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Donald Sutherland

Donald SutherlandAKA Donald McNichol Sutherland

Born: 17-Jul-1935
Birthplace: Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Gender: Male
Religion: Atheist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: Canada
Executive summary: The Dirty Dozen

Whether intentionally or not, Donald Sutherland often seems British in his movie roles, but he was born and raised in Canada. A sickly child, he battled polio, rheumatic fever and hepatitis, and began working as a radio announcer at the age of 14. He worked as a stage actor beginning in high school, and after receiving a rave review in the Toronto Globe & Mail for his performance in a student production at the University of Toronto, he decided he might be able to make a living as an actor. He trained in London and worked on stage and television there early in his career, then broke into film with a tiny part in the 1963 British romantic drama The World Ten Times Over starring Sylvia Syms, released in America as Pussycat Alley. By the time Sutherland came to Hollywood in the mid-1960s, he had to pay special attention to avoid speaking with a British accent.

His first American film was the top-notch Navy drama The Bedford Incident with Richard Widmark, but Sutherland was barely seen in the ship's sick bay. His first noteworthy role was impersonating a military general in The Dirty Dozen with Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine, and his first critical acclaim came by affecting a lisp and talking to himself in Joanna, in 1968. He was a bonafide star after playing the rebellious doctor Hawkeye Pierce in Robert Altman's MASH with Elliott Gould. His most famous and influential films include Dalton Trumbo's pacifist anthem Johnny Got His Gun with Timothy Bottoms, the haunting Hollywood drama The Day of the Locust with Karen Black, the goosebump-inducing 1978 remake of Jack Finney's Invasion of the Body Snatchers with Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy, and the war thriller Eye of the Needle with Kate Nelligan.

In smaller, character roles, he was the tank-driving Sgt Oddball in Kelly's Heroes with Clint Eastwood, the pot-smoking student-seducing professor of literature in National Lampoon's Animal House, the mysterious "X" who helped Jim Garrison and Oliver Stone unravel John F. Kennedy's assassination in JFK, and the kindly fathers of, respectively, Nicole Kidman in Cold Mountain and Keira Knightley in the 2005 Pride & Prejudice. He also played a villainous Congressman in Geena Davis' short-lived TV drama Commander in Chief.

He had a famous affair with Jane Fonda, his co-star in the murder mystery Klute, then joined her for a world-wide tour of anti-Vietnam war stage shows. The performances, often held near US military bases for crowds packed with US soldiers, featured other "Hollywood liberals" like Peter Boyle and Holly Near, and were filmed as F.T.A., a then-common acronym for "Fuck the Army." Not surprisingly as the war raged, the film was not widely screened in America, and even decades later it is almost impossible to find. Sutherland later had an extended affair with author Joan Juliet Buck, and their relationship was fictionalized in her novel The Only Place to Be.

Sutherland's second wife, Shirley Douglas, is a well-known actress in Canada, where she starred in Wind at My Back, a Waltons-esque series set in the Depression, and had a featured role in the sitcom Robson Arms. Her father was one-time Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas, elected as a Socialist, author of Canada's Bill of Rights, and credited with creating a forerunner of Canada's system of national health care. Their son is Kiefer Sutherland, star of TV's 24.

His third and last wife is the Canadian actress Francine Racette, best known for her work in numerous French-language films, including Monsieur Klein with Jeanne Moreau and Louis Malle's Au revoir, les enfants. Speaking English, she starred with Sutherland in the true cowboys-and-Indians drama Alien Thunder and the thriller The Disappearance. Sutherland and Racette moved to France in the early 1980s to raise their family. Their three sons are named for Sutherland's favorite directors: Roeg for Nicolas Roeg, who directed him in Don't Look Now with Julie Christie; Angus Redford for Robert Redford, who directed Sutherland in Ordinary People with Mary Tyler Moore, and Rossif was named for European documentary-maker Frederic Rossif, who never worked with Sutherland. Rossif Sutherland is an actor who played Dr. Lester Kertzenstein on ER, and starred in the racially-charged boxing film Poor Boy's Game with Danny Glover.

