Actor Donald Sutherland dies aged 88 as son Kiefer pays tribute to Hunger Games star

Legendary actor Donald Sutherland has been described as “one of the most important actors in the history of film”

Canadian actor Donald Sutherland has died aged 88 following “a long illness”, his agent CAA has confirmed.

The star of Ordinary People, M*A*S*H, The Hunger Games film series and Six Degrees Of Separation died on Thursday in Miami, Florida, following a “long illness”.

His son, Kiefer Sutherland, who stars in the TV show 24 and Phone Booth, paid tribute to his father on X and said he had “a life well lived”.

He called his father “one of the most important actors in the history of film”.

“With a heavy heart, I tell you that my father, Donald Sutherland, has passed away," he wrote.

“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.”

Sutherland appeared in three films with Kiefer, beginning with his son's small part in the comedy-drama Max Dugan Returns in 1983, followed by the John Grisham adaptation A Time to Kill.

The two didn’t perform in a scene together until the 2016 western “Forsaken.”

He won a Golden Globe for the television movie Path To War and another gong along with an Emmy Award for the mini-series Citizen X.

Donald Sutherland has received numerous accolades. Credit: PA

In 2017 he received an Academy Honorary Award for his acting but unfortunately failed to get an Oscar nod during his lengthy career.

Sutherland’s most recent roles included The Hunger Games film franchise as dictator president Coriolanus Snow, and as a judge in the 2023 TV show Lawmen: Bass Reeves.

He also had roles in thriller The Mechanic, Roman epic The Eagle, war film The Dirty Dozen, satire The Day Of The Locust, horror Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, period drama Pride & Prejudice and drama Space Cowboys.

Sutherland is perhaps best known as the womanising Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce Jr in the 1970 film version of M*A*S*H, and would eventually become a leading campaigner against war.

He was on the United States National Security Agency watchlist between 1971-73 for being a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War.

In 2012, he became a Commander of the Arts in France and was praised by the French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand for his “extraordinary” career.

Donald was born in 1935. Credit: PA

A statement from CAA said: “Acclaimed actor Donald Sutherland died today in Miami, Florida after a long illness. He was 88 years old.” It also said: “Sutherland is survived by his wife Francine Racette, sons Roeg, Rossif, Angus, and Kiefer, daughter Rachel, and four grandchildren. “A private celebration of life will be held by the family.” Sutherland’s son Roeg is an executive at the talent agency CAA, and his sons Rossif and Angus have also worked as actors.

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