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Hunger Games star Donald Sutherland dies aged 88 after ‘long illness’

Actor Donald Sutherland, best known for his role in the Hunger Games, has died aged 88 after “a long illness.”

His son, Keifer Sutherland, announced his father’s death in a statement: “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.”

A statement from the late actor’s agent CAA said he died after a “long illness”.

Born in New Brunswick, Mr Sutherland graduated school with a double major in engineering and drama, before leaving Canada for the UK to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

He then took on small roles in British film and television, before he starred in The Dirty Dozen, a World War II action film that premiered in 1967.

But the Canadian actor’s breakout role was as Hawkeye Pierce, a surgeon in the TV show MASH in the 1970s, landing Mr Sutherland roles in JFK, Six Degrees of Separation, Without Limits, The Italian Job, and Pride & Prejudice.

(FILES) Actor Donald Sutherland arrives for the screening of the film "The Burnt Orange Heresy" during the closing night of the 76th Venice Film Festival on September 7, 2019 at Venice Lido. Sutherland, the enigmatic actor whose lengthy career encompassed films including "The Dirty Dozen" and "The Hunger Games," has died, his son said on June 20, 2024. "With a heavy heart, I tell you that my father, Donald Sutherland, has passed away," Kiefer Sutherland wrote on X. Donald Sutherland was 88. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP) (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)
Actor Donald Sutherland arriving for the screening of the film “The Burnt Orange Heresy” during the closing night of the 76th Venice Film Festival on September 7, 2019. (Photo: Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

Mr Sutherland won a Golden Globe for the television movie Path To War and an Emmy Award for the mini-series Citizen X, while in 2017 he received an Academy Honorary Award for his acting.

More recently, Sutherland portrayed the fascist dictator President Snow in The Hunger Games franchise.

Tributes have flooded in for the Hollywood star, with Source Code director Duncan Jones saying: “We all benefitted from the talent and love he put into his work,” while broadcaster Piers Morgan said Mr Sutherland was one of his “all-time favourite actors.”

Sharing a black and white photo of himself as a child with his father on X/ Twitter, he wrote: “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.”

Actress Gloria Mann commented under the post on X/ Twitter, telling Keifer Sutherland: “So very sorry for the loss of your brilliant father. He was one of my favourite actors from an early age.

“I watched everything he was in. He made everything better. Sending you and your family my deepest condolences. May he rest in peace.”

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