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Donald Sutherland

Donald Sutherland

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Also Known As: Donald Mcnichol Sutherland Died:
Born: July 17, 1935 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: St John, New Brunswick, CA Profession: actor, disc jockey

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Perhaps one of the most prolific and widely recognized actors of his generation, Donald Sutherland made a career playing some of the most unusual and memorable characters in cinema history. Though best known for playing odd, off-beat roles, like a hippie tank commander in "Kelly's Heroes" (1970), an anti-authoritarian surgeon in "M*A*S*H" (1970), a novice private investigator in "Klute" (1971) and a stoner college professor in "Animal House" (1978), Sutherland cut a wide swath of characters throughout his career, mainly in order to avoid being typecast as eccentric weirdos. Critical acclaim for several of his performances - especially "Ordinary People" (1980) and "JFK" (1991) - was abundant, but he rarely received any awards - a surprising revelation given the breadth and quality of his work. Nonetheless, Sutherland maintained a steady career despite a long lull in the mid-1980s, even expanding his horizons into series television with "Commander in Chief" (ABC, 2005-06) and "Dirty Sexy Money" (ABC, 2007-09); two projects that, although short-lived, earned him further critical raves. Boasting a career that spanned more than five decades and 150 productions, Sutherland established himself as one of the...

Perhaps one of the most prolific and widely recognized actors of his generation, Donald Sutherland made a career playing some of the most unusual and memorable characters in cinema history. Though best known for playing odd, off-beat roles, like a hippie tank commander in "Kelly's Heroes" (1970), an anti-authoritarian surgeon in "M*A*S*H" (1970), a novice private investigator in "Klute" (1971) and a stoner college professor in "Animal House" (1978), Sutherland cut a wide swath of characters throughout his career, mainly in order to avoid being typecast as eccentric weirdos. Critical acclaim for several of his performances - especially "Ordinary People" (1980) and "JFK" (1991) - was abundant, but he rarely received any awards - a surprising revelation given the breadth and quality of his work. Nonetheless, Sutherland maintained a steady career despite a long lull in the mid-1980s, even expanding his horizons into series television with "Commander in Chief" (ABC, 2005-06) and "Dirty Sexy Money" (ABC, 2007-09); two projects that, although short-lived, earned him further critical raves. Boasting a career that spanned more than five decades and 150 productions, Sutherland established himself as one of the most prolific, inventive and respected actors ever to grace either screen.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Best Offer, The (2014)
4.
 Calling, The (2014)
5.
 Dawn Rider, The (2012)
6.
7.
8.
9.
 Horrible Bosses (2011)
10.
 Eagle, The (2011)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Suffered a series of potentially crippling diseases during childhood, including polio, rheumatic fever and hepatitis
1949:
Became Canada's (Nova Scotia) youngest radio announcer and disc jockey at age 14
:
Played Scrooge in a radio production of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"
1952:
Made stage debut in "The Male Animal" at the Hart House Theatre in Toronto
1958:
Moved to England to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
1960:
Began acting in British TV and repertory theater
:
Acted with the Perth Repertory Theatre in Scotland
1963:
London stage debut, "August for the People"
1964:
First significant film role, "Il Castello dei Morti Vivi/Castle of the Living Dead"
1966:
Made U.S. TV debut on the ABC series "Court Martial"
1967:
Breakthrough supporting role, "The Dirty Dozen" with Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson
1968:
Received strong notices as a flamboyant wealthy young man in "Joanna"
1970:
Soared to stardom as the original Hawkeye Pierce in Robert Altman's "M*A*S*H"
1970:
Portrayed a prototypical hippie in the WWII comedy-drama "Kelly's Heroes"
1971:
Reteamed with Elliott Gould (from "M*A*S*H") for Alan Arkin's "Little Murders"
1971:
Played Jesus Christ in Dalton Trumbo's "Johnny Got His Gun"
1971:
Delivered an outstanding performance as detective opposite then-girlfriend Jane Fonda in "Klute"
1972:
Feature debut as co-producer and co-writer for the anti-Vietnam war film "F.T.A."; featured a series of anti-war skits and songs (with Fonda) performed outside army bases
1973:
Starred opposite Julie Christie in Nicolas Roeg's "Don't Look Now"
1973:
Executive produced "Steelyard Blues" (also starred with Fonda)
1974:
Re-teamed with Gould in "S.P.Y.S."
1975:
Evoked pity as the hick in love with an aspiring, selfish would-be starlet (Karen Black) in John Schlesinger's "The Day of the Locust"
1976:
Played a bestial fascist in Bernardo Bertolucci's "1990"
1976:
Delivered a romantic turn as the title role of "Fellini's Casanova"
1978:
Delivered arguably his best performance since "Klute" as scientific-minded public health inspector confronting unspeakable horrors in Phillip Kaufman's remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"
1979:
Teamed with Sean Connery for the stylish "The Great Train Robbery"
1980:
Came to see the falseness of his life as he struggled to overcome the death of his son in the Academy Award-winning "Ordinary People", co-starring Mary Tyler Moore and Timothy Hutton; film marked Robert Redford's directorial debut
1981:
Broadway debut as Humbert Humbert in Edward Albee's stage adaptation of "Lolita"
1981:
Founded McNichol Pictures Inc.; also served as President
1981:
Played a German agent in the thriller "Eye of the Needle"
1983:
Appeared in "Max Dugan Returns" along with son Kiefer in his film debut (also debut of Matthew Broderick)
1983:
Returned to TV after a 15-year absence in the CBS movie "John Steinbeck's 'The Winter of Our Discontent'"
1987:
Portrayed middle-aged Paul Gauguin in "Wolf at the Door"; also provided voice of Gauguin in PBS' "Paul Gauguin: The Savage Dream" (1989)
1989:
Cast as a teacher in the South African apartheid drama "A Dry White Season"
1991:
Cast as a mad firebug in Ron Howard's "Backdraft"
1991:
Played a mysterious Washington intelligence officer in Oliver Stone's "JFK"
1992:
Mentored Kristy Swanson in the feature "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
1993:
Offered a captivating performance as a snobbish but charming, upscale New Yorker living through the eyes of other people in "Six Degrees of Separation"; film based on a 1990 play by John Guare
1994:
Portrayed a corporate honcho in Barry Levinson's adaptation of Michael Crichton's "Disclosure"
1994:
Narrator for The Learning Channel's "Great Books" series
1995:
Offered an award winning performance as Colonel Fetisov in the HBO movie "Citizen X"
1995:
Came aboard "Outbreak" late to play the icy General McClintock
1996:
Second film with son Kiefer, as the alcoholic mentor of Jake Brigance (Matthew McConaughey) in "A Time to Kill"
1997:
Cast as a coldly manipulative CIA agent in "The Assignment"
1998:
Stalked the hidden enemy in the supernatural thriller "Fallen"
1998:
Played University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman in Robert Towne's "Without Limits," about track sensation Steve Prefontaine
2000:
Acted on stage in "Enigma Variations"
2001:
Starred as a painter in the off-Broadway play "Ten Unknowns" by Jon Robin Baitz
2001:
Had lead role as an Irish thief who plans to rob an airport terminal in the A&E original "The Big Heist"
2003:
Had memorable role in F. Gary Gray's remake of the "Italian Job"
2003:
Cast in Anthony Minghella's war epic "Cold Mountain"
2005:
Cast as Speaker of the House Nathan Templeton on Rod Lurie's ABC drama "Commander in Chief"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor
2005:
Cast as the patriarch in Joe Wright's adaptation of the Jane Austen classic "Pride and Prejudice"
2005:
Co-starred with Mira Sorvino in the Lifetime movie "Human Trafficking"; earned Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for Best Actor in a TV movie
2006:
Co-starred with Colin Farrell in the Robert Towne-directed adaptation of "Ask the Dust"
2006:
Played a Virginia firearms-shop owner in Aric Avelino's film debut "American Gun"
2007:
Played an aging aristocratic billionaire in Griffin Dunne's "Fierce People"
2007:
Cast as Patrick 'Tripp' Darling III on ABC's "Dirty Sexy Money"; earned a Golden Globe (2008) nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Series
2008:
Played multi-millionaire Nigel Honeycut in "Fool's Gold"
2009:
Lent his voice to the animated feature "Astro Boy"
2011:
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
2012:
Cast as series antagonist President Snow in the feature film adaptation of "The Hunger Games"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art: -
University of Toronto: - 1956
University of Toronto: - 1956

