Chris Sarandon

Chris Sarandon

Chris Sarandon Jr. (/səˈrændən/; born July 24, 1942) is an American actor and voice actor who is known best for playing Prince Humperdinck in the movie The Princess Bride, the vampire Jerry Dandrige in Fright Night and Detective Mike Norris in the first entry of the Child’s Play series, and for providing the voice of Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Leon Shermer in Dog Day Afternoon.

Early life

Sarandon was born and raised in Beckley, West Virginia, the son of restaurateurs Chris Sarandon and Cliffie (née Cardullias). His father, whose surname was originally “Sarandonethes”, was born in a fishing village near Istanbul, Turkey, of Greek ancestry; his mother is also of Greek ancestry.

He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley. He earned a degree in speech at West Virginia University, graduating summa cum laude, and he  earned his master’s degree in theater from The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C.. While attending CUA, he married classmate Susan Tomalin in 1967. After graduating, they both pursued acting careers, with Tomalin taking his surname as her professional name and performing with the name Susan Sarandon. They were married until 1979.


After graduation, he worked with an improvisational theater company and became much involved in regional theatre, making his professional debut in the play The Rose Tattoo during 1965. In 1968, Sarandon moved to New York City, where he obtained his first television role as Dr. Tom Halverson for the series The Guiding Light (1973–1974). He appeared in the primetime television movies The Satan Murders (1974) and Thursday’s Game before obtaining the role of Al Pacino‘s transgender 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 for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Sarandon appeared in the Broadway plays The Rothschilds and The Two Gentlemen of Verona, as well making regular appearances at Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw festivals in the United States and Canada. He also had roles in the thriller movie Lipstick (1976) and as the demon lawyer Michael Lerman in the movie The Sentinel (1977).

To avoid being typecast as villains, Sarandon accepted various roles of other types during the years to come, portraying the title role of Christ in the made-for-television movie The Day Christ Died (1980). He received accolades in the dual roles of Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay in the CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame version of A Tale of Two Cities (1980), co-starred with Dennis Hopper, Rutger Hauer, and Craig T. Nelson in the 1983 movie The Osterman Weekend, which was based on the Robert Ludlum novel of the same name, and co-starred with Goldie Hawn in the movie Protocol (1984). These were followed by another mainstream success as the vampire-next-door in the horror movie Fright Night (1985). He also starred in the 1986 TV movie Liberty, about the making of New York City’s statue of Liberty and appeared on TV again with a recurring role as Dr. Burke on NBC‘s long-running medical drama ER.

He is best known for his role as Prince Humperdinck in Rob Reiner‘s 1987 movie The Princess Bride, though he also has had lead roles in other successful movies such as the original Child’s Play (1988). In 1992, he played Joseph Curwen/Charles Dexter Ward in The Resurrected. He also provided the voice of Jack Skellington, the main character of Tim Burton‘s animated Disney movie The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), and has since reprised the role in other productions, including the Disney/Square video games Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II and the Capcom sequel to the original movie, Oogie’s Revenge. Sarandon also reprised his role as Jack Skellington for several Disneyland Halloween events and attractions including; Halloween Screams, the Frightfully Fun Parade, and the Haunted Mansion Holiday, a three-month overlay of the Haunted Mansion, where Jack and his friends take control of a mansion in an attempt to introduce Christmas, much as his character did in the movie.

In 1991 he performed on Broadway in the short-lived musical Nick & Nora (based on the movie The Thin Man) with Tony award winning actress Joanna Gleason, the daughter of Monty Hall. Sarandon married Gleason in 1994. They have appeared together in a number of movies, including Road Ends, Edie & Pen (1996), American Perfekt (1997) and Let the Devil Wear Black (1999). During the 2000s he made guest appearances in several TV series, notably as the Necromancer demon, Armand, in Charmed, and as superior court judge Barry Krumble for six episodes of Judging Amy, and co-starred with Sally Field in the ABC Supreme Court drama series The Court.

In 2006 he played Signor Naccarelli in the six-time Tony award-winning Broadway musical The Light in the Piazza at Lincoln Center. More recently he appeared on Broadway in Cyrano de Bergerac as Antoine de Guiche, with Kevin Kline and Jennifer Garner and Through a Glass Darkly with Carey Mulligan He is on the Advisory Board for the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, West Virginia and is a volunteer in the PVS (Prisoner Visitation and Support) program in federal prisons.



