Donald Sutherland dead at 88: iconic actor starred in “MASH,” “Ordinary People,” “Hunger Games”

    Donald Sutherland, the acclaimed and prolific actor who starred in countless beloved films across his five-decade career, has died at 88.


    Sutherland’s career ranged from early breakout roles in The Dirty Dozen and MASH to Oscar winners like Klute and Ordinary People, to his villainous role in the Hunger Games franchise.

    The Emmy Award winner died at his home in Miami today following a long illness, his agency CAA confirmed to Deadline.

    Sutherland was born July 17, 1935 in New Brunswick, Canada, later moving to Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Throughout his childhood he battled a number of serious illnesses including polio, rheumatic fever and spinal meningitis.

    He left Canada to pursue an interest in acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and soon found work in TV and low-budget films.

    He got a Hollywood breakthrough in the classic war film The Dirty Dozen, whose ensemble cast includes Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine and Jim Brown. It was the fifth highest grossing film of 1967.

    After leaving London for Hollywood, Sutherland landed one of his most iconic roles in the 1970 anti-war comedy-drama MASH, originating the role of “Hawkeye” Pierce. MASH was one of the most successful films of the decade and is regarded as a classic.

    Throughout the ’70s, Sutherland was a Hollywood leading man: his films include in the Oscar-winning Klute opposite Jane Fonda, the psychological horror Don’t Look Now, and the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. He also appeared in the hit comedy Animal House.

    In 1980, he starred in Robert Redford’s 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.

    Sutherland also had success on TV, winning an Emmy Award for the 1995 film Citizen X, and a Golden Globe for the television film Path to War.

    A younger generation of moviegoers was introduced to Sutherland through The Hunger Games, the hit dystopian blockbuster series: Sutherland starred as the villainous President Coriolanus Snow.

    Though he surprisingly never received an Oscar nomination, he received an Academy Honorary Award in 2017, “for a lifetime of indelible characters, rendered with unwavering truthfulness.” He also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011, and on the Canadian Walk of Fame in 2000.

    Sutherland was married three times; he was married to actress Francine Racette for 52 years until his death. He was previously married to Lois May Hardwick and Shirley Douglas, and also had an affair with his Klute co-star Jane Fonda.

    He had five children — including most famously his son Kiefer Sutherland, the actor best known for playing Jack Bauer in 24.

    ”I was too young to go watch my father’s films in the cinema,” Kiefer Sutherland told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017. “By the time I hit 20, VHS was available and a friend of my fathers had a lot of his films. In three days I watched Don’t Look Know, Klute, M*A*S*H, Kelly’s Heroes, 1900 and Fellini’s Casanova.”

    “It was such a wide spectrum of characters, and I remember calling him up and I felt really badly that I grew up not knowing what a profoundly special actor he was, I felt horribly guilty of that. As a young actor, I had never known or seen another actor who’ve done characters so diverse either.”

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