Unlike many Canadian show-business exports, Sutherland never became an American citizen, but he continues to speak for left-leaning causes, and castigated the Presidency of George W. Bush as "inadequate", "vindictive", "lying", and "shameful".

Father: Frederick Sutherland (salesman)
Mother: Dorothy McNichol
Wife: Lois Hardwick (m. 1959, div. 1966)
Wife: Shirley Douglas (actress, m. 1966, div. 1970, one son, one daughter)
Son: Kiefer Sutherland (actor, twin, b. 21-Dec-1966)
Daughter: Rachel Sutherland (TV producer in Canada, twin, b. 21-Dec-1966)
Girlfriend: Jane Fonda (actress, affair 1971-74)
Girlfriend: Joan Juliet Buck (novelist)
Wife: Francine Racette (actress, m. 1972, three sons)
Son: Roeg Sutherland (filmmaker, b. 1974)
Son: Rossif Sutherland (actor, b. 25-Sep-1978)
Son: Angus Redford Sutherland (actor, b. 1979)

    High School: Bridgewater Junior Senior High School, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada
    University: University of Toronto
    University: London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art

    Emmy Supporting Actor for Citizen X (1995)
    Golden Globe Supporting Actor for Citizen X (1995)
    Golden Globe 2003 for Path to War
    Hollywood Walk of Fame 7024 Hollywood Blvd. (2011)
    Canada's Walk of Fame (2000)
    Risk Factors: Polio, Hepatitis

    Dirty Sexy Money Tripp Darling (2007-)
    Commander in Chief Nathan Templeton (2005-06)

