Leading man Donald Sutherland dies at 88

Film-lovers have cherished memories of actor Donald Sutherland Credit: Rotton Tomatoes/fb

Hollywood mourns the loss of versatile actor Donald Sutherland, who passed away on Thursday in Miami at the age of 88.

Sutherland’s son, Kiefer, confirmed the news on social media.

The cause of death was a long illness, according to his talent agency.

Sutherland wasn’t your typical Hollywood heartthrob. With his tall stature, hound dog eyes, and offbeat smile, he built a career on his ability to inhabit complex characters – both charming and unsettling. His talent shone through in nearly 200 films and TV shows across six decades. He effortlessly transformed himself for each role, playing characters as diverse as the easygoing Hawkeye Pierce in “MAS*H” and the ruthless spy in “Eye of the Needle.”

A chameleon

Renowned directors like Fellini, Altman, Bertolucci, and Stone all appreciated Sutherland’s chameleon-like acting abilities. He thrived on these collaborations, comparing them to falling in love. Initially resistant to directors’ visions, Sutherland eventually embraced the collaborative nature of filmmaking, a dedication that extended to his personal life – he even named four of his sons after directors he admired.

The Dirty Dozen

Sutherland’s breakthrough came in the 1967 film ‘The Dirty Dozen’ The 1970s and 80s proved to be a prolific period for him, delivering a string of memorable performances, often portraying characters teetering on the edge of sanity.

While film was his primary focus, Sutherland also ventured into theatre. He received critical acclaim for his performance in “Enigma Variations” (2000). However, his role in the Broadway adaptation of “Lolita” was met with harsh reviews, leading to the play’s swift closure.

A true Hollywood great

Donald Sutherland’s legacy lies in his captivating performances that continue to entertain audiences worldwide. His ability to transform and embody a wide range of characters ensures his place as a true Hollywood great.

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Written by

Trelawney Bresic

Trelawney is a journalist and screenwriter. She began her career at the Euro Weekly News twenty years ago and is passionate about honest and compelling journalism. If you have a news story, don't hestitate to get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com