Born on July 17, 1935 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Donald Sutherland is a Canadian actor whose film career spans over 50 years. When he was 14, he took a part time job for a local radio station, as a news correspondent. He studied at Victoria College, University of Toronto and graduated with a double major in engineering and drama. At one point, he became a member of the UC Follies comedy troupe in Canada. He eventually left his hometown to go to England, where he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
During the 1960s, Donald Sutherland was cast in several British films and television productions. He had a notable role in the 1964 horror film Castle of the Living Dead and 1965’s Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors. He then starred in a couple of episodes of The Saint, and was also in the mini-series A Farewell to Arms. In 1967, he landed one of his most memorable roles, portraying Vernon Pinkley in The Dirty Dozen. In 1970, he rose to greater fame playing the lead role in Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H*. That year, he starred as Sgt. Oddball in Kelly’s Heroes. In 1971, he was given the role of John Klute in Klute, where he was cast opposite Jane Fonda. The two went on to star and co-produce the film F.T.A. the next year. Sutherland was the most sought-after leading man during that time. He starred in the Venice-based horror Don’t Look Now, as well as the sci-fi thriller Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In 1978, he decided to star in a small role in National Lampoon’s Animal House.
Donald Sutherland was critically acclaimed for his performance in the 1976 epic 1900, and in Ordinary People, which won several Academy awards. He was also praised for his other movies, like 1989’s A Dry White Season with Susan Sarandon and Marlon Brando, and Backdraft with Robert De Niro. In 1995, he appeared in the thriller Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman and Rene Russo. In 2003, he was praised for playing Reverend Monroe in the drama Cold Mountain, as well as his performance in the remake of The Italian Job. He also earned an Emmy nomination for his performance in the made-for-TV movie Human Trafficking. In 2007, he was cast in the ABC prime time serial Dirty Sexy Money as the wealthy Tripp Darling. He also appeared in Sleepwalkers and Reign Over Me that year, and was in 2008’s Fool’s Gold with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson.
In 1978, Donald Sutherland was made an officer of the Order of Canada. In 2000, he was also inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.