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February 25, 2024

Two Halves of Donald Sutherland by Co Rentmeester, 1970

Close-up portraits of Canadian actor Donald Sutherland as he poses, half clean-shaven and half with chin-length hair, New York, 1970. The photos were taken by LIFE photographer Co Rentmeester.

Donald Sutherland shaving, 1970.

Shirley Douglas looks at pictures of her husband, Donald Sutherland, 1970.

Born in St. John, New Brunswick on July 17, 1935, Donald Sutherland got his first taste of show business as a disc jockey for a Nova Scotia radio station when he was only 14. The acting bug hit full time when he moved west to attend the University of Toronto where he took to the stage in a number of student productions.

After graduating in 1956, Sutherland moved to London to study acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He appeared in a few stage productions in London before landing his first film gig on an Italian horror flick in 1964.

It was his 1970 role alongside Elliot Gould, Sally Kellerman and Robert Duvall in the Robert Altman directed M*A*S*H that catapulted the tall guy—6’4”—with the odd features into international prominence. His most memorable screen work has been in such films as Kelly’s Heroes, Klute, Don’t Look Now, Ordinary People and Six Degrees of Separation. A vocal anti-Vietnam activist, he was closely associated with Jane Fonda in the early 1970s. His son is successful actor Kiefer Sutherland. The two appeared together in Max Dugan Returns.

Sutherland has won a Golden Globe for the TV movie Path to War (2002), an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe for his performance in the TV miniseries Citizen X (1995) and a Genie award for his leading role in the feature film Threshold (1981). In 2008 he won a Role Model Award at the Young Hollywood Awards. Sutherland landed the role of President Snow in the film The Hunger Games (2012), one of the summer’s most highly-anticipated releases. He also starred in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2014), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014) and in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015). Also in 2015, he starred opposite his son, Kiefer Sutherland, in the western drama Forsaken. In 2017, he received an Honorary Academy Award at the Academy's Governors Awards. More recently, he was seen alongside Brad Pitt in Ad Astra (2019).


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