Donald Sutherland Lionized by Helen Mirren, Ron Howard and Many More for His ‘Incredible Range, Creative Courage’

Donald Sutherland was remembered far and wide in Hollywood Thursday as news of his death at the age of 88 following a “long illness” spread.

The honorary Oscar winner’s son, “24” star Kiefer Sutherland, first shared news of his father’s death via X, remembering the heralded performer as “one of the most important actors in the history of film.”

“With a heavy heart, I tell you that my father, Donald Sutherland, has passed away,” Kiefer wrote. “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.”

Sutherland has been a fixture on stage and screen for decades and was known for classic films such as “The Dirty Dozen,” “MASH,” “Klute” “Ordinary People” and “Don’t Look Now.”

For younger audiences today, Sutherland is perhaps best known as the domineering villain President Snow in the original “Hunger Games” trilogy. He also appeared briefly in 2023’s prequel film, “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes,” based on the book by Suzanne Collins.

The star of that feature, Rachel Zegler, took to Instagram shortly following news of Sutherland’s passing, sharing broken heart emojis.

Rachel Zegler Donald Sutherland
Rachel Zegler remembers Donald Sutherland (Credit: Instagram)

Director Ron Howard, who directed Sutherland in the 1991 film “Backdraft,” posted a heartfelt message on X, calling the industry vet one of the most “engrossing film actors of all time.”

“I was blessed to direct him in ‘Backdraft.’ One of the most intelligent, interesting and engrossing film actors of all time,” Howard wrote. “Incredible range, creative courage and dedication to serving the story and the audience with supreme excellence.”

Filmmaker Edgar Wright also mourned Sutherland’s death on X, revealing that he starred in “two of my very favorite and most influential films — ‘Don’t Look Now’ and the 1978 ‘Invasion of the Bodysnatchers.’”

“But that is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of his legendary filmography; a funny, laconic but also intense and dramatic presence in so many memorable movies, starting with his breakthrough in ‘The Dirty Dozen,’ and then on an incredible run in the ’70s, ’80s and beyond with ‘M*A*S*H,’ ‘Kelly’s Heroes,’ ‘Little Murders,’ ‘Klute,’ ‘Don’t Look Now,’ ‘The Day of the Locust,’ ‘Ordinary People’ and ‘JFK,’ among many others,” Wright continued. “I even adore his very early appearances in ‘Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors’ and ‘The World Ten Times Over,’ as well as his very silly cameo in ‘Kentucky Fried Movie.’ I know many of you following me will feel the same way about this great screen legend’s passing, so please list your favorite Donald Sutherland films. So sorry to see you go Donald, but what a legacy you leave behind.”

Helen Mirren, who acted alongside Sutherland in several projects — including the 2017 comedy “The Leisure Seeker” and the 1990’s “Bethune: The Making of a Hero,” issued a media statement.

“Donald Sutherland was one of the smartest actors I ever worked with. He had a wonderful enquiring brain, and a great knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. He combined this great intelligence with a deep sensitivity and with a seriousness about his profession as an actor. This all made him into the legend of film that he became. He was my colleague and became my friend. I will miss his presence in this world,” she shared.

Filmmaker Joe Russo kept his reaction short and sweet, writing, “RIP to the GOAT.”

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