No one could’ve predicted when Susan Sarandon made her big-screen debut as a strung-out hippie in 1970’s Joe that she’d be one of Hollywood’s most enduring stars a half-century later. Least of all Susan. “My life has been filled with happy accidents,” she previously told AARP magazine. “The thing that’s served me well is being able to change to a different track.”
As a 20-year-old coed at Catholic University in D.C., Susan married graduate drama student Chris Sarandon. “I had never taken acting lessons, but just sort of fell into it,” she says. The couple moved to New York City, and Susan, now 73, worked steadily in films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show through the ’70s. In 1979, Susan and Chris divorced. “He wasn’t a mean person,” she explains. “It was about choosing myself.”
After a three-year romance with her Pretty Baby director Louis Malle — who was 14 years her senior — Susan became unexpectedly pregnant by a much younger filmmaker, Franco Amurri (she’d been told she wouldn’t be able to have children due to endometriosis). Daughter Eva was joined by sons Jack and Miles, from her 21-year relationship with Bull Durham costar Tim Robbins, and belated motherhood became a focus of Susan’s life.
“I was old — 39 — when I had my first, and 45 when I had my third,” says Susan to The Guardian. “I thought that being with my kids, at that time, was so much more interesting.”
Her Life Now
Tim and Susan split in 2009. “I didn’t think it would ever happen,” she admits. Reveals an insider, “At first it was rocky, but now the two are on friendly terms.”
With her kids out of the nest, Susan’s devoting more energy to her career (she costars with John Turturro in the recently released film The Jesus Rolls). While she says she’ll never marry again, she’s open to a new romance. And she’s embracing her age. With time, “what you look like becomes less and less an issue,” she says. “And what you are is the point.”