For over four decades, Susan Sarandon has been a staple among Hollywood’s elite actresses. The award-winning starlet has over 160 acting credits under her belt, but there is so much more to the ruby-haired rebel than meets the eye. Between Thelma & Louis and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Sarandon defines “iconic.”
After landing her first acting role in 1970, Sarandon has been one to watch. But she is not just an actress. When she isn’t on a movie set, Sarandon stays busy with her dramatic romances, voicing her political opinions and showing off her rebellious side. No one can match up to the great Susan Sarandon.
First True Love
While attending Catholic University in Washington DC, Susan Sarandon met Chris Sarandon. Their relationship quickly blossomed, and they married in September 1967. She was just 20 years old at the time and still finishing her college degree. Shortly after her wedding, Sarandon graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama.
Unfortunately, the couple would divorce in 1979, but she decided to keep her married name as her stage name with her career was just beginning. Both she and Chris were starting their careers as actors after graduating from school, so they would sometimes audition for the same projects, which didn’t always go so well.
Say It Ain’t So, Joe
As a recent graduate, Sarandon started looking for work immediately. She supported herself by cutting hair, cleaning houses, and working as a switchboard operator before hearing about a casting call for the motion picture Joe. Sarandon and her then-husband Chris both decided to audition, but it didn’t go well for both of them.
Although Chris did not get the part, Sarandon was cast in a leading role. She played the part of a teen from a wealthy family whose father killed her drug-dealing boyfriend. The film was a massive success, making 13 times its budget at the box office. With her first role, Sarandon hit the jackpot.
Before We Knew Her
Sarandon was always destined for stardom, but she didn’t have the easiest childhood. As the oldest of nine siblings, she had an early sense of responsibility. Sometimes she was forced into action and took on a lot from a young age because her siblings looked at her as a parent.
Her parents were overwhelmed, and because they didn’t have extended family, they started their own tribe of sorts. However, Sarandon said they did not know how to deal with kids. She later said it was good training; the lack of privacy and chaos with eight siblings conditioned her for show business.
Creature of the Night
Sarandon’s performance in Joe opened many doors for her. Between 1970 and 1972, she acted in soap operas such as A World Apart and Search for Tomorrow. After appearing in a few minor films, Sarandon landed the part of Janet Weiss in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which became the template for cult classics.
Although it was a flop and pulled from the few cinemas showing it in 1975, its devoted fanbase resurrected Rocky Horror two years after its initial release. It made Sarandon a household name and an icon in the LGBTQ+ community because she wasn’t afraid to turn down bold and uninhibited roles.
Don’t Mess With Sarandon
In The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Sarandon got her freak on as Janet when she discovered the cross-dressing world of Dr. Frank-N-Furt and the oddities in his home. While filming the famous dinner scene, Sarandon’s co-star Barry Bostwick accidentally injured her, but she eventually got her revenge.
When Bostwick slammed his fist on the table during the scene, he accidentally pounded Sarandon’s hand. Her priceless, pained reaction was genuine. Sarandon got back at him when they were later rushing to the side of the stage; she stepped on his foot with her high heel causing him to wince and stumble.
A Period of Uncertainty
While she might have been an Academy Award nominee, Sarandon went through a disappointing phase in her career during her 30s. In the mid to late-70s, she didn’t feel like she was getting parts that challenged her abilities as a performer. It started to feel dull.
Sarandon was earning a living and having a good time working with different actors, but she felt like she had come to a crossroads and needed a change of pace. Fortunately, a brilliant opportunity presented itself, and it changed the course of Sarandon’s career.
After feeling like she needed to switch things up in her career, Sarandon took a break from film to work in the theater. However, she wasn’t finding exciting parts, so she created an improv company with some friends. In 1981, she appeared in the off-Broadway show, A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking.
The show received excellent reviews. Sarandon loved working in the theater because “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.”
Showing Them the Heat
Although she had established herself in Hollywood by the late ‘80s, even earning an Academy Award nomination, Sarandon said that her part as Annie Savoy in Bull Durham was the first role she “wasn’t overqualified for.” It certainly wasn’t an easy part to get.
