Kiefer Sutherland, Edgar Wright, Helen Mirren Remember Donald Sutherland: “One of the Most Important Actors in the History of Film” (2024)

Hollywood stars took to social media on Thursday after it was announced that Donald Sutherland died at the age of 88.

Sutherland died Thursday in Miami after a long illness, CAA’s Missy Davy toldThe Hollywood Reporter.

The renowned actor had an illustrious six-decade career, starring in varied roles with his breakthrough performances including the 1967 film The Dirty Dozen and Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H. Throughout his career, the actor starred in such films as Klute, Kelly’s Heroes, Don’t Look Now, Ordinary People, 1900, The Hunger Games series and Ad Astra.

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In 2017, he received an Honorary Award from the Academy.

Sutherland is survived by his wife, Francine Racette; sons Roeg, Rossif, Angus and Kiefer; daughter, Rachel; and four grandchildren.

Kiefer paid tribute to his late father online, writing, “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.”

Sutherland portrayed President Snow in the Hunger Games franchise films, with the official account paying tribute to the late actor: “We asked the kindest man in the world to portray the most corrupt, ruthless dictator we’ve ever seen. Such was the power and skill of Donald Sutherland’s acting that he created one more indelible character among many others that defined his legendary career. We are privileged to have known and worked with him, and our thoughts are with his family.”

Gary Ross, who directed the first Hunger Games film, told THR in a statement of Sutherland: “Donald. He was just so wonderful. Kind, gracious, and thoughtful — and so well read. He had [T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred] Prufrockmemorized, andhe’d give me sections of it, outloud, like a book on tape. More than anything there was this loving enthusiasm for the work. It wasn’t enough to do just do the job — he had tofeelthe job and he wanted you to feel it all with himinevery second.

He continued, “I’ve told the story before, but there wasonemoment when we were shooting Hunger Gameswhere hesent me a letter about his part as President Snow. It was the creation of awholecharacter — much more than I’d put on the page:his motivations … his backstory … what he meant to the narrative … how a fascist is born, and what that means. I was so floored by the depth and sophistication of it that I stopped shooting,grabbed a folding chair,went down by the side of the lake and wrote two new scenes. Those are the scenes that remain in the final movie,and,for me,they capture all the beautiful ways I remember him.”

Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson said, “Snow has fallen and we couldn’t be more heartbroken. Donald Sutherland was a gentleman, a thinker and a master of his craft. We have lost one of the true reigning greats of our industry. Our hearts go out to his family and his legion of fans around the world.”

Tom Blyth, who portrayed a younger Coriolanus Snow in the Hunger Games prequel Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes, thanked the actor for “birthing one of the great movie characters of all time.”

Helen Mirren paid tribute to Sutherland in a statement to THR, “Donald Sutherland was one of the smartest actors I ever worked with. He had a wonderful enquiring brain, and a great knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. He combined this great intelligence with a deep sensitivity, and with a seriousnessabout his profession as an actor. Thisall made him into the legend of film that he became. He was my colleagueand became my friend. I will miss his presencein this world.”

Ron Howard remembered directing Sutherland in Backdraft: “I was blessed to direct him in #Backdraft. One of the most intelligent, interesting & engrossing film actors of all time. Incredible range, creative courage & dedication to serving the story & the audience with supreme excellence.”

Edgar Wright praised Sutherland’s filmography, describing him as “a favourite actor and always fascinating screen presence.”

Roland Emmerich, who worked with Sutherland on Moonfall, wrote on social media: “I had the honor and great privilege to work with the incredibly gifted and legendary Donald Sutherland on MOONFALL. A true screen icon of modern cinema has left us. Sending my heartfelt condolences to his family.”

Sutherland’s Klute co-star Jane Fonda remembered the actor on Instagram, writing, “I am stunned to hear that Donald Sutherland has died. He was my fascinating co-star in Klute and we loved working together. In this photo we are on the Klute set with director Alan Pakula.”

She continued, “Donald was a brilliant actor and a complex man who shared quite a few adventures with me, such as the FTA Show, an anti-Vietnam war tour that performed for 60,000 active duty soldiers, sailors, and marines in Hawaii, Okinawa, the Philippines, and Japan in 1971. I am heartbroken.”

Below are more tributes.