Notes

Active with the Canadian Centre for Arms Control and Disarmament, an Ottawa-based research organization

He received an honorary PhD from Saint Mary's University and honorary LLDs from McGill University and the University of Toronto

Named Officer, Order of Canada

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Lois Hardwick. Actor. Married in 1959; divorced in 1966; Canadian; met at University of Toronto.
wife:
Shirley Douglas. Actor. Married in 1966; divorced in 1971; Canadian; mother of Kiefer and Rachel Sutherland; daughter of former Canadian NDP leader, Tommy Douglas; met while filming "Castle of the Living Dead"; she was arrested for trying to buy hand grenades from the CIA with a personal check, but case ultimately thrown out of court.
companion:
Jane Fonda. Actor. Met while filming "Klute"; had three-year relationship; performed together in "Free the Army" anti-war revue that toured military bases (1973).
companion:
Joan Juliet Buck. Fashion editor. Thinly veiled their relationship in her novel "The Only Place to Be".
wife:
Francine Racette. Actor. Met in 1972 while filming "Alien Thunder"; mother of Roeg, Rossif and Angus.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Frederick Sutherland. Salesman. Ran the local bus, gas and electricity company; deceased.
mother:
Dorothy Sutherland. Deceased.
son:
Kiefer Sutherland. Actor. Born on December 21, 1966; twin brother of Rachel; mother, Shirley Douglas; named after Warren Kiefer, writer of Sutherland's first film "Castle of the Living Dead"; reportedly estranged from father.
daughter:
Rachel Sutherland. Born on December 21, 1966; twin sister of Kiefer.
son:
Roeg Sutherland. Born in 1974; mother, Francine Racette; named after director Nicolas Roeg.
son:
Rossif Sutherland. Born in 1978; mother, Francine Racette; named after director Frederick Rossif ("To Die in Madrid").
son:
Angus Redford Sutherland. Born c. 1980; mother, Francine Racette; middle name after Robert Redford.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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