Canadian actor Donald Sutherland passes away at 88

Canadian actor Donald Sutherland has passed away at 88 years old, just weeks before his 89th birthday.  His son, fellow renowned actor Kiefer Sutherland, made the somber announcement in a post on X.

“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. 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.”

With the outpouring of love being shared across social media, it’s no surprise that the legendary actor will be missed. Many are sharing clips and memories about their favorite movies that Sutherland starred in:

Sutherland was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, but he has strong ties with Toronto. Before becoming an actor, he graduated from the University of Toronto (U of T) with degrees in engineering and drama. According to a U of T profile on the actor, Sutherland “had never seen a theatre play prior to enrolling in Victoria College at U of T”. He went on to act in several productions at Hart House Theatre before graduating in 1958.

Since then, he has starred in more than 200 TV shows and films. His breakout role was as Capt. Hawkeye Pierce in the 1970 black comedy M*A*S*H, a film that focused on characters at a medical unit during the Korean War. A year later, he portrayed a detective who fell in love with a call girl (played by Jane Fonda) in the now-cult-classic flick Klute. Today, he is more well-known for his portrayal as the evil President Snow in the dystopian “The Hunger Games” franchise, based on the popular series by Suzanne Collins.

Throughout his long career, the veteran actor has garnered 33 nominations and 24 awards, including a 1995 Primetime Emmy for the most Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries (Citizen X), an Honorary Award at the 2018 Academy Awards, and the Best Supporting Actor Award at the 2021 Critics Choice ceremony for his role as the rich father of Nicole Kidman’s character in The Undoing).

Apart from acting, Sutherland was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1978 and promoted to the Companion of the Order of Canada in 2019 for his contributions to the motion picture industry and for his championing of social issues.