Donald Sutherland Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trade Mark (6)  | Trivia (61)  | Personal Quotes (10)  | Salary (3)

Overview (3)

Born in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Birth NameDonald McNichol Sutherland
Height 6' 3½" (1.92 m)

Mini Bio (1)

The towering presence of Canadian actor Donald Sutherland is often noticed, as are his legendary contributions to cinema. He has appeared in almost 200 different shows and films. He is also the father of renowned actor Kiefer Sutherland, among others.

Donald McNichol Sutherland was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, to Dorothy Isobel (McNichol) and Frederick McLea Sutherland, who worked in sales and electricity. He has Scottish, as well as German and English, ancestry. Sutherland worked several different jobs - he was a radio DJ in his youth - and was almost set on becoming an engineer after graduating from the University of Toronto with a degree in engineering. However, he also graduated with a degree in drama, and he chose to abandon becoming an engineer in favour of an actor.

Sutherland's first roles were bit parts and consisted of such films as the horror film Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965) which starred Christopher Lee. He was also appearing in episodes of TV shows such as "The Saint" and "Court Martial". Sutherland's break would come soon, though, and it would come in the form of a war film in which he was barely cast.

The reason he was barely cast was because he had been a last-minute replacement for an actor that had dropped out of the film. The role he played was that of the dopey but loyal Vernon Pinkley in the war film The Dirty Dozen (1967). The film also starred Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, and Telly Savalas. The picture was an instant success as an action/war film, and Sutherland played upon this success by taking another role in a war film: this was, however, a comedy called MASH (1970) which landed Sutherland the starring role alongside Elliott Gould and Tom Skerritt. This is now considered a classic among film goers, and the 35-year old actor was only getting warmed up.

Sutherland took a number of other roles in between these two films, such as the theatrical adaptation Oedipus the King (1968), the musical Joanna (1968) and the Clint Eastwood-helmed war comedy Kelly's Heroes (1970). It was Kelly's Heroes (1970) that became more well-known, and it reunited Sutherland with Telly Savalas. 1970 and 1971 offered Sutherland a number of other films, the best of them would have to be Klute (1971). The film, which made Jane Fonda a star, is about a prostitute whose friend is mysteriously murdered. Sutherland received no critical acclaim like his co-star Fonda (she won an Oscar) but his career did not fade.

Moving on from Klute (1971), Sutherland landed roles such as the lead in the thriller Lady Ice (1973), and another lead in the western Alien Thunder (1974). These films did not match up to "Klute"'s success, though Sutherland took a supporting role that would become one of his most infamous and most critically acclaimed. He played the role of the murderous fascist leader in the Bernardo Bertolucci Italian epic 1900 (1976). Sutherland also gained another memorable role as a marijuana-smoking university professor in National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) among other work that he did in this time.

Another classic role came in the form of the Robert Redford film, Ordinary People (1980). Sutherland portrays an older father figure who must deal with his children in an emotional drama of a film. It won Best Picture, and while both the supporting stars were nominated for Oscars, Sutherland once again did not receive any Academy Award nomination. He moved on to play a Nazi spy in a film based on Ken Follett's book "Eye of the Needle" and he would star alongside Al Pacino in the commercial and critical disaster that was Revolution (1985). While it drove Al Pacino out of films for four years, Sutherland continued to find work. This work led to the dramatic, well-told story of apartheid A Dry White Season (1989) alongside the legendary actor Marlon Brando.

Sutherland's next big success came in the Oliver Stone film JFK (1991) where Sutherland plays the chilling role of Mister X, an anonymous source who gives crucial information about the politics surrounding President Kennedy. Once again, he was passed over at the Oscars, though Tommy Lee Jones was nominated for his performance as Clay Shaw. Sutherland went on to appear in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Shadow of the Wolf (1992), and Disclosure (1994).

