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Popular Actor Dies At 88, As His Son Described Him As The Most Important Actor In The History Of Film

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Popular Actor Dies In Car Crash With His Three Children

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

His son, the actor Kiefer Sutherland, said: “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.”

Sutherland had almost 200 credits to his name in a career spanning more than half a century.

The news was met with an outpouring of support and tributes.

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

Popular Actor Dies At 88, As His Son Described Him As The Most Important Actor In The History Of Film

 

It was my honor to work with him many years ago, and I will never forget his charisma and ability,” he wrote on X/Twitter.

Cary Elwes, a co-star in the 2001 television film Uprising, said he was “devastated” by Sutherland’s death.

“Our hearts are breaking for you,” he told Kiefer in an Instagram message. “So grateful to have known [and] worked with him. Sending our love.

Born in New Brunswick, Canada, Sutherland started as a radio news reporter before travelling to London in 1957 to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

He then took on small roles in British film and television. His earliest high-profile roles were in war films including 1967’s The Dirty Dozen, and Kelly’s Heroes and M*A*S*H from 1970.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recalled feeling “deeply, deeply star-struck” when he first met Sutherland.

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 said.

He was a man with a strong presence, a brilliance in his craft and truly, truly a great Canadian artist,” he added.

US President Joe Biden said Sutherland was a “one-of-a-kind actor who inspired and entertained the world for decades“.

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 Ordinary People.

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

Despite his numerous roles, he was never nominated for an Oscar. He did receive an honorary Academy Award in 2017.

Sutherland was known for his political activism throughout his career and protested 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 socio-political message would help young fans become more aware of the world around them.

“We asked the kindest man in the world to portray the most corrupt, ruthless dictator we’ve ever seen,” the official Hunger Games X account posted following the announcement of his death.

“Such was the power and skill of Donald Sutherland’s acting that he created one more indelible character among many others that defined his legendary career. We are privileged to have known and worked with him, and our thoughts are with his family.”

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

“I don’t think anybody of my generation became an actor to make money. It never occurred to me. I made £8 a week here [on stage in London]. When I starred in a play at the Royal Court, I made £17 a week, that was in 1964,” he said.

At the time, he said he had no plans to retire from acting.

“It’s a passionate endeavour. Retirement for actors is spelt ‘DEATH’.” he said. His memoir, Made Up, But Still True, is due to be published in November.

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