Unfortunately, the studio felt that she was too old and not funny enough for the role. But she wasn’t going to take no for an answer, so she flew to meet with studio executives wearing a tight off-the-shoulder dress to help them envision her as Annie Savoy, proving them wrong and landing the role.
Her Many Famous Lovers
Because she got married at such a young age, Sarandon didn’t start dating other public figures until later in her life. After her divorce in 1979, Sarandon became romantically involved with director Louis Malle. She was connected to a few famous names and hid one relationship for a while.
While starring together in the 1983 vampire film The Hunger, Sarandon connected with David Bowie. The pair secretly dated for a while after. She always thought of him as an extraordinary man, but it didn’t work out between them. After they split, Sarandon received devastating news.
While Sarandon was filming The Hunger, she started to suffer from irregular bleeding and fainting. After visiting the doctor, she found out that she had endometriosis. Because of her condition, doctors told Sarandon it would be challenging to have children and would require surgery to give birth.
Sarandon wasn’t heartbroken by the news because she had plenty of nieces and nephews at the time. She said, “I wasn’t dipping into the gene pools that I felt the need to replicate. I was fine with it.” Sarandon was surprisingly calm about the diagnosis.
A New Man
Shortly after receiving her diagnosis, Sarandon started seeing Italian filmmaker Franco Amurri, best known for the Italian film that inspired Big with Tom Hanks. They met on the set of Tempest in 1982 but didn’t reconnect until a few years later.
Neither Sarandon nor Amurri were looking for a serious relationship, and both expected to have a quick fling. However, they would forever be linked in a significant way. Due to her endometriosis diagnosis, Sarandon was a bit carefree in certain areas of the relationship.
The Biggest Surprise of All
Sarandon treated her relationship with Amurri as she had with her past flings. She stopped using birth control for years because she believed she couldn’t get pregnant. To her and Amurri’s surprise, Sarandon became pregnant with a baby girl, and she didn’t know how to feel.
When Sarandon told her close friends and family the news, everyone was shocked. At the time, her career was on an upward trend, and she didn’t know how this would affect it. Ultimately, she decided to keep the baby and told Amurri that he could be involved if he wanted.
Welcoming Her Daughter
In March 1985, Sarandon gave birth to her daughter, Eva Amurri. Although she was not married or dating Amurri anymore, they decided Eva should take her father’s name. Eva spent most of the time with her mother because her father didn’t live in the US.
As Eva got older, she would travel to Italy to spend time with her father. Having spent so much time with her mother on movie sets and visiting her father while he made films, Eva got a taste for the spotlight and eventually started acting.
An Unpleasant Experience
Before she starred in Bull Durham, Sarandon was set to play Alexandra in the 1987 film The Witches of Eastwick. Cher was also offered a part in the movie, but she had her sights set on the role of Alexandra, and producers didn’t want to lose her.
In a last-minute casting change, Cher and Sarandon’s roles were switched. When Sarandon discovered that she would be playing Jane instead, it meant she also had to learn the cello immediately. It was a significant challenge, and she said the experience was humiliating.
Annie and Nuke Forever
In 1988, Sarandon began getting close to her Bull Durham co-star. In the film, her character becomes involved with both the up-and-coming young pitcher (Tim Robbins) and the grouchy veteran catcher (Kevin Costner). Costner might have gotten the girl in the movie, but he wasn’t so lucky in real life.
Behind the scenes, Robbins and Sarandon started a relationship that would last decades. Out of all the movies Sarandon and Robbins have made in their respective careers, they both said Bull Durham was a personal favorite.
Riding the Success Train
Sarandon’s relationship with Robbins began at the most prosperous time in her life. Bull Durham became one of the highest-grossing films of 1988. It made everyone see Sarandon as a powerhouse actress, and she had numerous successful films following Bull Durham.
Along with her successful films, Sarandon picked up several nominations and awards along the way. In the early ‘90s, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress four times, for Thelma & Louis, Lorenzo’s Oil, and The Client. In 1995, she finally had a breakthrough.
In 1995, Sarandon was finally rewarded for all her hard work throughout her career. She won an Oscar for Dead Man Walking and planned to use her acceptance speech as a chance to make a statement about war and violence after thanking people.