The new millennium provided an interesting turn in Sutherland's career: reuniting with such former collaborators as Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones, Sutherland starred in Space Cowboys (2000). He also appeared as the father figure to Nicole Kidman's character in Cold Mountain (2003) and Charlize Theron's character in The Italian Job (2003). He has also made a fascinating, Oscar-worthy performance as the revolutionist Mr. Thorne in Land of the Blind (2006) and also as a judge in Reign Over Me (2007). Recently, he has joined forces with his son Rossif Sutherland and Canadian comic Russell Peters with the new comedy The Con Artist (2010), as well as acting alongside Jamie Bell and Channing Tatum in the sword-and-sandal film The Eagle (2011). Sutherland has also taken a role in the remake of Charles Bronson's film The Mechanic (1972).

Donald Sutherland has made a lasting legacy on Hollywood, whether portraying a chilling and horrifying villain, or playing the older respectable character in his films. A true character actor, Sutherland is one of Canada's most well-known names and will hopefully continue on being so long after his time.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bob Stage

Spouse (3)

Francine Racette (1972 - present) ( 3 children)
Shirley Douglas (1966 - 1971) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Lois Hardwick (1959 - 1966) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (6)

Blond hair
Adds a touch of eccentricity (sometimes much more than a touch) to each role
Towering height and slender frame
Offbeat grin and bold blue eyes
Rich, mellifluous voice
More often than not sports a beard

Trivia (61)

