In Memoriam: Remembering the Legendary Donald Sutherland and His Iconic Film Legacy

At the age of 88, Donald Sutherland, the renowned and active actor best recognized for his parts in a plethora of well-loved films over a half-century, passed away.

Throughout his career, Sutherland had notable performances in films such as The Dirty Dozen and MASH, won awards for his work in Klute and Ordinary People, and left a lasting impression as a villain in the Hunger Games series.

The actor, who won an Emmy, passed away today at his Miami home following a protracted illness, his agency CAA announced to Deadline.

On July 17, 1935, Donald Sutherland was born in New Brunswick, Canada. He subsequently relocated to Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. He suffered from multiple severe ailments as a child, including as spinal meningitis, rheumatic fever, and polio.

He left Canada to follow his passion for acting, enrolling in the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and starting to land small-budget and television jobs right away.

His part in the iconic military movie The Dirty Dozen, which starred Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine, and Jim Brown, gave him a big start in Hollywood. When it was released in 1967, it was the fifth-highest grossing movie of the year.

After relocating from London to Hollywood, Donald Sutherland secured one of his most memorable roles in the 1970 anti-war comedy-drama MASH, where he originated the character “Hawkeye” Pierce. MASH emerged as one of the most successful films of the decade and is revered as a classic.

Throughout the 1970s, Sutherland established himself as a leading man in Hollywood, starring in Oscar-winning films such as Klute opposite Jane Fonda, the psychological horror Don’t Look Now, and the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. He also appeared in the popular comedy Animal House.

In 1980, he delivered a standout performance in Robert Redford’s Ordinary People, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. His notable roles continued with films such as Backdraft, JFK, Six Degrees of Separation, The Italian Job, and Pride and Prejudice.

 

In addition, Sutherland enjoyed success in television, winning a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for his work in the television movie Path to War and the 1995 film Citizen X.

Sutherland’s portrayal of the evil President Coriolanus Snow in the widely watched dystopian film series The Hunger Games introduced the actor to a new generation of viewers.

Despite never receiving an Oscar nomination, he was honored with an Academy Honorary Award in 2017, “for a lifetime of unforgettable characters portrayed with unwavering authenticity.” Additionally, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011 and on the Canadian Walk of Fame in 2000.

Sutherland was married three times. He shared a 52-year marriage with actress Francine Racette until his passing. Previously, he was married to Lois May Hardwick and Shirley Douglas. He also had a well-known relationship with his Klute co-star Jane Fonda.

He was a father to five children, notably his son Kiefer Sutherland, renowned for his role as Jack Bauer in 24.

In 2017, Kiefer Sutherland told The Hollywood Reporter,”I was too young to go watch my father’s films in the cinema,By the time I hit 20, VHS was available and a friend of my fathers had a lot of his films. In three days I watched Don’t Look Know, Klute, M*A*S*H, Kelly’s Heroes, 1900 and Fellini’s Casanova.”

“It was such a wide spectrum of characters, and I remember calling him up and I felt really badly that I grew up not knowing what a profoundly special actor he was, I felt horribly guilty of that. As a young actor, I had never known or seen another actor who’ve done characters so diverse either.”

Rest in peace to the iconic actor Donald Sutherland💔

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In Memoriam: Remembering the Legendary Donald Sutherland and His Iconic Film Legacy
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