‘Hunger Games’, ‘M*A*S*H’ Actor Donald Sutherland Dies at 88

Donald Sutherland, the Canadian actor renowned for his roles in “The Hunger Games” and “M*A*S*H,” has passed away at the age of 88 following a long-term illness.

His son, actor Kiefer Sutherland, expressed his sorrow: “With a heavy heart, I tell you that my father, Donald Sutherland, has passed away. I personally think he was 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’s career was illustrious, boasting nearly 200 roles over more than five decades. His death has triggered a wave of support and numerous tributes.

Rob Lowe, Sutherland’s co-star in the miniseries “Salem’s Lot,” praised him as “one of our finest actors.”

“It was my honor to work with him many years ago, and I will never forget his charisma and ability,” Lowe shared on X/Twitter.

Cary Elwes, who appeared with Sutherland in the 2001 TV film “Uprising,” expressed his devastation at the news.

“We are heartbroken,” he said to Kiefer via Instagram. “I am so thankful to have known and worked with your father. Our thoughts are with you.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reminisced about being “profoundly star-struck” upon meeting Sutherland.

“My thoughts go out to Kiefer and the entire Sutherland family, as well as to all Canadians who are no doubt saddened to learn, as I am right now,” he stated.

“He was a man with a strong presence, a brilliance in his craft, and truly, truly a great Canadian artist,” Trudeau added.

Born in New Brunswick, Canada, Sutherland initially worked as a radio news reporter before moving to London in 1957 to attend the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

He began his acting career with minor roles in British cinema and TV. His first major roles came in war movies such as 1967’s “The Dirty Dozen,” and both “Kelly’s Heroes” and “M*A*S*H” from 1970.

In the 1980s, he took on the role of a father to a suicidal teen in the Academy Award-winning film “Ordinary People.”

He ventured into television in the 2000s, appearing in series like “Dirty Sexy Money” and “Commander-in-Chief.”

Despite his many roles, he never received an Oscar nomination, though he was awarded an honorary Academy Award in 2017.

Sutherland was also vocal in his political activism, protesting the Vietnam war alongside Fonda.

He infused his political views into several roles, including that of the despotic President Snow in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.”

In a 2015 interview with the BBC, Sutherland hoped the film’s socio-political themes would inspire young viewers to be more conscious of their surroundings.

“We asked the kindest man in the world to portray the most corrupt, ruthless dictator we’ve ever seen,” stated the official Hunger Games Twitter account following his death announcement.

“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.”

He also revealed the major shifts he’d observed in the industry, particularly the increase in actors’ earnings.

“When I started acting, making money from it was the furthest thing from my mind. I earned £8 a week on stage here in London. In 1964, when I starred in a play at the Royal Court, I made £17 a week,” he recounted.

He had expressed no intentions of retiring from acting. “Acting is a passion. For actors, retirement is synonymous with ‘DEATH’,” he remarked.