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Donald Sutherland

Donald Sutherland

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Donald Sutherland
Image:DSutherland Invasion.jpg
Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

<tr><td style="text-align:left;">Birth name</td><td>Donald McNicol Sutherland</td></tr>

Born July 17 1935 (age 82)
Image:Flag of Canada.svg Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Donald McNicol Sutherland OC (born July 17, 1935) is a prolific Canadian actor with a film career spanning over 40 years.


[edit] Biography

[edit] Early life

Donald Sutherland was born in Saint John, New Brunswick to Dorothy McNichol and Frederick Sutherland, who was in charge of the local bus, gas and electricity company; his maternal grandfather was a Protestant minister. Sutherland, of Scottish descent,[1] grew up in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. He got his first part time job aged 14 as a news correspondent for local radio station CKBW Radio in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. He then studied at Victoria College, University of Toronto (where he was expelled from residence for throwing a sink out of a window) eventually graduating with a double major in engineering and drama. He had, at one point, been a member of "UC Follies" comedy troupe in Toronto. He changed his mind about becoming an engineer and subsequently left Canada for England to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

[edit] Acting career

In the early 1960s, he began to get small parts in British film and TV, in the mid 1960s getting notable roles in horror films with Christopher Lee such as Castle of the Living Dead (1964), and Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965). His first great successes came with the three war films The Dirty Dozen in 1967 with Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson, in 1970 as the lead Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce in Robert Altman's M*A*S*H and as tank commander Sgt. Oddball in Kelly's Heroes with Clint Eastwood and Telly Savalas. Sutherland had an intimate relationship (on and off-screen, he said, to critic Mark Cousins in 2001), with actress Jane Fonda, during the filming of the Academy award-winning detective thriller Klute (1.)

Sutherland and Fonda went on to co-produce and star together in the anti-Vietnam war film F.T.A. (1972) consisting of a series of sketches performed outside army bases in the Pacific Rim and interviews with the American troops who were then on active service. Sutherland found himself in demand as a leading man throughout the 1970s in films such as the Venice based psychological horror Don't Look Now (1973), the war film The Eagle Has Landed (1976), and as the ever optimistic health inspector in the sci-fi horror Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) alongside Brooke Adams and Jeff Goldblum. He also had a small role as the pot-smoking Professor Dave Jennings in National Lampoon's Animal House in 1978.

He also made acclaimed performances in the 1976 Bernardo Bertolucci Italian fascism epic (318 minute) 1900 and for his role as the torn father in the Academy award winning family drama Ordinary People (1980) alongside Mary Tyler Moore and Timothy Hutton.

He played the part of fellow countryman, Canadian Norman Bethune, a physician, humanitarian and hero in China with whom he identified, in two separate biographical films in 1977 and 1990. Through the 1980s and 1990s his films were perhaps less noteworthy than those in the 1970s, exceptions being the South African apartheid drama A Dry White Season (1989) alongside Marlon Brando and Susan Sarandon, the fire fighter thriller Backdraft (1991) alongside Kurt Russell and De Niro, and as the snobbish NYC art dealer in Six Degrees of Separation (1993) with Stockard Channing and Will Smith.

In the Oliver Stone film, JFK, Sutherland played a mysterious Washington intelligence officer who spoke of links to the military-industrial complex in relation to Kennedy's assassination.

Recently he has been noted for his role as the Reverend Monroe in the civil war drama Cold Mountain (2003), in the re-make of The Italian Job (2003), and in Pride and Prejudice (2005) starring alongside Keira Knightley.

In July 2006, he picked up an Emmy nomination for his performance in the TV movie "Human Trafficking".

Sutherland's distinctive voice has been used in many radio and television commercials, including those for Volvo automobiles.

[edit] Personal life

He was married to actresses Lois Hardwick (between 1959 and 1966) and Shirley Douglas (from 1966 until 1970), the daughter of Canadian democratic socialist statesman Tommy Douglas. They had twins born in 1966, a daughter Rachel and a son Kiefer Sutherland (now a well-known actor).

He met his current wife, the French-Canadian actress Francine Racette (born 1947), on the set of the Canadian pioneer drama Alien Thunder (1974). (She later starred in the classic World War II drama Au revoir les enfants (1987).) They have three sons (all named after directors whom they have worked with):

Donald Sutherland was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1978. Sutherland was inducted into Canada's Walk of Famein 2000.

[edit] Miscellanea

  • Sutherland played Wilhelm Reich with Kate Bush as his son Peter in the video for her song Cloudbusting in 1985.
  • Height: 6'4"
  • Either dislikes the smell of cigarette smoke or it may be a medical irritant. (Some articles state that Sutherland suffers from emphysema, which would explain his aversion to smoke.) In an article promoting Pride & Prejudice, Rosamund Pike claims she "was privileged to be able to chat to Donald Sutherland on set - because she is not a smoker. She says, 'I don't smoke so I was able to come within a hundred metres of him unlike other people on the set - no one can smoke within a hundred metres of him'" (Contactmusic (UK), 1 October 2005).
  • When offered the choice of a flat $40,000 fee or a percentage of the gross on National Lampoon's Animal House, he chose the former option - which he conceded has cost him millions.
  • Donald and his son Kiefer are both Emmy winners. Donald won in 1996 for Citizen X and Kiefer won in 2006 for 24.

[edit] Filmography






[edit] External links

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Donald Sutherland

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