Susan Abigail Tomalin (born October 4, 1946), known professionally as Susan Sarandon, is an American actress. She has worked in movies 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.
Susan Abigail Tomalin was born in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City. She is the first of nine children born to Lenora Marie (née Criscione) and Phillip Leslie Tomalin, 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. On her mother's side, she is of Italian descent, with ancestors from the regions of Tuscany and Sicily. Sarandon was raised Roman Catholic, and 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, where she began dating actor Chris Sarandon. They were married in 1967.