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 (4-Nov-2015)
    Forsaken (16-Sep-2015)
    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 (10-Nov-2014)
    The Calling (5-Aug-2014)
    The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (11-Nov-2013)
    The Best Offer (1-Jan-2013)
    Dawn Rider (29-May-2012)
    Assassin's Bullet (18-Apr-2012)
    The Hunger Games (21-Mar-2012)
    Treasure Island (1-Jan-2012)
    The Man on the Train (28-Oct-2011)
    Jock the Hero Dog (29-Jul-2011) [VOICE]
    Horrible Bosses (8-Jul-2011) · Jack Pellit
    The Eagle (11-Feb-2011) · Uncle Aquila
    The Mechanic (13-Jan-2011) · Harry McKenna
    The Pillars of the Earth (23-Jul-2010)
    The Con Artist (2010) · John Kranski
    Astro Boy (5-Oct-2009) · President Stone [VOICE]
    Fool's Gold (7-Feb-2008)
    Trumbo (10-Sep-2007) · Himself
    Puffball (3-Jun-2007)
    Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia (5-Apr-2007) · Narrator [VOICE]
    Reign Over Me (22-Mar-2007) · Judge Raines
    Ask the Dust (2-Feb-2006)
    Land of the Blind (31-Jan-2006)
    An American Haunting (5-Nov-2005) · John Bell
    Human Trafficking (24-Oct-2005)
    Lord of War (16-Sep-2005) [VOICE]
    American Gun (15-Sep-2005) · Carl Wilk
    Pride & Prejudice (11-Sep-2005)
    Fierce People (24-Apr-2005) · Ogden C. Osborne
    Aurora Borealis (22-Apr-2005) · Ronald
    Salem's Lot (2-Jun-2004)
    Cold Mountain (25-Dec-2003)
    The Italian Job (30-May-2003) · John Bridger
    Five Moons Plaza (9-May-2003)
    Path to War (18-May-2002)
    Big Shot's Funeral (21-Dec-2001)
    Uprising (4-Nov-2001)
    Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2-Jul-2001) · Dr. Sid [VOICE]
    The Art of War (23-Aug-2000) · Douglas Thomas
    Space Cowboys (1-Aug-2000) · Jerry O'Neill
    Panic (22-Jan-2000) · Michael
    The Hunley (11-Jul-1999)
    Instinct (4-Jun-1999)
    Behind the Mask (28-Feb-1999)
    Virus (15-Jan-1999) · Capt. Everton
    Free Money (3-Dec-1998) · Judge Rolf Rausenberger
    Without Limits (11-Sep-1998)
    Fallen (16-Jan-1998) · Lt. Stanton
    The Assignment (12-Sep-1997) · Jack Shaw
    Shadow Conspiracy (25-Jan-1997)
    Natural Enemy (10-Jan-1997)
    Hollow Point (14-Aug-1996)
    A Time To Kill (24-Jul-1996)
    Outbreak (10-Mar-1995) · Gen. Donald McClintock
    Citizen X (25-Feb-1995)
    Disclosure (9-Dec-1994) · Bob Garvin
    The Puppet Masters (21-Oct-1994)
    Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (1-May-1994)
    Younger and Younger (9-Dec-1993)
    Six Degrees of Separation (8-Dec-1993) · Flan
    Benefit of the Doubt (1-Apr-1993)
    Shadow of the Wolf (12-Nov-1992)
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (31-Jul-1992) · Merrick
    Quicksand: No Escape (4-Mar-1992)
    JFK (20-Dec-1991) · X
    Cerro Torre: Scream of Stone (3-Oct-1991)
    Backdraft (24-May-1991) · Ronald Bartel
    Buster's Bedroom (9-May-1991)
    Eminent Domain (12-Apr-1991)
    Bethune: The Making of a Hero (May-1990)
    A Dry White Season (10-Sep-1989)
    Lock Up (4-Aug-1989)
    Lost Angels (5-May-1989) · Dr. Charles Loftis
    Apprentice to Murder (26-Feb-1988)
    The Trouble with Spies (4-Dec-1987) · Appleton Porter
    The Rosary Murders (9-May-1987)
    Wolf at the Door (5-Sep-1986)
    Revolution (25-Dec-1985)
    Heaven Help Us (8-Feb-1985) · Brother Thadeus
    Crackers (Feb-1984)
    Ordeal by Innocence (1984)
    Max Dugan Returns (25-Mar-1983) · Brian Costello
    Threshold (19-Sep-1981)
    Eye of the Needle (24-Jul-1981) · Faber
    Gas (Jul-1981)
    Ordinary People (19-Sep-1980) · Calvin
    Nothing Personal (28-Mar-1980)
    Bear Island (5-Dec-1979)
    A Man, a Woman and a Bank (8-Sep-1979)
    The First Great Train Robbery (2-Feb-1979) · Agar
    Murder by Decree (1-Feb-1979) · Robert Lees
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers (20-Dec-1978) · Matthew Bennell
    Animal House (28-Jul-1978) · Dave Jennings
    Blood Relatives (1-Feb-1978)
    The Disappearance (17-Sep-1977)
    The Kentucky Fried Movie (10-Aug-1977)
    Bethune (1977)
    The Eagle Has Landed (25-Dec-1976) · Liam Devlin
    Casanova (7-Dec-1976) · Giacomo Casanova
    1900 (15-Aug-1976)
    The Day of the Locust (7-May-1975)
    End of the Game (1975)
    S*P*Y*S (25-Sep-1974)
    Dan Candy's Law (22-Feb-1974)
    Don't Look Now (25-Dec-1973) · John Baxter
    Lady Ice (13-Jul-1973)
    Steelyard Blues (9-Feb-1973)
    FTA (21-Jul-1972) · Himself
    Johnny Got His Gun (4-Aug-1971) · Christ
    Klute (23-Jun-1971)
    Little Murders (9-Feb-1971) · Rev. Dupas
    Alex in Wonderland (17-Dec-1970)
    Act of the Heart (24-Sep-1970)
    Kelly's Heroes (23-Jun-1970) · Oddball
    Start the Revolution Without Me (4-Feb-1970)
    MASH (25-Jan-1970)
    Joanna (24-Nov-1968)
    The Split (4-Nov-1968) · Dave Negli
    Oedipus the King (Jun-1968)
    Interlude (May-1968)
    Sebastian (24-Jan-1968)
    Billion Dollar Brain (20-Dec-1967) · Scientist at Computer
    The Dirty Dozen (15-Jun-1967) · Vernon Pinkley
    Die! Die! My Darling! (21-Mar-1965)
    Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (28-Feb-1965)
    The Bedford Incident (Jan-1965) · Hospitalman Nerney
    Castle of the Living Dead (5-Aug-1964)

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