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Cinema: HEAD TO head - SUSAN SARANDON & GERALDINE McEWAN.

They are both grand dames of the acting world, but on different sides of the pond. Representing Blighty is veteran star Geraldine McEwan who stars in the hard-hitting drama The Magdalene Sisters. On the side of the US of A is Susan Sarandon, who can be seen this week in the slightly milder drama Moonlight Mile. But which one is the shining star and which one the panto dame?

SUSAN SARANDON

BORN: October 4, 1946

SETTING THE SCENE: Raised by her mother and advertising executive father in New Jersey, Susan was the eldest of nine children and earned a degree in drama. 9/10

QUEEN OF THE SCREEN? Susan had no aspirations to become an actress, but while accompanying her then husband on an audition in New York she landed her first Hollywood role in Joe (1970). She appeared for practically no money in the cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), but it was her part in The Witches Of Eastwick (1987) that brought her true Hollywood fame. She won Oscar nominations two years running for the ground-breaking hit Thelma And Louise (1991) and Lorenzo's Oil (1992). 8/10

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: Her first marriage, to Chris Sarandon, lasted 11 years and ended in 1979. Susan had her first child with director Franco Amurri and two more with her current partner Tim Robbins, who is 12 years her junior. 8/10

THE VERDICT: 25/30 Sandra

will always have loads of freaky fans and be an inspiration to women everywhere.

GERALDINE McEWAN

BORN: May 9, 1932

SETTING THE SCENE: Born and raised in Windsor, Berks, Geraldine began acting when a teenager and became a West End star by the age of 18. Distinguished herself as a stage actress at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, followed by 30 years at the Royal Shakespeare Company. 5/10

QUEEN OF THE SCREEN? Her cinematic career consists of only a handful of feature appearances beginning with The Dance Of Death (1968) in which she starred opposite Laurence Olivier. Others include the comedy, Foreign Body (1986), Kenneth Branagh's Henry V (1989), Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (1991) and Love's Labours Lost (2000). 4/10

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: Geraldine married her first husband Hugh Cruttwell in 1953 and managed to combine her top-level career with raising two children, Claudia and Greg. The charismatic couple's marriage sadly ended when Hugh died last year. 5/10

THE VERDICT: 14/30 She's proved herself on stage but has yet to do so on the big screen.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 21, 2003
Words:422
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