Formerly husband to Susan Sarandon, whom he met while attending the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., Chris Sarandon spent nearly a decade performing on-stage before making his first television appearance alongside Gene Wilder and Bob Newhart in Thursday's Game in 1974. While that appearance was well received by its audience, Sarandon wouldn't achieve widespread critical recognition from the film industry until his portrayal of an overwrought transsexual opposite Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon (1975). Sarandon's performance earned him two prestigious nominations (New Star of the Year - Male from the Golden Globes and Best Actor from the Academy), and by all indications, Sarandon was headed toward a bright future on the silver screen.
Rather than jumping into a full-time movie career, however, Sarandon continued his work in theater (he replaced Raul Julia in the Tony-winning Broadway musical The Two Gentlemen of Verona) and 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, while others -- namely The Day Christ Died, in which he played the title role -- offered an opportunity for the actor to get in touch with his religious side. Oddly enough, Sarandon would also appear in a slew of satanic or otherwise horror-themed films, including The Sentinel (1976), Fright Night (1985), and Child's Play (1988). It was his decidedly less grim role as the insidious Prince Humperdinck in Rob Reiner's The Princess Bride, however, that would bring his name back into the hearts of American audiences, albeit his place therein was reserved for fairy tale bad guys.