Grew up in the town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, where he also graduated from high school.
At age 14, his first part-time job was as a news correspondent for local radio station, CKBW.
Attended and graduated from Bridgewater High School in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.
Was a member of the "UC Follies" comedy troupe in Toronto, Ontario.
Turned down starring in The Sweet Hereafter (1997) because the salary was too low. His role eventually went to Ian Holm.
Has dubbed (uncredited) the role taken by English actor William Devlin in The Shuttered Room (1967).
In addition to an on-screen small role as a computer scientist in Billion Dollar Brain (1967), he also provided the mechanical voice for the eponymous "brain".
He was featured in the computer game "Conspiracy" (digitised video and sound).
Both Sutherland and Alan Alda, who took up the role of Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H (1972) suffered from polio as children.
Former son-in-law of Tommy Douglas.
In two of his films in 2003, in Cold Mountain (2003) and The Italian Job (2003), he played a character who dies who was the father of a young woman, and both daughters were played by back-to-back winners of the Academy Award for Best Actress. In Cold Mountain (2003) his daughter was portrayed by Nicole Kidman, who won in 2003 for The Hours (2002), and in The Italian Job (2003) his daughter was portrayed by Charlize Theron, who would win in 2004 for her performance in Monster (2003).
Even though he receives top billing in The Day of the Locust (1975), he does not appear in the film for the first 42 minutes.
Has appeared throughout MASH (1970) wearing glasses and a fishing bucket hat. This look was later mirrored by his son, Kiefer Sutherland, in Article 99 (1992).
Has appeared in The Day of the Locust (1975) as a character named Homer Simpson, and then later made a guest appearance on The Simpsons (1989).
Being very tall, Sutherland has long since had a habit of slouching over so he could meet other actors eye to eye.
Two of his sons were named after directors he has worked with: Kiefer Sutherland was named after Warren Kiefer who directed Donald's first film The Castle of the Living Dead (1964), and his second son, Roeg Sutherland was named after Nicolas Roeg, who directed him in Don't Look Now (1973).
He was originally cast as Franklyn Madson in Dead Again (1991), but was eventually replaced by Derek Jacobi.
Has two roles in common with Alan Alda. Sutherland played Flan in Six Degrees of Separation (1993), the role Alda played in an audio-book publication. Sutherland also played Hawkeye Pierce in MASH (1970), the role Alda played on M*A*S*H (1972).
Made two guest appearances on The Saint (1962), playing two different characters.
Was awarded the OC (Officer of the Order of Canada) by the Governor-General of Canada on 18 December 1978 and the degree of Commander of the Order of the Arts and the Letters of France by the President of the Republic of France (unknown date 2012) for his services to Drama.
Had a near-death experience in 1979 when he was sick with meningitis. Doctors told him he had died for a time, and he claims to have had an out-of-body experience.
Grandfather of Sarah Sutherland, daughter of Kiefer Sutherland and Camelia Kath.
Has starred on the television series Commander in Chief (2005) with Leslie Hope. During the first season of 24 (2001), Leslie Hope played the wife of his son, Kiefer Sutherland.
Has played together with his son Kiefer Sutherland in two movies: Max Dugan Returns (1983) and A Time to Kill (1996) where they play enemies.
He and Alan Alda both play Republicans with Presidential aspirations on television. Alda appears on The West Wing (1999), Sutherland appears on Commander in Chief (2005).
Between 1958 and 1960, he went to England and studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).
He and Kiefer Sutherland are both Emmy Award winners. He won in 1996 for Citizen X (1995), and ten years later, Kiefer won for 24 (2001).
His great-grandmother through male line was a third cousin of President Rutherford Birchard Hayes.
Is distantly related to the former Governor of Vermont, Howard Dean.
He was so shocked by his own performance as the sadistic, perverse fascist leader in 1900 (1976), that he was unable to watch the film for years.
Originally wanted to be a sculptor, but decided to be an actor after witnessing people praise a drawing of Churchill that he thought was awful (he realized he could not make art to please other people). He had never attended a theater performance, and still had not when he received his first role. Thus he was behind the proscenium arch before ever having been in front of it.
Prefers to shoot the opening scenes of a movie last in order to better set the tone of the movie to the audience.
Although several sources erroneously report that he and Francine Racette were married in 1974, Sutherland stated in a May 2000 "Daily Mail" article that they did not marry until August 1990. They met in 1974 and lived together for 16 years before getting married.
Achieved cinematic fame in two completely different and contrasting war films. One was the cynical, edgy, sarcastic Korean War comedy MASH (1970), and the other was the gritty, action packed, violent World War II action film The Dirty Dozen (1967).
Is a huge fan of the television series 24 (2001) starring his son Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer and never missed an episode. However, he declined an offer to play Jack Bauer's estranged father, Phillip Bauer, who appeared in the series' sixth season, and the role instead went to James Cromwell.
Lives in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California.
His son, Kiefer Sutherland, appeared in Stand by Me (1986), based on a short story by Stephen King. Donald later appeared in Salem's Lot (2004). Donald has himself appeared in two Michael Crichton adaptations: The Great Train Robbery (1978) and Disclosure (1994), while is other son Rossif Sutherland appears in Timeline (2003).
Was offered the role of Wyatt Earp in Doctor Who (1963): The Gunfighters but was not free so John Alderson took the role.
Partook in the opening ceremony of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver as the voice-over narrator describing the history of Canada and was also one of the flag bearers of the Olympic flag.
In the "making of" documentary for The Dirty Dozen (1967) Special Edition DVD, Sutherland says the was one of the "last dozen", meaning he was not going to have many lines. However when they were preparing to film the scene where Major Reisman (Lee Marvin) had to convince Colonel Breed (Robert Ryan) that a general was among them, it was supposed to be Posey (Clint Walker). However, Walker refused to do the scene so director Robert Aldrich picked Sutherland to do the scene. After that, Sutherland's role was expanded rather more. The Dirty Dozen (1967) is credited with helping Sutherland get more attention from filmmakers, thus launching his career. According to Sutherland, sometime later, Aldrich asked him to be in another movie but Sutherland declined. He says in the documentary that turning down Aldrich was one of his greatest regrets as an actor as he felt he owed Aldrich for helping to launch his career.
Received his double major in Engineering and Drama from the University of Toronto. He had originally intended to become an engineer before trying acting.
He and his son Kiefer Sutherland have both played artist Paul Gauguin.
He was awarded a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto, Ontario in 2000.
Has rarely worked more than once with the same film director, which is something quite uncommon for an actor with a long career. The only exceptions he made (so far) are appearing in four films directed by Christian Duguay, two films by Nicolas Roeg, two films by Robert Towne, two films by Hugh Hudson and three films by Francis Lawrence.
As of 2014, has appeared in three films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: MASH (1970), Ordinary People (1980) and JFK (1991). Ordinary People (1980) won in the category.
When polled by the American Film Institute, Sutherland chose Great Expectations (1946) as his favorite film.
Has been in four movies where aliens took over human beings: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), The Puppet Masters (1994), Virus (1999), and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001). In Virus (1999), they made human-robot hybrids. In the Final Fantasy movie, they were spirits from another planet that took over and killed the humans.
Has played a grieving father in both Don't Look Now (1973) and Ordinary People (1980).
He replaced Richard Harris as the IRA terrorist Liam Devlin in The Eagle Has Landed (1976) after it was discovered that Harris had attended a fundraiser for the Provisional IRA in the United States.
Has worked with eight directors who have won a Best Director Oscar: John Schlesinger, Bernardo Bertolucci, Robert Redford, Ron Howard, Oliver Stone, Barry Levinson, Clint Eastwood and Anthony Minghella.
Member of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 69th Cannes International Film Festival in 2016.
He was an ardent fan of the Montreal Expos baseball team ever since it was founded. In the beginning of the 1983 season, when it looked like the team would finally be good enough to win the National League title, he ordered his agent not to accept any offers during the season, so that he could follow the team without distractions, even to the point of attending all of their games on their road trips. (The Expos failed to meet expectations and finished third).
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7024 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on January 26, 2011.
Has English, German and Scottish ancestry.
Was considered for the role of Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
Twice, he has played a father grieving over a young son of his drowning: first, in Ordinary People (1980) second, in Forsaken (2015).
Dated Jane Fonda from 1970 to 1972.
Despite he and his son Kiefer Sutherland bot having prolific careers, they never worked together until the film Forsaken (2015), in which they play father and son.
Of Clan Sutherland.

