Susan Sarandon

As well known for her political activism as for her varied screen roles, actress Susan Sarandon defied being stereotyped in both her career and her personal life. The former Ford model, often playing seductive older women, demonstrated throughout her career considerable range and fearlessness, excelling equally as devoted mother and sultry screen siren. Though her film debut was in 1970, Sarandon made her first measurable impression as the wide-eyed, WASP-ish ingénue in the long-running "Rocky Horror Picture Show" (1975), then achieved critical acclaim and an Oscar nod as a casino worker run afoul with the mob in "Atlantic City" (1980). But it was her performance as the sexy baseball groupie in "Bull Durham" (1988) that propelled her to stardom. What followed was a string of Oscar-nominated roles in "Thelma & Louise" (1991), "Lorenzo's Oil" (1992) and "The Client" (1994) that paved the way for Academy Award gold with a strong, dignified performance as a Catholic nun fighting for the redemption of a death row inmate (Sean Penn) in "Dead Man Walking" (1995). Though her career slacked a bit following that performance - especially in ill-received films like "The Banger Sisters" (2002) and "Elizabethtown" (2005) - Sarandon nonetheless kept working as a sultry leading lady, well past the age most actresses found themselves struggling to maintain their careers.