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Renowned actor Donald Sutherland passes away at 88

Donald Sutherland

Canadian actor Donald Sutherland, renowned for his roles in films such as “The Hunger Games” and “Don’t Look Now,” has died at the age of 88 following a prolonged illness. His son, actor Kiefer Sutherland, shared the news, expressing his deep sorrow and admiration for his father.

“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,” Kiefer Sutherland said. “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.”

Donald Sutherland’s illustrious career spanned over five decades and included nearly 200 film and television credits. His passing prompted an outpouring of tributes from colleagues and fans alike.

Actor Rob Lowe, who co-starred with Sutherland in the miniseries “Salem’s Lot,” praised him as “one of our greatest actors.” “It was my honor to work with him many years ago, and I will never forget his charisma and ability,” Lowe wrote on Twitter.

Cary Elwes, who worked with Sutherland in the 2001 television film “Uprising,” expressed his grief on Instagram. “Our hearts are breaking for you,” he told Kiefer. “So grateful to have known [and] worked with him. Sending our love.”

Sutherland was born in New Brunswick, Canada, and began his career as a radio news reporter before moving to London in 1957 to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He gradually made his mark with small roles in British film and television before rising to prominence with performances in war films like “The Dirty Dozen” (1967) and “Kelly’s Heroes” (1970), as well as the classic “MAS*H” (1970).

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his condolences, recalling his awe upon meeting 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,” Trudeau said. “He was a man with a strong presence, a brilliance in his craft, and truly, truly a great Canadian artist.”

US President Joe Biden also paid tribute, calling Sutherland a “one-of-a-kind actor who inspired and entertained the world for decades.”

Director Ron Howard, who collaborated with Sutherland on the 1991 film “Backdraft,” lauded him as “one of the most intelligent, interesting [and] engrossing film actors of all time.”

Jane Fonda, Sutherland’s co-star in the 1971 thriller “Klute,” shared a heartfelt tribute on Instagram. Describing him as a “brilliant actor” and recalling their shared experiences, including an anti-Vietnam War tour, she said, “I am heartbroken.”

Helen Mirren, who starred opposite Sutherland in the 2017 film “The Leisure Seeker,” remembered him as a “friend” and “one of the smartest actors I ever worked with.” In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, she remarked on his “wonderful enquiring brain” and “great knowledge on a wide variety of subjects,” adding, “He combined this great intelligence with a deep sensitivity, and with a seriousness about his profession as an actor. This all made him into the legend of film that he became. He was my colleague and became my friend. I will miss his presence in this world.”

Donald Sutherland leaves behind a legacy of extraordinary performances and an indelible impact on the world of cinema.