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Susan Sarandon: A True Maverick
by Betty Jo Tucker

"Well, maybe I am a bit of a maverick," Susan Sarandon quipped during one of her many acceptance speeches. And there it was -- an  inspiration for the title of my book about this Oscar winner's extraordinary movie career. Susan Sarandon: A True Maverick, published by Wheatmark, explores a number of questions about the legendary actress. Why did the passionate and outspoken Sarandon choose acting as a career? How does she select her roles? What is her acting philosophy? What motivates her to promote social and political causes and why do some people object to this? How do critics rate her work and her movies? The book also includes a complete annotated filmography of Sarandon's films and selected reviews of her key movies by a variety of film critics.

Controversial she may be at times, but during her 30 years in the movies, Sarandon has portrayed some of the most memorable female characters of the silver screen. So far, she has earned five Oscar nominations and won the coveted statuette for her brilliant work as Sister Prejean in Dead Man Walking.


"I love making movies with people who have a passion for their stories." -- Susan Sarandon

Wearing a slinky, spaghetti-strap black dress, her famous red hair flowing in all directions, Susan Sarandon looked every bit the glamorous movie star while gliding across the stage to accept her Maverick Award at the Taos Talking Pictures Festival 2002. By the time the tribute to this Oscar-winning actress was over, any doubts I harbored about why Sarandon was selected for this award were gone.

Of course, I knew Sarandon's credentials as a great American actress were impeccable . . . and I was aware of the challenging roles she usually selected -- roles that offer a different model of the Hollywood superstar. But up to this point, the term "maverick" wasn't something included in my description of her. However, I realize now it's a perfect title for Susan Sarandon.

"This is so cool!" she said in her acceptance speech. "But when I heard about the Maverick Award, I wasn't sure what that meant, so I looked it up. I found out there really was a Mr. Maverick. He refused to brand his calves. Now, we don't know why he refused. Was he onery? Or lazy? Or maybe he didn't want to hurt his calves. Anyway, the term maverick now means a person who doesn't conform. Well, maybe I am a bit of a maverick."


True/False Quiz
CHAPTER ONE: Recognizing a Maverick
CHAPTER TWO: Balancing Act: Family and Career
CHAPTER THREE: Roles of Distinction
CHAPTER FOUR:  Her Colleagues Speak Out
CHAPTER SIX: The Myelin Project
CHAPTER SEVEN: Her Critics Speak Out
CHAPTER EIGHT: A Woman of Substance

Susan Sarandon: A True Maverick is available as a paperback or e-book at and through special order at local bookstores. 

Author's royalties are being donated to The Myelin Project, a research group working on cures for diseases like the one depicted in Lorenzo's Oil -- a powerful film starring Sarandon and Nick Nolte as parents who refuse to give up after doctors say there's no hope for their young son.

(Susan Sarandon: A True Maverick received Honorable Mention in the Wild Card category at the 2007 New York Book Festival.)

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