Titan of the Silver Screen Dead at 88

(WatchDogReport.org) – Veteran actor Donald Sutherland passed away on June 20 at the age of 88. The Creative Artists Agency told reporters that the actor died after a prolonged period of illness, but no statement has been made regarding the exact cause of death.

The late Donald Sutherland, a name synonymous with the silver screen, left an indelible mark on the film industry. His roles in war movies, such as “The Dirty Dozen” in 1967, “M A S*H,” and “Kelly’s Heroes” in 1970, showcased his versatility and ability to transcend genres. His portrayal of the eccentric hippie Sergeant Oddball in “Kelly’s Heroes” remains a standout in his career, and his activism in the 1970s further solidified his status as a cultural icon.

After starring in “Klute” in 1971 opposite Jane Fonda, a fellow advocate for pacifism with whom he had an extramarital affair, Sutherland co-wrote and co-produced the anti-Vietnam war documentary “F.T.A.” together with Fonda. The actor was placed on the NSA watchlist at the request of the CIA in the 1970s due to the political activities of his second wife, Shirly Douglas, who was a co-founder of the Friends of the Black Panthers fundraising group.

Sutherland’s “M*A*S*H” co-star Elliot Gould commented on the actor’s passing, recalling how strongly they contrasted with one another. Though he initially did not think Sutherland liked him, Gould said their pair developed an “amazing chemistry” working together. He added that despite their differences, the pair’s bond related to “human nature.” He said that Sutherland would always be with him.

Unusually for an actor in an industry known for many bloated egos, Sutherland was notably humble in his perspective on his acting profession. The actor believed that it was not the job of an actor to argue with a movie’s direction but to be instead manipulated and to take the director’s wishes on board.

Sutherland was survived by Francine Racette, his third wife, his five children, and his four grandchildren. Two of his sons – Kiefer and Rossif – also have careers in acting. Kiefer commented on his father’s passing with a “heavy heart” in a post on X, stating that he had never been daunted by role, whether it was “good, bad or ugly.”

In later years, Sutherland was known for his role as President Snow in the “Hunger Games” franchise. He won two Golden Globes – one for his role in the “Citizen X” miniseries and another for his part in the “Path to War” TV movie.

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