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Chris Sarandon

Christopher Sarandon (born July 24 1942) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor. He is best known for his role as Prince Humperdinck in the film The Princess Bride, as the speaking voice of Jack Skellington from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas and its spin-offs, and for his Oscar-nominated performance as Leon in Dog Day Afternoon.

Biography

Personal life

Sarandon was born and raised in Beckley, West Virginia, the son of Greek immigrant restaurateurs Mary and Christopher Sarandon. In his teens, he played drums and sang back-up with a local band called The Teen Tones which later went on to tour with such musical legends as Bobby Darin and Gene Vincent. He earned his master's degree in theater from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he met his first wife, actress Susan Sarandon; they divorced in 1979. Sarandon then married and divorced model Lisa Ann Cooper during the 1980s; they have three children.

Career

After graduation from university, he toured with numerous improv companies and became heavily involved in regional theatre, making his professional debut in The Rose Tattoo in 1965. In 1968, Sarandon moved to New York, where he landed his first television role as Dr. Tom Halverson on The Guiding Light (1969-1973). He also appeared in the primetime TV movies The Satan Murders (1974) and Thursday's Game before landing the role of Al Pacino's overwrought transsexual wife in Dog Day Afternoon (1975), a performance which earned him nominations for Best New Male Star of the Year at the Golden Globes and the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award.

In spite of his recent success in film and television, Sarandon chose to focus on stage work for most of the next decade, appearing in The Rothschilds and The Two Gentlemen of Verona on Broadway, as well making regular appearances at numerous Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw festivals in the United States and Canada. He also appeared in a series of television roles, some of which (such as A Tale of Two Cities in 1980) mirrored his affinity for the classics. He also took roles in horror films, this time in co-leads, opposite the late Margaux Hemingway in the thriller Lipstick (1976) and as a demon in the shocker The Sentinel (1977). To avoid being type cast as creepy characters, Chris took on various roles in the years to come, portraying the title role in the made for television movie The Day Christ Died (1980). He received accolades for his portrayal of Sydney Carton in a made for television version of A Tale of Two Cities (1980), co-starred with Dennis Hopper in The Osterman Weekend (1983), which was based on the Robert Ludlum novel of the same name and co-starred with Goldie Hawn in Protocol (1984). These were followed by another mainstream success as the hypnotic vampire-next-door in the teen horror classic Fright Night (1985).

He is best known in the film industry for his role as Prince Humperdinck in Rob Reiner's 1987 film The Princess Bride, though he also has had supporting parts in some other successful films such as the original Child's Play (1988). He also provided the voice of Jack Skellington, the main character in Tim Burton's animated film The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), and has since reprised the role in many other spinoff productions, including the Squaresoft/Disney video games Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II and the Capcom sequel to the original film, Oogie's Revenge. Sarandon also reprised his role as Jack Skellington for "Haunted Mansion Holiday", a three-month overlay of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland, where Jack and his friends take over the Mansion in an attempt to run Christmas, much like his character in the film.

Sarandon would later find work on television again with a recurring role as Dr. Burke on NBC's long-running medical drama ER. In recent years Chris has been seen on stage, film and TV but with fewer roles and without leading roles.

In 1991 he performed on Broadway in the short-lived musical Nick and Nora (based on the Thin Man film) with Joanna Gleason, the daughter of Monty Hall. Sarandon married Gleason in 1994. They have appeared together in a number of films, including American Perfekt (1997), Edie & Pen (1996) and Let the Devil Wear Black (1999). In the 2000s he has done a bit of TV work by making guest appearances on quite a few series, notably as superior court judge Barry Krumble and love interest for Judge Amy Gray in six episodes of the hit television show "Judging Amy".

He returned to Broadway in 2006 playing "Signor Naccarelli" in the six-time Tony award-winning Broadway musical The Light in the Piazza at Lincoln Center. Most recently he appeared in Cyrano de Bergerac as Antoine de Guiche, alongside Kevin Kline, Jennifer Garner and Daniel Sunjata. He is on the Advisory Board for the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, West Virginia.

Credits

Filmography

Television

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References

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