Famous for his blonde hair and towering figure, Donald Sutherland is a renowned Canadian actor, writer, and producer. His involvement in about 200 different shows and films has seen to it that he goes down as one of the people with the biggest impact on cinema. Born on July 17, 1935, his legacy reigns. Here are some interesting Donald Sutherland Facts to make your day.

1. He Was Part of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Canada

Donald Sutherland was the voice-over narrator at Canada’s 2010 Olympic Winter Games. He described the host nation’s history and was among the flag bearers of the event’s flag.

2. Donald Sutherland Is Kiefer Sutherland’s Father

Donald Sutherland is Kiefer Sutherland’s father, also an acting superstar who has featured in the hit series 24 and Designated Survivor. The two have also appeared in several films together, including Forsaken, A Time to Kill, and Max Dugan Returns. Interestingly, they have both played artist Paul Gauguin in different movies.

3. He Was A Huge Fan of 24 (TV Show)

The 24 TV show was a huge success, thanks to the heroics of Donald Sutherland’s son, Kiefer, who played Jack Bauer. It turns out Donald was a huge fan of the show, too, and never missed an episode. However, he passed on the opportunity to feature in the series as Jack Bauer’s (Kiefer’s role) estranged father in season 6. James Cromwell took up the Phillip Bauer role.

4. Donald Sutherland Prefers Shooting the Opening Scenes of a Movie Last

Unlike most actors, Donald Sutherland prefers shooting the opening scenes of a film last. According to him, this helps set a perfect movie tone for the audience.

5. He Was Part of a Controversial Sex Scene with Julie Christie

In the film “Don’t Look Now,” which featured Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, viewers erupted into discussions as to whether a sex scene was real. If anything, the video looked so real that Warren Beatty, who was dating Julie Christie at the time, tried to have it removed. He claimed that he genuinely thought that the two stars had sex.

6. He Hardly Works with the Same Directors

It’s hard not to work with the same directors for an actor with Donald Sutherland’s longevity. On the contrary, Donald hardly works with the same crew. The only exceptions are Nicolas Roeg, Christian Duguay, and Robert Towne, working with them on only a few films. Hugh Hudson and Francis Lawrence are the only directors Donald has worked with three times.

7. He Survived a Near-death Experience

In 1979, Donald Sutherland was diagnosed with severe meningitis. It was so bad that his doctors told him he had briefly died before his recovery. The renowned actor stated that he had an out-of-body experience at the time.

8. Donald Sutherland Was Devastated by His Performance in 1900

According to Donald Sutherland, he did not like his performance in the film 1900, where he played the role of a sadistic, perverse fascist leader. He says he couldn’t watch the movie for a long time.

9. Donald Sutherland Is Very Tall

Compared to other actors, very few are taller than Donald Sutherland. Measuring about 192 centimeters (6’3), Donald is so tall that he has to slouch to maintain eye contact with his colleagues.

10. He Is a Serial Winner

With a career spanning over six decades, Donald Sutherland is not short of accolades. During his time, he has won a Primetime Emmy Award, Critics Choice Award, and a couple of Golden Globe Awards. He also received an Academy Honorary Award, with many believing he is among the best actors not to be nominated for Academy Awards.

His honors include induction into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Canadian Walk of Fame, and Order of Canada.

11. He Named His Children after Directors He Had Worked With

Even though Donald Sutherland rarely works with the same directors, he named his children after those that he worked with, be it once. Kiefer, Rossif, Roeg, and Redford are from Warren Kiefer (directed “Castle of the Living Dead), Frederic Rossif, Nicolas Roeg, and Robert Redford, respectively.

12. Donald Sutherland Requested to Feature in “Hunger Games”

To show his determination, Donald Sutherland wrote a considerably detailed letter to the Hunger Games film director requesting to play President Snow. He highlighted how he thought he would fit in the film, giving critical details of what he thought of the character’s role and personality.

13. He Has Been Married 3 Times

Throughout his life, Donald Sutherland has been married three times. First, he was married to Lois May Hardwick between 1959 and 1966. He then moved on to Shirley Douglas from 1966 to 1970, with whom they had two children, Kiefer and Rachel Sutherland. Finally, he was married to his current wife, Francine Racette, a French-Canadian actress. They have three sons together: Rossif, Angus Redford, and Roeg.

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Last Update: October 17, 2023