Sarandon has always been a politically and socially charged person, and she wanted to use her chance on such a large platform to voice an important message. She started by thanking the cast, crew, and her family but never got to the rest of her speech because she ran out of time.
It Wasn’t the First Time
Although the exit music started to play before she could finish her speech in 1995, it wasn’t have been the first time she shared her thoughts. In 1993, Sarandon and Robbins took the stage to announce the nominees for an award, but that wasn’t all they said.
She and Robbins took the opportunity to urge the US government to release prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. They disapproved of the detention of HIV-positive Haitian refugees being held there. The Academy was not happy with the couple, but they didn’t get in trouble.
Life Imitates Art
In Dead Man Walking, Sarandon starred as Sister Helen Prejean, a nun who befriends a death row inmate and attempts to save his life. The role not only earned her an Oscar, but it also hit close to home. As an activist, she has supported prison reform.
During the film, Sarandon befriended Richard Glossip, a death row inmate whom she has supported. She believes he was wrongfully given the death sentence. Sarandon and other celebrities, including Mark Ruffalo, Sir Richard Branson, and Pope Francis, have advocated for his innocence and release.
Putting Her Spin on Nightlife
While she is mainly known for her work as an actress and social advocate, Sarandon is also a businesswoman. In 2009, Sarandon got involved with a few investors to open SPiN, a table tennis club and bar. Sarandon has helped grow the business over the years.
Since its inception in 2009, Sarandon has helped open global locations, including locations in New York, San Francisco, Dubai, and Toronto. SPiN allows guests to reserve tables and play ping pong in a social setting. The successful business was even featured on the Real Housewives of New York.
She’s a Boss Lady
When it comes to business, Sarandon knows how to get things done. Between her nightlife and real estate endeavors, she has proven herself as a reliable businesswoman. When she focused on real estate, she just wanted a safe place for her family without too much maintenance.
However, she has admitted that she has one weak spot: numbers. She was involved in a lawsuit with a businessman who reportedly failed to help her with her financial matters. Sarandon said, “I just glaze over when people start talking about numbers.”
Small Screen Star
While movies are her mainstay, Sarandon has also killed it on the small screen. Since the 2000s, the actress has appeared in shows like Friends and Malcolm in the Middle, which earned her two Emmy nominations. She also starred and produced Feud: Bette and Joan.
While she has only been nominated, it’s only a matter of time before Sarandon snags an Emmy. In recent years, she had roles in Ray Donovan, Neo Yokio, and voiced a character on two episodes of Rick and Morty. Is there anything Sarandon hasn’t done?
Her Most Famous Role
The Rocky Horror Picture Show might have been Sarandon’s first iconic role, but her part alongside Geena Davis in Thelma & Louis is arguably her most famous. The scene where they drive the car off the cliff is part of pop culture history, and there are many quotable lines.
In 2018, Sarandon and Davis came together for a terrific reunion at the Golden Globe Awards. Everyone in the crowd was thrilled to see them present the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama. The award went to Gary Oldman, but everyone was looking at the two women.
Expanding the Family
After Sarandon had her daughter Eva, she thought she wouldn’t have other children because of the endometriosis. While she was dating Robbins, the couple announced that they were expecting a baby boy in 1989. Their son, John “Jack” Henry, was born in May of that year.
Almost three years later, Sarandon gave birth to her third child, Miles Guthrie. It had been a decade since she received her endometriosis diagnosis, but the doctors were wrong because she had three healthy children. Although she and Robbins never married, they share their two sons.
The End of an Era
After 21 years together and two children, Sarandon and Robbins announced their split in 2009. Fans were shocked to hear that the Hollywood power couple were going their separate ways. She said some people would come up to her and tell her how much they cried when they heard the news.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Sarandon said, “I thought that if you didn’t get married, you wouldn’t take each other for granted as easily. I don’t know if, after twenty something years, that was still true.” They handled the split well, and it hasn’t affected their friendship.
How Old Is Susan Sarandon?
The actress recently turned 75, and due to her liberal ways, she has been known to get in touch with her youthful side. Sarandon not only looks young, but she mingles with people half her age. She has been spotted at Nevada’s Burning Man festival in the past.
