Donald Sutherland, iconic actor, dies at 88

Donald Sutherland, the influential actor known for his compelling performances across multiple decades, passed away at the age of 88, his son Kiefer Sutherland announced on Thursday, per

Kiefer Sutherland paid tribute to his father on social media, describing him as “one of the most important actors in the history of film.” He highlighted his father’s dedication to his craft, stating, “He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more than that. A life well lived.”

The Creative Artists Agency confirmed that Donald Sutherland died of a long illness in Miami, Florida.

Born in Canada, Donald Sutherland rose to fame in the late 1960s and early ’70s with standout roles in films such as The Dirty Dozen and M*A*S*H. In Robert Altman’s 1970 anti-war film M*A*S*H, Sutherland portrayed the irreverent surgeon Hawkeye Pierce, a role that would later become iconic in the television adaptation.

Sutherland’s career flourished throughout the 1970s, marked by his versatile performances. He starred in the neo-noir Klute alongside Jane Fonda, played a grieving father in the horror thriller Don’t Look Now, and delivered a memorable performance in the 1978 sci-fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

His extensive filmography spans numerous genres, from dramatic roles in JFK and Backdraft to comedies like Animal House and Fool’s Gold. Sutherland also became known to younger audiences as President Coriolanus Snow in The Hunger Games series, a role he hoped would inspire political engagement among youth.

On television, Sutherland earned an Emmy for his role in HBO’s Citizen X and appeared in series such as Commander in Chief and Crossing Lines.

Despite never receiving an Academy Award nomination, Sutherland’s contributions to cinema were recognised with an honorary Oscar in 2017. Tributes from peers like Colin Farrell and Jennifer Lawrence underscored his impact on the industry and those he worked with.

Sutherland is survived by his five children, including actor Kiefer Sutherland, who praised his father’s influence on his own career. Donald Sutherland’s legacy is marked by his unforgettable performances and enduring impact on film and television.


  • Featured image: Donald Sutherland in 1975/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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