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A Sad Day for Sarandon and Robbins

So during all my years of waitressing and bartending in New York City, I can honestly tell you that for all the celebrities I met and waited on, I never met Susan Sarandon or Tim Robbins.

However, when I was working at Columbus Restaurant in New York City, one of my fellow waitresses by the name of Lynne Cohen was a very dear friend of Sarandon and Robbins. She told me that they never ran in celebrity circles, rather they kept to themselves and quietly raised their children.

I was very sad to hear the news that Sarandon and Robbins had parted ways after 23 years of being a couple. They had two sons together, now aged 20 and 17.

I read that Sarandon didn’t want to marry so they wouldn’t take each other for granted. It was a reverse May-September romance, with Sarandon 12 years older than Robbins. When they parted last summer, she was 63 and Robbins was 51.

One celebrity couple I did wait on regularly who seem to have a long relationship is Angelica Huston and her sculptor husband Robert Graham. I used to wait on them both in New York and Los Angeles. I see they were married in 1992 and are still together to my knowledge today, 18 years later. They now live in Los Angeles.

I especially remember that Huston always made eye contact with the wait staff and spoke directly to me as a person. As an aspiring actress working as a waitress, I really appreciated people speaking directly to me and not treating me as an underling.

Robert Graham was a nice complement to Huston, since he was very understated and so was she. They didn’t come into the restaurant in a flurry of activity or as “stars.” As an Oscar winning actress and daughter of John Huston and granddaughter of Walter Huston, she certainly could have made a grand entrance, but instead, she was seemingly bemused by all the fuss the owners of the restaurant and fans would bestow upon her.

Angelica and Robert always came into the restaurant alone, because they wanted to be there, not to make a scene.

From my talks with Lynne Cohen, Sarandon and Robbins sounded like they were much like Huston and Graham in not doing the celebrity thing. Cohen said they were very aid back and understated. I remember that Lynne was about 10 to 12 years older than I was and she struck me as a real throwback to the hippies movement. That may have gone along with Sarandon and Robbins’ liberal political outlook. I have read that Robbins and Sarandon were particulary happy about Obama’s election as the first black president. Lynne was way left in her politics and I believe Sarandon and Robbins were too. Lynne and Susan went way back for years in their friendship, even though Lynne wasn’t an actor, although I believe she may have been a writer, but not “in the business” per se. I got the feeling that Lynne was very “salt of the earth” and so was Sarandon and Robbins.

So, I was sad to hear of their breakup,  though as one writer put it, they must have done something right to stay together all those years and raise two children to adulthood.

About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site