Oscar-Winning Actor Donald Sutherland Passes Away At 88

(NewsReady.com) – Actor Donald Sutherland has died after a long illness. Although he never won an Oscar, many see Sutherland as among the most talented actors of his generation, and he played a wide variety of roles during a career that lasted over 60 years. Since his death, tributes have been pouring in from fellow performers.

Donald McNichol Sutherland was born on July 17, 1935, in Saint John, Canada. He grew up in Hampton and Saint John, which are both in the mainly rural and partly French-speaking province of New Brunswick, then moved to Nova Scotia with his family when he was 12. Sutherland’s first job, at 14, was as a part-time news correspondent for a local radio station in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. After high school, he enrolled as an engineering student at the University of Toronto, where he was part of an on-stage comedy group. Then, in 1957, he decided to abandon engineering and moved to Britain, where he studied for less than a year at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA).

After he dropped out, Sutherland moved to Scotland. He’d already begun acting, mostly on stage in London’s West End theater district, and he continued that, picking up regular work at the Perth Repertory Theatre. In the early 1960s, he started to get small parts on British TV, and then, following a successful appearance alongside Roger Moore in “The Saint,” he was cast as Vernon L. Pinkley in the 1967 war blockbuster “The Dirty Dozen.” That turned into the fifth highest-grossing movie of the year, and following its success, Sutherland moved to Hollywood.

After his breakthrough, Sutherland went on to play Hawkeye Pierce in the original movie version of “M*A*S*H” and then Oddball in “Kelly’s Heroes.” He had a relationship with Jane Fonda when they starred together in the 1971 thriller “Klute” and also joined Fonda in opposing the Vietnam War.

Over the next 50 years, Sutherland starred alongside many of Hollywood’s leading names but somehow never got an Oscar. His last major role was as President Coriolanus Snow in the “Hunger Games” movies, a role that suited his powerful and often disturbing presence as well as introducing him to a younger generation of audiences.

Donald Sutherland died at his home in Miami, Florida, on June 20.

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