July 22, 2024

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Donald Sutherland dies at the age of 88

Donald Sutherland dies at the age of 88

Image source, Getty Images

  • author, Rachel Luker
  • Role, BBC News, Washington

Canadian actor Donald Sutherland, star of films such as The Hunger Games and Don’t Look Now, has died at the age of 88 after a long illness.

His son, actor Kiefer Sutherland, said: “It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that my father, Donald Sutherland, has passed away. I personally believe he is one of the most important actors in the history of cinema.”

“He was never intimidated by a role, whether it was good, bad or ugly. He loved what he did and he did what he loved, and no one could ask for more than that. A good life.”

This news was met with an outpouring of support and honors.

Actor Rob Lowe, who starred alongside Sutherland in the miniseries Salem’s Lot, described his former co-star as “one of our greatest actors”.

“It has been an honor to work with him for many years, and I will never forget his charisma and abilities,” he wrote on X/Twitter.

Cary Elwes, who starred in the 2001 TV movie Uprising, said he was “devastated” by Sutherland’s death.

“Our hearts break for you,” he told Kiefer in an Instagram message. “So grateful I knew [and] I worked with him. Sending our love.

Comment on the photo, Kiefer Sutherland (left) and his father Donald in the 1980s

He then took small roles in British film and television.

His first notable roles were in war films including 1967’s The Dirty Dozen, and 1970’s Kelly’s Heroes and M*A*S*H.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remembers feeling “very, very deeply shocked” when he first met Sutherland.

“My thoughts are with Kiefer and the entire Sutherland family, as well as all Canadians who are undoubtedly saddened to learn, as I feel now,” he said.

“He was a man of commanding presence, who excelled at his craft, and was truly a great Canadian artist,” he added.

US President Joe Biden said that Sutherland was “a unique actor who has inspired and entertained the world for decades.”

Ron Howard, who directed Sutherland in 1991’s Backdraft, said it was “one of the most intelligent and interesting films”. [and] Interesting film actors of all time.

Jane Fonda was Sutherland’s co-star in Alan J. Pakula’s 1971 thriller Klute, about a detective who is aided by an expensive call girl in his search for a missing person.

They dated for two years.

In an Instagram tribute, Fonda described Sutherland as a “wonderful actress” with whom she shared “quite a few adventures,” including performing for active duty soldiers during an anti-Vietnam War tour of Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines.

“I am heartbroken,” she added.

Helen Mirren, who appeared opposite Sutherland in 2017’s The Leisure Seeker, praised her “friend” and “one of the smartest actors I’ve ever worked with” in a joint statement with Hollywood Reporter.

He combined this great intelligence with deep sensitivity and seriousness in his craft as an actor.

All of this made him the cinematic legend he became. He was my colleague and became my friend. “I will miss having him in this world.”

Video explanation, Donald Sutherland talks about not being a “traditional” Hollywood star.

M*A*S*H co-star Elliot Gould shared a statement with The Associated Press, calling Sutherland a “brother.”

“It’s never easy to lose your quality as a human being and an actor like Donald Sutherland, but it hurts me deeply because Donald was like my brother, and a big part of my career,” he said.

Will Smith, who starred with Sutherland in Six Degrees of Separation, paid tribute by posting two images from the 1993 film on Instagram, with the caption: “Rest in peace Donald.”

The 1970s also saw Sutherland play an IRA member in The Eagle Has Landed, a pot-smoking college professor in National Lampoon’s Animal House and the lead in the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

In the 1980s, he played the father of a suicidal teenager in the Oscar-winning film Ordinary People.

He turned to television in the 2000s, appearing in series such as Dirty Sexy Money and Command-in-Chief.

Despite his many roles, he was never nominated for an Oscar. He received an honorary Academy Award in 2017.

Comment on the photo, Sutherland as Sergeant Oddball in Kelly’s Heroes

Sutherland was known for his political activism throughout his career, protesting against the Vietnam War alongside Fonda.

He also channeled his beliefs into some of his roles, including The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, where he played the tyrannical President Snow.

Sutherland told the BBC in 2015 that he hoped the film’s social and political message would help young fans become more aware of the world around them.

“We asked the nicest man in the world to portray the most corrupt and cruel dictator we have ever seen,” the official Hunger Games

“Such was Donald Sutherland’s strength and acting skill that he created another indelible character among many others that defined his legendary career. We are honored to know and work with him, and our thoughts are with his family.”

He also told the BBC that the biggest changes he noticed in the industry was that actors were making “a lot more money”.

“I don’t think anyone of my generation became an actor to make money. It never occurred to me. I was making £8 a week here [on stage in London]. “When I played the lead in a play at the Royal Court, I was paid £17 a week, and that was in 1964.”

He said at the time that he had no intention of retiring from acting.

“It’s an emotional endeavor. Actors’ retirements have ‘death’ written all over them.” He said.

His memoirs, titled Made Up, But Still True, are scheduled to be published next November.