EntertainmentDonald Sutherland, legendary actor, dies at 88

Donald Sutherland, legendary actor, dies at 88

Donald Sutherland in 1982
Donald Sutherland in 1982
Images source: © Licensor | Fairchild Publishing

5:31 AM EDT, June 21, 2024

Donald Sutherland, an icon of world cinema, has died at the age of 88. His career, which began in the 1960s, brought him recognition from both critics and audiences. His contributions to the world of film will remain unforgettable.

The death of his father was announced by Kiefer Sutherland: "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. Never daunted by a role, good, bad or ugly. He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more than that. A life well lived." Kiefer is also an actor, known to viewers from the series "24".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote: "My thoughts go out to Kiefer and the entire Sutherland family, as well as all Canadians who are no doubt saddened to learn as I am right now." He also called the actor "a truly a great Canadian artist."

With her son Kiefer Sutherland in 1989
With her son Kiefer Sutherland in 1989© Licensor | Bob Riha Jr

Helen Mirren said in a statement sent to The Hollywood Reporter: "Donald Sutherland was one of the smartest actors I ever worked with. He had a wonderful enquiring brain, and a great knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. He combined this great intelligence with a deep sensitivity, and with a seriousness about his profession as an actor. This all made him into the legend of film that he became. He was my colleague and became my friend. I will miss his presence in this world."

Jane Fonda shared her thoughts on Instagram: "I am stunned to hear that Donald Sutherland has died. He was my fascinating co-star in Klute and we loved working together. In this photo we are on the Klute set with director Alan Pakula. Donald was a brilliant actor and a complex man who shared quite a few adventures with me, such as the FTA Show, an anti-Vietnam war tour that performed for 60,000 active duty soldiers, sailors, and marines in Hawaii, Okinawa, the Philippines, and Japan in 1971. I am heartbroken."

With Jane Fonda in 1971
With Jane Fonda in 1971© Licensor | 2005 Getty Images

Life and career of Donald Sutherland

Donald Sutherland was one of the older generation's most famous and recognizable yet paradoxically least appreciated actors. He was present on cinema screens for several decades. He was Canadian by origin. Donald Sutherland was born in Canada and moved to the United Kingdom, where he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He acted in over 150 productions.

"Kelly's Heroes"
"Kelly's Heroes"© Licensor | 2007 Getty Images

He gained fame as Captain "Hawkeye" in Robert Altman's "M*A*S*H". This was a breakthrough in his career. He built his star status in the following years thanks to numerous performances in well-known, top-tier productions. He worked with directors such as Alan J. Parker, Federico Fellini, Bernardo Bertolucci, Werner Herzog, and Oliver Stone.

He successfully appeared in typically commercial productions, such as the war comedy "Kelly's Heroes" with Clint Eastwood (1970), the title role of John "Klute" in Alan J. Pakula's famous thriller (1971), and the comedy "Steelyard Blues" with Jane Fonda (1973, BAFTA nomination). He also starred in horrors like "Don't Look Now" by Nicolas Roeg (1973, BAFTA nomination), "The Day of the Locust" by John Schlesinger (1975), and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" by Philip Kaufman (1978, Saturn nomination). Despite his extensive filmography, he never received an Oscar nomination; only in 2017, it was announced that he would receive an honorary Oscar for his lifetime achievement.

Donald Sutherland in 2019
Donald Sutherland in 2019© Licensor | Nicolas Liponne/NurPhoto
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