Susan Sarandon (née Tomalin; born October 4, 1946) is an American actress. She has worked in films and television since 1969, and won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1995 film Dead Man Walking. She had also been nominated for the award for four films before that and has received other recognition for her work. She is also noted for her social and political activism for a variety of liberal causes.
Sarandon was born Susan Abigail Tomalin in New York City to a Roman Catholic family, the eldest of nine children of Leonora Marie (née Criscione) and Phillip Leslie Tomalin (September 26, 1917 – March 26, 1999), who worked as an advertising executive, television producer, and nightclub singer during the big band era. Her father was of English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry, his English ancestors being from Hackney in London. Her Italian American mother's ancestors emigrated from the regions of Tuscany and Sicily. Sarandon attended Roman Catholic schools. 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, and earned a BA in drama and worked with noted drama coach and master teacher, Father Gilbert V. Hartke.
In 1969, Sarandon went to a casting call for the motion-picture Joe, with her then-husband Chris Sarandon. Although he did not get a part, she was cast in a major role of a disaffected teen, who disappears into the seedy underworld. (The film was released in 1970). Between the years 1970 and 1972, Sarandon played Patrice Kahlman on the short-lived soap opera A World Apart, and on Search for Tomorrow, in the role of Sarah Fairbanks. She appeared in Fleur bleue (The Apprentice) (1971) and also appeared in Lady Liberty (1971), by Mario Monicelli, opposite Sophia Loren.