing would have been that she did not take the opportunity to denounce. It is that since her adolescence she was a woman committed to society.
Although the Oscars have forgotten about her, she continues to collect nominations for important awards, such as the Bafta, the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2009 Stockholm International Film Festival, Canadian Genie for best actress for Emotional Arithmetic or the Golden Globe for best television actress thanks to the miniseries Bernard and Doris.
7. Speaking of awards, her charity work has blessed her with more:
Many don’t know that the actress was:
- inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2010,
- received the Outstanding Artistic Life Award for her Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema at the 2011 Shanghai International Film Festival.
- invited to inaugurate the 44th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa in 2013
- received the Goldene Kamera international lifetime achievement award.
Only in the last decade, she made a solidarity trip to Nepal to launch a campaign to build houses, she went to Greece to help rescue refugees and immigrants, she is an ambassador for UNICEF and a member of the solidarity organization Heifer International, an organization that donates animals from farm to families who need them to survive.
8. Susan Sarandon’s activism has gotten her arrested at times:
In 1984 she traveled to Nicaragua to deliver milk and baby food, but since that country was among the “enemies of the United States” the actress was investigated by the CIA. In 2010, after the earthquake that struck Haiti, she visited the impoverished country to help rebuild. She was also in Tanzania to open a care center for children with AIDS. Last year she was arrested while participating in the Women’s March on Washington. It was not her first time, in 1999 she was also arrested in New York when she participated in a peaceful sit-in to protest against police violence against the African-American community.
Argentina was also part of the actress’s commitment, while the project for the legal interruption of pregnancy was discussed, she established her position. “The criminalization of abortion does not prevent women from having an abortion, it pushes them to go to unsafe and clandestine places. Senators, the world is watching: Give women the right to choose! “, she wrote.
9. Susan Sarandon’s first daughter was a miracle:
A doctor had warned her that due to her endometriosis she could only have children if she had surgery, so she did not use contraception. While living a fortuitous relationship with director Franco Amurri, she became pregnant at the age of 37. “It was winning the lottery,” she said and decided to go ahead with the pregnancy, although many assured her that it would be the end of her career. This is how Eva came into the world.
10. Jonathan Bricklin and Sarandon are owners of a ping-pong club:
But in addition to fighting for what she believes in, she has time for other activities. A fan of ping pong, and the founder of SPiN (a chain of ping-pong lounges with a Toronto branch as well), she coordinates a chain of venues where you can participate in tournaments and mainly spend time with friends.
11. Susan Sarandon was in a 5 year relationship with a young stud:
To live and love.
At 60 she was in a relationship for five years with a young man of 30. In 2021, she recently declared that she is “totally available” on the Divorced Not Dead podcast and even open to having a relationship with a woman because her sexual orientation “is curious for anyone who wants to try. ”
12. The actress always had a habit of breaking stereotypes for her ideals:
There are lives that go unnoticed, there are sad lives, spectacular lives and there are lives that deserve to be told. Without a doubt that of the great Susan Sarandon falls into the latter category.
Growing up, her family was very Catholic and traditional, but as a teenager she used to escape from the nun’s school to participate in the marches against the Vietnam War and in favor of civil rights, which caused the scandal of the nuns and their parents, convinced republican militants.
She is the actress who does not hesitate to raise awareness about everything that is unfair such as homophobia, police brutality, human rights, the environment, the Iraq war, breast cancer, child poverty, real estate speculation, the death penalty and animal abuse. Her positions led her to be considered “the reddest actress in Hollywood”. When you listen to her speak, when you see her act, it gives the feeling that more than a celebrity she is a wonderful human being, one of those who are always looking for a way to improve a world that in general is not usually fair to almost anyone.
13. At 75, Susan Sarandon is far from retirement:
Intense, bright, passionate, free, Sarandon is a model for a whole generation of women who admire and love her.
She is capable of playing memorable roles of those that transcend the screen and are part of the culture as the unconditional friend in Thelma and Louise, the nun who accompanies a convict on her way to redemption in Death Penalty, the young woman who falls in love, the one who drives men crazy just by rubbing a lemon on her chest in Atlantic City or the manipulative businesswoman in Ray Donovan.
But she is also the woman who claims the right to be sexy without age limits and, for seven decades, she wears low-cut dresses that leave her speechless not because of the ridiculous but because of the sensual. After all, she is the actress who ignored the director John Cassavetes when he advised her to stop having children “to remain desirable”.
At 70 she posed beautiful and suggestive for a Marc Jacobs campaign and at 69 she walked the red carpet at Cannes with a low cut that exposed her anatomy but above all her freedom. On that carpet, without bombastic statements and only with her attitude, Sarandon gave a lesson: there is no age limit for a woman to dress as she wishes and because she wishes.
14. Susan Sarandon wants her future to be more erotic:
If you close your eyes you can still see her flying at 100 kilometers per hour holding her friend’s hand over the Colorado Canyon, but this time, she wants to do a different kind of acting.
When asked what she wanted to do when she retired, she did not reply with the typical “take care of my grandchildren.” None of that she said that she wants to direct porn movies because “Most of the porn is brutal and not nice from a female point of view. So when I don’t want to act anymore, that’s what I want to do”.