Born in the San Francisco Bay area to Vincent and Marjorie Damante, Susan Damante attended Woodside High School and Canada College. Following high school and college, she entered the Miss America Pageant and was first runner-up to Miss California. She used the scholarship money to study classical theater, under William Ball, at "The American Conservatory Theater" in San Francisco. Accepted, but unable to raise the money to attend Carnegie-Mellon University, she made her debut with a featured role in the film, The Candidate (1972), with Robert Redford. She then moved to Hollywood.
She studied with Milton Katselas at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. Her first parts were roles in TV series, such as Bender (1979), a pilot produced by Carroll O'Connor, Amy Prentiss (1974), at Universal Studios, Steven Bochco's early series: Richie Brockelman, Private Eye (1978) and The Bold Ones: The New Doctors (1969), directed by John Badham, guest-starring with Don Johnson.
Her biggest break came with her starring role in The Adventures of the Wilderness Family (1975) and its two sequels: The Further Adventures of the Wilderness Family (1978) and Adventures of the Wilderness Family 3 (1979). After a victory over an "incurable" illness, she revitalized her career on the New York stage. She studied in July 2002 at David Mamet / William H. Macy's "Atlantic Theater" and starred in "Her Sonoma Story" at the famed "Neighborhood Playhouse", June 2003. She is developing her solo play, based on her own experiences of life and near death.