Legendary actor Donald Sutherland dies aged 88 as touching tributes pour in

Kiefer Sutherland has paid a heartfelt tribute to his dad Donald Sutherland
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Kiefer Sutherland has paid an emotional tribute to his late father, Donald Sutherland, who has died aged 88, describing him as "one of the most important actors in the history of film."

The esteemed actor, acclaimed for roles in films and series such as Ordinary People, M*A*S*H, The Hunger Games saga, and Six Degrees Of Separation, died on Thursday (June 20) in Miami, Florida, after a "long illness", his agent CAA said. In a heartfelt post on Instagram, Kiefer, famed for the TV series 24, announced: "With a heavy heart, I tell you that my father, Donald Sutherland, has passed away."

Kiefer expressed his admiration, stating: "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," PA reports.

Throughout his career, Sutherland snatched a Golden Globe for his portrayal of presidential adviser Clark Clifford in the TV film Path To War, and he secured another accolade as well as an Emmy Award for the miniseries Citizen X. In 2017, he was honoured with an Academy Honorary Award acknowledging his contributions to acting, despite never having received an Oscar nomination.

Among Sutherland's recent contributions were his role in The Hunger Games film series as the dictator president Coriolanus Snow and a part in the 2023 TV show Lawmen: Bass Reeves, where he portrayed a judge. His diverse portfolio also included performances in The Mechanic, The Eagle, The Dirty Dozen, The Day Of The Locust, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, Pride and Prejudice, and Space Cowboys, reports Bristol Live.

In 2012, he was honoured with the title of Commander of the Arts in France, receiving accolades from French culture minister Frederic Mitterrand for his "extraordinary" career. Sutherland was about to release his memoir, Made Up, But Still True, later this year, promising readers an uncensored glimpse into his life experiences, including the profound impact of M*A*S*H and his numerous near-death encounters.

CAA released a statement announcing: "Acclaimed actor Donald Sutherland died today in Miami, Florida after a long illness. He was 88 years old."

The statement also noted: "Sutherland is survived by his wife Francine Racette, sons Roeg, Rossif, Angus, and Kiefer, daughter Rachel, and four grandchildren."

It concluded with: "A private celebration of life will be held by the family."

Sutherland's son, Roeg, holds an executive position at the talent agency CAA, while his other sons, Rossif and Angus, have also pursued careers in acting.