Year Title Role Notes/Awards
1975 Dog Day Afternoon Leon Shermer Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture
Nominated—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
1976 Lipstick Gordon Stuart
1977 The Sentinel Michael Lerman
1979 You Can’t Go Home Again George Webber
Cuba Juan Pulido
1980 The Day Christ Died Jesus Christ
A Tale of Two Cities Sydney Carton
Charles Darnay
1981 Broken Promise Bud Griggs
1983 The Osterman Weekend Joseph Cardone
1984 Protocol Michael Ransome
1985 This Child Is Mine Craig Wilkerson
Fright Night Jerry Dandridge Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actor
1986 Liberty Jacque Marchant
1987 The Princess Bride Prince Humperdinck
Mayflower Madam Matt Whittington
1988 Child’s Play Detective Mike Norris
Goodbye, Miss Fourth Of July George Janus
1989 Collision Course Philip Mandras
Slaves of New York Victor Okrent
Tailspin: Behind the Korean Airliner Tragedy John Lenczowski
1990 The Stranger Within Dan
Whispers Tony
1991 The Resurrected Joseph Curwen
Charles Dexter Ward
1993 Dark Tide Tim
The Nightmare Before Christmas Jack Skellington (voice)
1994 David’s Mother Philip
1995 Terminal Justice Reginald Matthews
Just Cause Lyle Morgan
1996 No Greater Love Sam Horowitz
Edie & Pen Max
Bordello of Blood Rev. J.C. Current
1997 American Perfekt Deputy Sammy
Little Men Fritz Bhaer
Road Ends Esteban Maceda
1998 Reaper Luke Sinclair
2000 Race Against Time Dr.Anton Stofeles
2001 Perfume Gary Packer
2005 Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Kurotowa (voice) English dub by Walt Disney Pictures; originally released in Japanese in 1984
Loggerheads Rev. Robert Austin
2007 The Chosen One Zebulon ‘Zeb’ Kirk (voice)
2008 My Sassy Girl Dr. Roark
2009 Multiple Sarcasms Larry
My Life in the Single Seat: A Documentary Himself
2011 Fright Night “Jay Dee” Cameo appearance
2012 Safe Mayor Danny Tremello
2013 Curse of Chucky Detective Mike Norris Archive footage
2014 Big Stone Gap Mario Barbari
2015 I Smile Back Roger


Year Title Role Notes
1969–1973 Guiding Light Dr. Tom Halverson
1980 A Tale of Two Cities Sydney Carton
Charles Darnay
(TV movie)
1994 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Martus Mazur Episode: “Rivals
1995 The Outer Limits Dr. Pallas Episode: “Corner of the Eye
1998 The Practice Dr Jeffrey Winslow Episodes: “The Trial”
“Cloudy with a Chance of Membranes”
Chicago Hope Dr. Gordon Mays Episodes: “Austin, We Have a Problem”
“Wag the Doc”
“Austin Space”
1999 Felicity Dr. Peter McGrath Episodes: “Todd Mulcahy: Part 1”
“Todd Mulcahy: Part 2”
“The Force”
“Felicity Was Here”
1999-2000 Stark Raving Mad Caesar Radford Episodes: “Fish Out of Water”
“The Big Finish”
2000–2002 ER Dr. Burke Episodes: “The Greatest of Gifts”
“Piece of Mind”
“It’s All in Your Head”
2002–2004 Law & Order Howard Pincham Episode: “Gov Love”
“The Wheel”
2002 The Court Justice Vorhees 3 episodes
2003 The Wild Thornberrys Myka (voice) Episode: “Look Who’s Squawking”
Charmed Necromancer
Episode: “Necromancing the Stone”
2004 Cold Case Adam Clarke Episode: “Volunteers”
2006 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Weasly Masoner Episode: “Choreographed”
2010 Psych Ashton Bonaventure Episode: “Think Tank”
The Good Wife Judge Howard Matchick Episode: “Taking Control”
2016 Orange Is The New Black Kip Carnigan Episode: “We’ll always have Baltimore”
2017 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dracula 3 episodes

Video games

Year Title Voice role
2002 Kingdom Hearts Jack Skellington
2005 The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge
2006 Kingdom Hearts II
2013 Disney Infinity
2013 Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix
2014 Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix
2015 Disney Infinity 3.0

Theme parks and live attractions

Music videos

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