Sarandon only had positive things to say about the festival. In an interview, she said, “It’s fabulous. Despite the fact that there was more of a police presence there, it was a lot of fun, and I’d definitely go back.” She doesn’t care about “acting her age” because it is just a number.
Who Is Susan Sarandon Married To?
Since her divorce from Chris Sarandon, she has never remarried. Her longest relationship was with Robbins, but they never got married. The single actress opened up about her love life and revealed that her sexual orientation is not as straightforward as you might assume.
Sarandon explained that her sexual orientation is up for grabs because she would be open to relationships with men or women. She joked that she doesn’t get as many offers as she would like, but we are sure the red-headed beauty will find someone.
His Last Woman
In her younger years, Sarandon was known for always having a man by her side. During the ‘80s, she had an affair with another co-star from The Hunger, Philip Sayer. The British actor died in 1989 but was known for being openly gay.
Sarandon said she had a very successful and loving affair with “a man who then wasn’t with another woman after me.” Although he was gay, they had a great relationship, and it worked for them. She said she is a serial monogamist, so her dating history isn’t long.
She’s a Humanist
Sarandon is famously known as a liberal in terms of her political opinions. Many people automatically assume that she would be a committed feminist, but you would be shocked to hear that is not true. Sarandon considers herself a “humanist” because it’s less alienating.
Sarandon fights for the rights of everyone, not only those of her gender. She said that being a humanist is better for her because it’s less isolating than people who think of feminism as “being a load of strident b**ches.” Sarandon says everyone deserves their rights.
Bickering With Mom
One of her most well-known political causes is that she has always been an anti-war activist. In 2003, when the war with Iraq broke out, she made it her mission to promote an anti-war message. She appeared in political ads to make her objection known, but not everyone agreed.
Although she has spoken out against many wars, her mother falls on the opposite side of the political spectrum. Sarandon’s mom, Leonora Tomalin, is a devoted Republican. She supported the president’s decision to go to war in 2003, and Sarandon argued with her.
In Trouble With the Pope
Sarandon has never been one to back down from voicing her opinions, which has gotten her into trouble in the past. She once got into hot water because of comments she made about Pope Benedict XVI. She got a lot of backlash for what she said.
While speaking at the Hamptons film festival, Sarandon mentioned that she sent the Pope a copy of Dead Man Walking because of his stance on the death penalty. She clarified that she was talking about Pope John Paul II and compared Pope Benedict XVI to a Nazi.
Rumors of a Feud
When Sarandon starred in the 1998 film Stepmom with Julia Roberts, rumors circulated that the co-stars had a vicious feud. After almost a decade, Sarandon addressed the gossip and revealed that it couldn’t be further from the truth. The two actually got along great.
Roberts and Sarandon co-produced the film, and they were friends beforehand. They had been looking for the right project to work on together. Sarandon said she tracked down the PR person who created the rumor and claimed they were the real “wicked stepmom.”
Before becoming a big movie star, Sarandon described herself as a rebellious flower child in the ‘60s. She admittedly experimented with some drugs of the period and still smokes pot to this day. Even though her siblings saw her as a parent, she still had her wild days.
Sarandon revealed that her parents once asked if she had ever done crack. She laughed at them and said she was too old for that because they didn’t even have crack back in her day. However, she wasn’t always a rebel in her youth.
A Good Little Girl
Sarandon’s life was heavily rooted in Catholicism during her childhood because of her mother’s Italian descent. Before high school, Sarandon attended Catholic schools. She said she was a spacey kid who was always daydreaming, but she was concerned with her faith and being a good person.
When she enrolled at Catholic University in 1964, the experience left her questioning her faith even more than she did as a teenager. By the time she got to university, she was much less in touch with her faith than she had been years earlier.
She Went by Default
When Sarandon got to Catholic University, she was not interested in her religion anymore. It might’ve had to do with something a nun said to her once. The nun said that Sarandon had “an overabundance of original sin” after asking a question about Mary and Joseph.
Sarandon asked, “If you had to be married in the Catholic church or it didn’t count, how were Joseph and Mary married?” The nun didn’t like that question. The only reason she attended Catholic University was because her parents missed the deadlines for the other college applications.
