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Tributes pour in for celebrated actor Donald Sutherland

Sutherland's career spanned MASH to Hunger Games, dies aged 88

Tributes pour in for celebrated Donald Sutherland following his demise. 

Donald Sutherland passed away on Thursday aged 88 after a long illness.

Sutherland’s agents said he died in Miami after a long illness.

His son Kiefer Sutherland, confirmed the news of his death in a social media post. 

Kiefer Sutherland wrote: “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.”

Born in New Brunswick, Canada, Sutherland started his career as a radio news reporter before travelling to London in 1957 to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Sutherland’s earliest high-profile roles were in war films including 1967’s The Dirty Dozen, and Kelly’s Heroes and M*A*S*H from 1970, leading to almost 200 credits to his name in a career spanning more than half a century. 

Flowers laid on Sutherland’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame after his death was announced [Robyn Beck/AFP]

Actor Rob Lowe, who starred alongside Sutherland in the miniseries Salem’s Lot, called his former co-star “one of our greatest actors”.

“It was my honour to work with him many years ago, and I will never forget his charisma and ability,” he wrote on X/Twitter.

Cary Elwes, a co-star in the 2001 television film Uprising, said he was “devastated” by Sutherland’s death.

“Our hearts are breaking for you,” he told Kiefer in an Instagram message. “So grateful to have known [and] worked with him. Sending our love.

Following the news of his demise, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recalled feeling “deeply, deeply star-struck” when he first met Sutherland.

“My thoughts go out to Kiefer and the entire Sutherland family, as well as all Canadians who are no doubt saddened to learn, as I am right now,” he said.

“He was a man with a strong presence, a brilliance in his craft and truly, truly a great Canadian artist,” Trudeau added.

Helen Mirren, who starred opposite Sutherland in the 2017 film The Leisure Seeker, paid tribute to her “friend” and “one of the smartest actors I ever worked with” in a statement shared with The Hollywood Reporter.

“He had a wonderful enquiring brain and a great knowledge of a wide variety of subjects,” she said.

“He combined this great intelligence with a deep sensitivity, and with a seriousness about his profession as an actor.

“This all made him into the legend of film that he became. He was my colleague and became my friend. I will miss his presence in this world.”

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