Veteran Canadian-born Actor Donald Sutherland Dies at 88

Veteran Canadian-born Actor Donald Sutherland Dies at 88

Veteran actor Donald Sutherland died in Miami on June 20 after a long illness. He was 88. His death was announced by his son, Kiefer, also an actor, who posted on X: “With a heavy heart, I tell you that my father, Donald Sutherland, has passed away. I personally think one of the most important actors in the history of film.”

The Canadian-born Sutherland appeared in scores of some of the most iconic films of the past six decades, including The Dirty Dozen, M*A*S*H, Klute, Animal House, Ordinary People, and The Hunger Games. Though he personally never won an Academy Award, he won an Honorary Oscar in 2017 for his long and productive career.

Sutherland was born in New Brunswick and studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in the UK. His first film appearances were in low-budget horror flicks.
Sutherland’s breakout role was in Robert Aldrich’s 1967 feature The Dirty Dozen, a star-studded World War II drama that also featured Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, and Charles Bronson. He next starred as Hawkeye in MASH, Robert Altman’s 1970 movie about the Korean War. Another combat-themed film he starred in, The Eagle Has Landed, was released in 1976.

But Sutherland was also acclaimed for his dramatic and comedic roles beyond the battlefield, such as a detective in 1971’s Klute, where he starred opposite Jane Fonda. Later in the 1970s, he appeared in The Great Train Robbery, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Animal House.

In the 1980s, Sutherland starred in one of his most acclaimed roles, that of Calvin Jarrett in Robert Redford’s iconic film Ordinary People, which won four Academy Awards, including one for Best Picture. Among his 1990s films were JFK, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Six Degrees of Separation. Sutherland won an Emmy and Golden Globe award for his appearance as a Russian military officer in HBO’s thriller Citizen X, and he won another Emmy in 2006 for playing the lead in the Lifetime miniseries Human Trafficking. Though he appeared in many films over the next decade, his most acclaimed role was as the fascist dictator Coriolanus Snow in The Hunger Games, which was released in 2012.

Sutherland is survived by his wife, Francine Racette; sons Kiefer, Roeg, Rossif and Angus; daughter Rachel; and four grandchildren.

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