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Donald Sutherland, Renowned Actor from ‘MAS*H’ and ‘The Hunger Games,’ Passes Away at 88

Donald Sutherland, Renowned Actor from ‘MAS*H’ and ‘The Hunger Games,’ Passes Away at 88

Donald Sutherland, the influential actor known for his iconic roles in film and television, has passed away at the age of 88, his son announced Thursday.

Kiefer Sutherland shared the news on social media, describing his father as “one of the most important actors in the history of film.”

“Never daunted by a role, good, bad, or ugly,” Kiefer wrote. “He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more than that. A life well lived.”

The Creative Artists Agency also confirmed their client’s passing, stating that Donald Sutherland died of a long illness in Miami, Florida.

Sutherland, a Canadian-born actor, rose to fame in the late 1960s and early ’70s with memorable performances in “The Dirty Dozen” and “MASH.” In Robert Altman’s 1970 anti-war film “MASH,” Sutherland played surgeon Hawkeye Pierce, a role later made famous by Alan Alda in the TV adaptation.

Sutherland established himself as one of Hollywood’s most versatile leading men in the ’70s. He starred opposite Jane Fonda in the 1971 neo-noir “Klute,” played a grieving father in the influential horror thriller “Don’t Look Now” (1973), and was central to the shocking ending of the 1978 sci-fi classic “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

His cinematic legacy spans numerous genres, from dramatic roles in “JFK” and “Backdraft” to comedies like “Fool’s Gold.” He also showcased his comedic talent in the 1978 classic “Animal House.”

In “The Hunger Games” franchise, Sutherland portrayed the villainous President Coriolanus Snow, facing off against Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen. He also played a loving father in the 2005 adaptation of “Pride & Prejudice.”

Despite the seemingly unlikely role in a young adult franchise, Sutherland told the BBC in 2015 that he hoped “The Hunger Games” would inspire political engagement among young people.

He described the passion of young fans at premieres as “extraordinary.”

“I have been convinced for the last 30 years that they weren’t thinking politically at all,” he told the BBC. “The purpose of everybody involved in this was to try to get them engaged.”

Sutherland also took on television roles, winning an Emmy for HBO’s “Citizen X,” a 1995 film about the hunt for a Soviet serial killer. His recent TV work included shows like “Lawmen: Bass Reeves,” “Commander in Chief,” and “Crossing Lines.”

Though he was never nominated for an Academy Award, Sutherland received nine Golden Globe nominations, winning twice for “Citizen X” and the 2002 HBO film “Path to War.”

Rob Lowe, who co-starred with Sutherland in the miniseries “Salem’s Lot,” expressed his condolences on social media, calling him “one of our greatest actors.”

“It was my honor to work with him many years ago, and I will never forget his charisma and ability,” Lowe wrote. “If you want a master class in acting, watch him in ‘Ordinary People.'”

Jane Fonda, who starred with Sutherland in “Klute,” said she was stunned by the news of his death. “We loved working together,” she said in an Instagram post featuring a photo of the pair. “I am heartbroken.”

Sutherland leaves behind five children: daughter Rachel and sons Roeg, Rossif, Angus, and Kiefer. He starred alongside Kiefer in “Forsaken,” a western centered on a father-son relationship.

“It informs the situation and it’s supposed to,” he said. “It’s what we wanted.”

Kiefer praised his father, saying it felt like “cheating” rather than acting.

“I have always felt that not only is my father one of the most prolific actors in the English language, but he’s also one of the most important,” he told the “TODAY” show. “He’s someone I have wanted to work with for my whole career.”

Though Sutherland never won an Oscar, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored him with an honorary award in 2017. Stars like Colin Farrell, Jennifer Lawrence, and Whoopi Goldberg paid tribute to his impact on them and the industry.

Farrell described Sutherland’s characters as “distinctive, unforgettable, and absolutely unique.”

“There have been heroes and scoundrels, the prime movers of great events and ordinary people,” Farrell said. “Victims of circumstance and lovers, leaders, soldiers of all ranks, a college professor, and even Jesus Christ. In some cases, he’s been a few of these things all at once.”

Lawrence called Sutherland the most committed and kind person she’d ever met, saying he took her under his wing while filming “The Hunger Games.”

“In between takes he asked me questions and gently gave me guidance,” Lawrence said. “I will never forget his generosity.”