Iconic Actor Donald Sutherland Dies at 88: Star of “MASH,” “Ordinary People,” “Hunger Games”


Iconic Actor Donald Sutherland Dies at 88: Star of “MASH,” “Ordinary People,” “Hunger Games”


Daniel Stone


Donald Sutherland, the acclaimed actor, has died at 88. His career spanned five decades, with many beloved films.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Sutherland was born on July 17, 1935, in New Brunswick, Canada. He later moved to Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Throughout his childhood, he battled serious illnesses like polio, rheumatic fever, and spinal meningitis. Despite these challenges, he pursued acting.

He left Canada to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After graduating, he worked in TV and low-budget films.


Breakthrough Roles

Sutherland’s big break came with the war film “The Dirty Dozen.” The film’s ensemble cast included stars like Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson. It was the fifth highest-grossing film of 1967.

Hollywood Stardom

After moving to Hollywood, Sutherland landed a role in “MASH” (1970), playing “Hawkeye” Pierce. This anti-war comedy-drama became a classic.

In the 1970s, Sutherland starred in many successful films. These included:

  • “Klute” (1971), opposite Jane Fonda
  • “Don’t Look Now” (1973), a psychological horror
  • “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978), a sci-fi remake
  • “Animal House” (1978), a hit comedy

Continued Success

In 1980, Sutherland starred in “Ordinary People,” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Other major films include “Backdraft,” “JFK,” “Six Degrees of Separation,” “The Italian Job,” and “Pride and Prejudice.”

Television Achievements

Sutherland also found success on TV. He won an Emmy Award for “Citizen X” (1995) and a Golden Globe for “Path to War.”

The Hunger Games and Later Recognition

A younger generation knew Sutherland as President Coriolanus Snow in “The Hunger Games” series. Despite never receiving an Oscar nomination, he received an Academy Honorary Award in 2017. He also has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Canadian Walk of Fame.

Personal Life

Sutherland was married three times. He was married to actress Francine Racette for 52 years until his death. His previous marriages were to Lois May Hardwick and Shirley Douglas. He had five children, including actor Kiefer Sutherland.

Kiefer Sutherland’s Tribute

Kiefer Sutherland shared his admiration for his father. In a 2017 interview, he said, “I watched many of my father’s films and realized what a profoundly special actor he was. I felt guilty for not knowing earlier.”

Donald Sutherland’s legacy includes a wide spectrum of memorable characters and a lasting impact on film and television.

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