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… pic.twitter.com/3EdJB03KKT

— Kiefer Sutherland (@RealKiefer) June 20, 2024

We asked the kindest man in the world to portray the most corrupt, ruthless dictator we’ve ever seen. Such was the power and skill of Donald Sutherland’s acting that he created one more indelible character among many others that defined his legendary career. We are privileged to… pic.twitter.com/jQsRzGW2KN

— The Hunger Games (@TheHungerGames) June 20, 2024

Snow has fallen and we couldn’t be more heartbroken. Donald Sutherland was a gentleman, a thinker and a master of his craft. We have lost one of the true reigning greats of our industry. Our hearts go out to his family and his legion of fans around the world. pic.twitter.com/KNo91zLI4d

— nina jacobson (she/her) (@ninajacobson) June 20, 2024

RIP the great Donald Sutherland, a favourite actor and always fascinating screen presence. He starred in two of my very favourite and most influential films – ‘Don’t Look Now’ and the 1978 ‘Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers’. But that is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of his… pic.twitter.com/HzRHIGd2ov

— edgarwright (@edgarwright) June 20, 2024

“I wish I could say thank you to all of the characters that I've played, thank them for using their lives to inform my life.”

Donald Sutherland accepting an Honorary Award at the 2017 Governors Awards. pic.twitter.com/EWmGeTKY4f

— The Academy (@TheAcademy) June 20, 2024

RIP Donald Sutherland, 88.
One of my all-time favourite actors who played so many great roles. What a sad loss. pic.twitter.com/TdYkE9uJ2c

— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 20, 2024

Oh no! He went to Vic in Toronto..he was a great actor even then. https://t.co/MJS3Nf6UIW

— Margaret E Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) June 20, 2024

We are deeply saddened to hear the loss of actor & activist Donald Sutherland. A versatile performer with unforgettable characters, his contributions across genres and generations will continue to inspire storytellers of all ages.@THR remembers him here: https://t.co/1y9zgTyyX2 pic.twitter.com/pOHjxqPR5p

— TCM (@tcm) June 20, 2024

Donald Sutherland was one of the great faces of the movies, one of the great bodies, one of the great voices, one of the great actors. I have watched DON'T LOOK NOW and INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS more times than I can count, and I've got tears in my eyes typing this.

— Adam Nayman (@brofromanother) June 20, 2024

RIP to the GOAT, Donald Sutherland. pic.twitter.com/3MJrnYIPI5

— Joe Russo (@joerussotweets) June 20, 2024

Donald Sutherland was cinematic seasoning, put this man in anything and he'd make it so f*cking tasty. pic.twitter.com/bLRnOz4Udw

— Stephen Ford (@StephenSeanFord) June 20, 2024

This actor! This AMAZING actor. A staple in my life through incredible performances “Ordinary People, Don’t Look Now, Klute, Die! Die! My Darling!, Invasion of The Body Snatchers” etc etc. Quirky, versatile, always honest & brilliant. Wonderful.

RIP Donald Sutherland. 😢 pic.twitter.com/URcJ09A2FA

— James Dreyfus (@DreyfusJames) June 20, 2024

One of my favorite Donald Sutherland scenes. No voice will ever match the richness of his. pic.twitter.com/3mGCH6Ulth

— Michelle Collins (@michcoll) June 20, 2024

I was pleasantly surprised when Donald Sutherland accepted a small role in my first movie. Then even more surprised to meet him and discover what a mensch he was. RIP. pic.twitter.com/h7wL1gtb6b

— Jonathan Goldstein (@JM_Goldstein) June 20, 2024

Today we lost one of our greatest actors, Donald Sutherland. It was my honor to work with him many years ago, and I will never forget his charisma and ability. If you want a master class in acting, watch him in “Ordinary People”. My condolences to Kiefer. pic.twitter.com/qjMz69Nraq

— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) June 20, 2024

R.I.P. the great Donald Sutherland – brilliant in so many films but the first to jump into my mind is his movie stealing ten minutes as a preacher in “Little Murders” pic.twitter.com/GvAIBAZTXq

— Larry Karaszewski (@Karaszewski) June 20, 2024

Donald Sutherland
1935 – 2024

I have the honor and pleasure of working with Donald Sutherland on three occasions.

The first was when he so brilliantly portrayed the deranged, psychopathic arsonist Ronald in the Ron Howard's Backdraft.

The second was 20 weeks on the Universal… pic.twitter.com/5IccopeQkO

— Billy Baldwin (@BillyBaldwin) June 20, 2024

We’ve lost one of the greats. Donald Sutherland brought a level of brilliance to his craft few could match. A remarkable, legendary actor — and a great Canadian. My thoughts are with his loved ones. Rest in peace, Donald.

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 20, 2024

RIP Donald Sutherland. Truly one of a kind, with a unique voice and presence. Phenomenal range.

— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) June 20, 2024

Remembering Donald Sutherland. pic.twitter.com/eGQBqmsCQQ

— Warner Bros. Entertainment (@WBHomeEnt) June 20, 2024

RIP to the incredible Donald Sutherland. Such a beautiful, soulful, and singular actor. His performances have meant so very much to me… and to the world. One of the all-time greats. My heart goes out to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/l0xRleMxXj

— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) June 20, 2024
Kiefer Sutherland, Edgar Wright, Helen Mirren Remember Donald Sutherland: “One of the Most Important Actors in the History of Film” (2024)
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