Personal Quotes (10)

Pauline Kael reviewed The Day of the Locust (1975): "There's nothing specifically wrong with Donald Sutherland's performance. It's just awful." That was the most destructive, stupid piece of criticism I've ever received. I stopped reading reviews after that.
I was up for a great part but they told me: "Sorry, you're the best actor but this part calls for a guy-next-door type. You don't look as if you've ever lived next door to anyone."
When you're working for a good director, you become subjective and submissive. You become his concubine. All that you're seeking is his pleasure.
Frank Lloyd Wright designed the house I was living in. From what I understood, he was having an affair with the wife of the man he was designing the house for. That man was very tall. So Wright, short and vain, designs the house in such a way that a tall person couldn't live in it without severe cranial damage. I hit my head *all* the time.
[on his early roles] Well, I was always cast as an artistic homicidal maniac. But at least I was artistic!
[on Jane Fonda] Jane's person is more specific than most of us. She's well disciplined and knows what she wants and where she's going and works objectively to apply all her information to that intention. With Jane, the character and force is embodied in her persona and it's a lovely, delicate and self-deprecating human.
[on Julie Christie] Julie has such a wonderful film presence and fulfills everything I admire in a performer in that she -- more specifically than almost anyone else -- works for the director and recognizes that the film is created by the director in the way Jeanne Moreau did for Louis Malle.
Jennifer Lawrence is as good an actress as you're going to find anywhere. In The Hunger Games (2012), she's playing a character who's a genius in the Shavian sense that Joan of Arc was a genius. And she does it with such clarity. It's incredible to see how clearly that character develops.
on being selected for an Honorary Oscar]I get this call and I don't know the number so I picked it up to tell them never to call me again, but it turns out to be John Bailey who tells me he is calling on behalf of the Academy for which he just got elected President
[on his breakup with Jane Fonda] It was a wonderful relationship right up to the point we lived together.

Salary (3)

Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965) £1,000
Steelyard Blues (1973) $100,000
National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) $40,000

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