Transcendent Actor Donald Sutherland, Dies at 88

Transcendent Actor Donald Sutherland, Dies at 88

Son Keifer Sutherland Announces His Father’s Passing In Emotional Tribute

In a world where Hollywood’s iconic figures transcend mere stardom, Donald Sutherland stood tall — both literally, at 6-foot-4, and figuratively, across six remarkable decades. His death at 88 marks the end of an era for cinema, leaving behind a legacy that’s as diverse as it is enduring.

The pride of Canada, Donald Sutherland, died in Miami after a long illness. Sutherland is survived by his wife, Francine Racette, his five children — sons Roeg, Rossif, Angus and Kiefer, and daughter Rachel — and four grandchildren.

He was an award-winning television actor, winning a Golden Globe for the TV movie “Path to War,” as well as an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe award for his performance in the miniseries “Citizen X.”

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He won an honorary Oscar for his body of work in 2017.

“My family and I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of condolences and support over the last 24 hours. Thank you very much,”

Kiefer Sutherland on Instagram, June 21st, 2024

Here are a few of our favorite Donald Sutherland roles:



Robert Altman’s irreverent comedy set during the Korean War resonated deeply in a decade marked by countercultural rebellion. Sutherland, alongside Elliott Gould, embodied the film’s coarse iconoclasm and soul, portraying skilled combat surgeons who mixed pranks and poignant moments amidst harrowing emergencies. A film ahead of its time, “MAS*H” remains a testament to Sutherland’s early versatility.


‘Alex in Wonderland’

Paul Mazursky’s clever riff on Fellini’s “8 ½” found Sutherland stepping into a neurotic Hollywood director’s shoes, navigating existential crises with comic humility. His gravitas, juxtaposed with Ellen Burstyn’s subtle influence, added depth to this exploration of Hollywood’s inner workings.

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In Alan Pakula’s psychological thriller, Sutherland’s understated performance as a small-town detective investigating a disappearance in New York City stood in stark contrast to Jane Fonda’s Oscar-winning turn. “Klute” challenged conventions around sex work and suspense, underscoring Sutherland’s versatility.


‘Don’t Look Now’

Nicolas Roeg’s psychological horror, based on Daphne du Maurier’s tale, showcased Sutherland’s emotional depth as a grieving father in Venice. Amidst psychic menace and tragedy, Sutherland’s performance anchored a film that defied genre norms.


‘The Day of the Locust’

Set against the backdrop of pre-World War II Hollywood, John Schlesinger’s drama saw Sutherland as Homer Simpson (yes, that’s his name), an accountant whose obsession with an aspiring starlet veered into dark territory. Sutherland’s portrayal captivated in this rich, historical narrative.


‘Animal House’

Sutherland’s brief yet memorable role as an English professor in this frat-house comedy resonated with audiences, showcasing his comedic timing and effortless charm.


‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’

As a San Francisco health inspector in this sci-fi horror remake, Sutherland’s descent into paranoia resonated, culminating in a chilling portrayal that remains iconic.


‘The Great Train Robbery’

Michael Crichton’s Victorian-era heist film saw Sutherland alongside Sean Connery, delivering a performance steeped in intrigue and wit.


‘Ordinary People’

Robert Redford’s directorial debut showcased Sutherland’s portrayal of a father grappling with family tragedy, earning critical acclaim and highlighting his ability to embody complex, compassionate characters.



Oliver Stone’s conspiracy thriller featured Sutherland’s compelling turn as Mr. X, offering insight into the Kennedy assassination and adding depth to the film’s narrative.


‘Six Degrees of Separation’

In Fred Schepisi’s adaptation of John Guare’s play, Sutherland’s portrayal of a vulnerable Fifth Avenue resident added nuance to this exploration of deceit and authenticity.


‘A Time To Kill’

This was the role that truly launched Matthew_McConaughey into superstardom. But, it was Sutherland- as the alcoholic mentor and longtime activist Lucien Wilbanks, a once-great civil rights lawyer- who somehow centered the young lawyer Jake Brigance enough to win his groundbreaking case.


‘Without Limits’

Robert Towne’s biopic about runner Steve Prefontaine showcased Sutherland’s touching performance as coach Bill Bowerman, capturing the spirit of competition and mentorship.


‘Space Cowboys’

In Clint Eastwood’s science-fiction comedy, Sutherland’s role as a geriatric astronaut highlighted his enduring appeal and comedic timing.


‘Pride and Prejudice’

Sutherland’s portrayal of Mr. Bennet in this adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic added depth and emotion to the Bennet family dynamic.


‘The Hunger Games’

As President Snow, Sutherland’s portrayal of a calculating despot added gravitas to Suzanne Collins’s dystopian saga, cementing his legacy in young adult fiction adaptations.

Donald Sutherland’s career spanned generations, leaving an indelible mark on cinema that transcends the silver screen. His legacy lives on through these timeless performances, each a testament to his unparalleled talent and enduring impact.

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