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Legendary actor Donald Sutherland passes away at 88

Donald Sutherland, the esteemed actor known for his remarkable performances in a multitude of films such as «The Dirty Dozen,» «MASH,» «Klute,» «Animal House,» «Ordinary People,» and «The Hunger Games» series, passed away on Thursday in Miami after a prolonged illness. He was 88 years old.

Born on July 17, 1935, in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, Donald Sutherland’s career in film and television spanned over 60 years, encompassing nearly 200 credits. His initial breakthrough came with Robert Aldrich’s 1967 World War II drama «The Dirty Dozen,» where he starred alongside Hollywood heavyweights such as Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson. This role set the stage for an illustrious career in both leading and supporting roles.

Memorable Roles and Accolades

Sutherland’s versatility as an actor was evident in his diverse array of roles. He captivated audiences with his portrayal of the laconic and wry John Klute in «Klute,» opposite Jane Fonda, a role that earned Fonda her first Oscar. In Robert Altman’s «MASH,» he embodied the iconic character Hawkeye Pierce, a role that further cemented his place in cinematic history.

His performance in «Don’t Look Now,» where he played the skeptical John Baxter, showcased his ability to delve into psychological thrillers. He also took on a darker role in Bernardo Bertolucci’s «1900,» portraying a sadistic fascist in a stark departure from his usual characters.

A Family Legacy in Entertainment

Sutherland’s impact on the entertainment industry extended to his family. He was the father of Kiefer Sutherland, renowned for his roles in «24» and «Designated Survivor,» and Roeg Sutherland, a veteran executive at CAA Media Finance. This legacy underscores the profound influence he had not only on his audience but also on his family.

Later Career and Honors

Sutherland continued to deliver powerful performances throughout his career. In the 1980s, he starred in «Ordinary People,» a film directed by Robert Redford that won four Oscars, including Best Picture. He also played a key role in Ron Howard’s 1991 film «Backdraft.»

Photo: Wikipedia

In the 1990s, he appeared in «JFK,» «Buffy the Vampire Slayer,» and «Six Degrees of Separation.» His portrayal of Russian Col. Mikhail Fetisov in HBO’s «Citizen X» earned him an Emmy and a Golden Globe, highlighting his enduring talent and versatility.

Enduring Presence in Modern Cinema

In the 2000s, Sutherland remained a significant figure in Hollywood, with roles in «Pride & Prejudice,» «The Italian Job,» and «Cold Mountain.» His role as President Snow in «The Hunger Games» series introduced him to a new generation of fans.

A Celebrated Life

Sutherland was honored with a 2017 Honorary Oscar for his contributions to the film industry. His extensive television credits included «The Undoing,» «Trust,» and «Dirty Sexy Money,» showcasing his adaptability across different mediums.

Final Farewell

Donald Sutherland is survived by his wife, Francine Racette, and his children Roeg, Rossif, Angus, Kiefer, and Rachel, along with four grandchildren. The family will hold a private celebration of his life, honoring the legacy of a man who left an indelible mark on the world of cinema.

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