'Donald Sutherland was a giant...in Canada and everywhere': Canadians mourn, share memories of country's 'all-time favourite' actor after death

The late Canadian actor who was known for his work in 'Animal House', 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' and 'The Hunger Games' movies died after battling long time illness

Canadians are remembering the life and work of legendary actor Donald Sutherland after the 88-year-old passed away in Miami on Thursday following a long illness. The iconic actor was known for his long list of versatile roles in films and TV shows like M*A*S*H, Klute, The Hunger Games, Ordinary People, The Dirty Dozen and Without Limits.

His son, Kiefer Sutherland, confirmed the news of his father’s passing on X, formerly known as Twitter, honouring him by calling the Hollywood giant “one of the most important actors in the history of film” and commending him for a life “well lived.”

“With a heavy heart, I tell you that my father, Donald Sutherland, has passed away. I personally think 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,” Kiefer Sutherland said.

Many Canadians and Donald Sutherland fans from around the world joined his son in sharing tributes in the memory of his father.

“Donald Sutherland was a giant. A giant in Canada, and a giant everywhere,” posted a social media user on X.

“Thanks Canada 🇨🇦 for giving the world 🌎 Donald Sutherland because he was an international treasure,” wrote another X user.

Sutherland, who was an Emmy and Golden Globe-winner, played iconic villains, antiheroes, romantic leads and mentor figures, showcasing an impressive resume built on the back of his ability to portray a wide range of characters with him venturing into supporting roles over the last decade, like the evil President Snow in “The Hunger Games” franchise.

The countercultural icon never won an Oscar but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded him an honorary statuette in November 2017 at the Governors Awards.

Tributes rolled in for the legendary Canadian actor, ranging from the prime ministers of Canada and Poland to British broadcaster Piers Morgan and director and film producer Ron Howard. People from all walks of life were deeply imprinted by Sutherland’s work, and shared heartfelt messages to honour the memory of the great talent.

"I was deeply, deeply starstruck. He was a man with a strong presence, a brilliance in his craft and truly, truly a great Canadian artist who will be deeply missed," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Nova Scotia on Thursday where he learned of the actor's passing during the presser.

“RIP Donald Sutherland, 88.

One of my all-time favourite actors who played so many great roles. What a sad loss,” Morgan posted online.

“I was blessed to direct him in #Backdraft. One of the most intelligent, interesting & engrossing film actors of all time. Incredible range, creative courage & dedication to serving the story & the audience with supreme excellence,” director Ron Howard penned in his note.

“R.I.P. Donald Sutherland - the best of all Donalds,” wrote Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk.

Earlier in June, a film and TV reviewer on X, formerly known as Twitter, asked people to list their favourite Donald Sutherland film ever with many returning answers including 24, Kelly’s Heroes, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, A Time To Kill, Animal House, Don’t Look Now and The Hunger Games movies.

“I haven't seen a lot Donald Sutherland has been in, and yet he's a great actor.

I guess it'd be a 3 way tie between Invasion of The Body Snatchers, Outbreak, and Fallen,” said a film enthusiast only beginning to discover the greatness of Sutherland.

“Oh man, legendary actor Donald Sutherland has just passed away at 88 years of age.

I've been watching his movies since I was a little kid, Invasion of the Body Snatchers was my first one. What an incredible career, and a big loss for the acting world. Rest in power,” said a Donald Sutherland fan online.