Legendary Actor Donald Sutherland, Star of “MASH,” “Ordinary People,” and “The Hunger Games,” Passes Away at 88

Donald Sutherland, the revered and prolific actor whose career spanned five decades and included a multitude of beloved films, has died at the age of 88.

Sutherland’s extensive filmography ranges from early breakout roles in “The Dirty Dozen” and “MASH” to Oscar-winning performances in “Klute” and “Ordinary People,” and his memorable portrayal of President Snow in “The Hunger Games” series.

The Emmy Award-winning actor passed away at his home in Miami today after a prolonged illness, as confirmed by his agency, CAA, to Deadline.

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Born on July 17, 1935, in New Brunswick, Canada, Sutherland moved to Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, during his childhood. He faced numerous serious health challenges growing up, including polio, rheumatic fever, and spinal meningitis.

Sutherland eventually left Canada to pursue his passion for acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, quickly securing roles in television and low-budget films.

His Hollywood breakthrough came with the classic war film “The Dirty Dozen,” featuring a star-studded ensemble cast that included Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine, and Jim Brown. The film was the fifth highest-grossing movie of 1967.

Donald Sutherland (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Sutherland’s move from London to Hollywood led to one of his most iconic roles as “Hawkeye” Pierce in the 1970 anti-war comedy-drama “MASH.” The film was a major success and is considered a classic of its time.

Throughout the 1970s, Sutherland was a prominent leading man in Hollywood, starring in films such as the Oscar-winning “Klute” opposite Jane Fonda, the psychological horror “Don’t Look Now,” and the remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” He also appeared in the popular comedy “Animal House.”

In 1980, Sutherland played a leading role in Robert Redford’s “Ordinary People,” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. His other notable films include “Backdraft,” “JFK,” “Six Degrees of Separation,” “The Italian Job,” and “Pride and Prejudice.”

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Sutherland also found success on television, earning an Emmy Award for the 1995 film “Citizen X” and a Golden Globe for the television film “Path to War.”

A new generation of filmgoers came to know Sutherland through his role as the villainous President Coriolanus Snow in “The Hunger Games,” the popular dystopian film series.

Despite never receiving an Oscar nomination, Sutherland was honored with an Academy Honorary Award in 2017 for “a lifetime of indelible characters, rendered with unwavering truthfulness.” He also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011 and on the Canadian Walk of Fame in 2000.

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Sutherland was married three times and was married to actress Francine Racette for 52 years until his death. He was previously married to Lois May Hardwick and Shirley Douglas, and had a notable relationship with his “Klute” co-star Jane Fonda.

He is survived by five children, including his son Kiefer Sutherland, an actor best known for his role as Jack Bauer in “24.”

Kiefer Sutherland reflected on his father’s legacy in a 2017 interview with The Hollywood Reporter: “I was too young to watch my father’s films in the cinema. By the time I was 20, VHS tapes were available, and a friend of my father’s had many of his films. In three days, I watched ‘Don’t Look Now,’ ‘Klute,’ ‘MASH,’ ‘Kelly’s Heroes,’ ‘1900,’ and Fellini’s ‘Casanova.’”

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“It was such a wide range of characters, and I remember calling him and feeling terribly guilty for not knowing what a profoundly special actor he was. As a young actor, I had never seen another who portrayed such diverse characters so brilliantly.”

Rest in peace to the legendary actor Donald Sutherland, who graced so many classic films with his extraordinary talent. You will be deeply missed 💔😢

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