Since Sarandon’s daughter Eva was a baby, she would spend most of her time on her mother’s movie sets. It was like free daycare because there was always someone around to watch her while Sarandon filmed her scenes. It also inspired Eva.
Because she was always around actors and directors, Eva landed small parts in Sarandon’s movies, like Stepmom. In other films like Dead Man Walking, Eva played the younger version of her mom’s character. It was helpful for directors because they looked so much alike.
Following in Her Mom’s Footsteps
While Sarandon is a Hollywood icon, there is another actress in the family who turns heads. Eva got her start with minor roles in Sarandon’s films and made a nice career for herself. She appeared on an episode of Friends with her mother and branched out to do other projects.
Eva also starred in the film Middle of Nowhere and had a season-long run on Californication. Besides her work as an actress, Eva is also a blogger. She has a website called “Happily Eva After,” where she discusses lifestyle and motherhood.
Her Family Keeps Growing
Eva married former soccer player Kyle Martino, which has opened the door to expand the family with grandchildren. Three years after she got married, Eva welcomed her first daughter Marlow Mae, and a son, Major James, two years later.
Sarandon was elated to become a grandmother. She said, “There’s some part of your brain that can’t wrap itself around this idea that your child, that your daughter, is going to have a daughter. I mean, it’s just so beautiful and huge.” Sarandon also said it’s much easier to be a grandmother than a mom.
Sarandon and David Bowie might have ended their relationship in the ‘80s, but they got to see each other one last time in December 2015. The two reconnected a few months before he passed away, and Sarandon said they talked about things that were left unsaid throughout the years.
During their last phone conversation a week before Bowie passed away, Sarandon said it was a blur. She was traveling and had taken a sleeping pill when he called. She woke up thinking she had a dream the Bowie called and realized he actually did, but she did not recall the conversation.
She Found Love in a Younger Man
While on a road trip to Chile in 2010, Sarandon met screenwriter Johnathan Bricklin. He is 31 years younger than her, but that didn’t stop the two from dating because Sarandon believes things like age, sex, and everything else lose meaning when you are in love with someone’s soul.
Bricklin was not only her boy toy, but he also helped run SPiN ping pong lounges. Sarandon kept quiet about the details of their relationship but revealed that they never lived together. Sadly, after five years of dating, the two ended their romance in 2015.
“Connected” Causes a Disconnection
Before she split from Bricklin, he and Sarandon had their lives filmed for the reality show Connected. Participating in a reality show hasn’t always been the best way to salvage a relationship, and they learned that the hard way. Their famously private relationship was suddenly open to the public.
Bricklin admitted that there were problems in their relationship before the show started and “Connected” only revealed more cracks. He described the experience as “psychotherapy with video.” By the time the series aired, Sarandon and Bricklin had already ended things.
She Loves to Protest
As we know by now, Sarandon is very vocal about certain political and social issues. Instead of just attending fundraisers or celebrity-filled galas, she is out on the streets attending protest rallies, marches, and sit-ins to show her passion for a cause.
As a mega-celebrity, Sarandon uses her massive platform to address political and civil issues, including racial violence, gender transitioning, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, Occupy Wall Street, and more. She has even been arrested a few times for disorderly conduct during protests, but that hasn’t slowed her down.
Self-Medicated and Loving Life
Sarandon has confessed that she is a huge fan of a certain green herb. She has reportedly been stoned for almost every award show, except the Oscars. She said she wouldn’t want to release her inner Jeff Spicoli in front of members of the Academy.
At this point in her life, she is carefree and enjoying whatever project will come her way next. Right now, Sarandon has four films in pre-production, and she is staying busy. The only thing she said she won’t do is pose for Playboy; she’s already declined them 25 times.
Where Does Susan Sarandon Live?
For 30 years, Sarandon lived in a stunning duplex in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. It was the home where her children grew up, and the place where she would stash her awards in the bathroom. However, she sold it in October 2020 because it was too big.
Now that all her children are grown up, Sarandon moved to a smaller apartment in NYC. She wanted to stay in New York because it is close to her daughter and grandchildren, who live in Connecticut. Sarandon also recently started to build a vacation home in Vermont.