Scream Horror Magazine


Posted on: June 24th, 2024

After a career spanning over 60 years, and spawning an acting dynasty, we’re saddened to write that Donald Sutherland has passed away aged 88.

Born in 1935, Sutherland began his acting career in Europe, appearing in 1964’s Castle of the Living Dead. The following year he’d appear in two productions for England’s Amicus Studios, Fanatic and Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors.

Sutherland first gained U.S. recognition with his role in 1967’s war epic The Dirty Dozen. Further success would come with starring roles as “Hawkeye” and “Oddball” in 1970’s M*A*S*H and Kelly’s Heroes.

Sutherland worked steadily in an array of critically acclaimed projects from here forward, including 1971’s Klute, which earned Jane Fonda an Oscar nomination.

The actor returned to the horror genre in 1973, starring in Don’t Look Now opposite Julie Christie. Sutherland was lauded for his portrayal of a grieving father who is convinced a series of murders are tied back to his deceased daughter. The film’s abrupt ending has since gone down as one of the genre’s most shocking moments.

Later in the decade, Sutherland led an impressive ensemble in the classic 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Still one of his most identifiable genre roles, Sutherland has since expressed a great fondness for the project.

Continuing in critically acclaimed projects like Robert Redford’s Ordinary People, Sutherland was rarely not working, and a constant critical darling, even as he began to age out of leading roles.

In 1992, Sutherland would return to the genre, playing Merrick Jamison-Smythe in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Although derided at the time, given the success of the television adaption, the movie has been reappraised as a cult classic. In particular, Sutherland’s “straight-man” performance against Kristy Swanson’s vapid Buffy has been praised.

Later in his career, seeming to work continually, Sutherland would broach the genre many more times. 1993 saw him once again face aliens in The Puppet Masters, A.I in 1999’s Virus, and vampires in the 2004 television adaption of Salem’s Lot.

Also finding success and regular work on television, Sutherland has garnered 2 Golden Globes, a Primetime Emmy, and multiple other accolades for his storied career.

Sutherland died on June 20th 2024, after a long battle with illness. He is survived by his five children, including actor Kiefer Sutherland. He was 88 years old.

Rest in peace, Donald, we’ll miss you.

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