‘The Hunger Games’ Star Donald Sutherland Dead At 88

Donald Sutherland attends For Your Consideration Event For FX's "Trust" on May 11, 2018 in North Hollywood, California.
Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage

Hollywood star Donald Sutherland, known for movies such as The Hunger Games franchise and M*A*S*H, has died at the age of 88.

Sutherland’s son, famed actor Kiefer Sutherland, announced the news on Thursday in a post on X.

“With a heavy heart, I tell you that my father, Donald Sutherland, has passed away,” Kiefer wrote. “I personally think one of the most important actors in the history of film.”

“Never daunted by a role, good, bad or ugly,” he added. “He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more than that. A life well lived.”

Sutherland’s post included a throwback black-and-white childhood photo with his father.

CAA’s Missy Davy told The Hollywood Reporter that Sutherland died after dealing with a long illness. 

The late star has been a staple in Hollywood for six decades but was never nominated for a competitive Oscar, the outlet noted. In 2017 he was awarded an Honorary Academy Award, People magazine noted.

During his career, Sutherland played a variety of roles, from sinister characters to comedic ones. The early part of his career is marked by parts like Pvt. Vernon Pinkley in “The Dirty Dozen” in 1967, Army medic Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce in the 1970 movie “M*A*S*H” and hippie tank commander Oddball in “Kelly’s Heroes” (1970), The Hollywood Reporter noted.

He is also remembered for his parts in movies like the 1980 “Ordinary People” and more evil characters like the pyromaniac role in Ron Howard’s 1991 firefighter thriller “Backdraft.” 

Younger audiences discovered Sutherland when he took on the character of President Snow in the dystopian thriller “The Hunger Games” in 2012.

He returned for all of the films in The Hunger Games franchise. Speaking to GQ in 2014, Sutherland said he pursued the role after reading the script.


“I wasn’t offered it,” the legendary actor said. “I like to read scripts, and it captured my passion. I wrote them a letter.”

“The role of the president had maybe a line in the script. Maybe two,” he added. “Didn’t make any difference. I thought it was an incredibly important film, and I wanted to be a part of it. I thought it could wake up an electorate that had been dormant since the ’70s.”

“I hadn’t read the books,” Sutherland continued. “To be truthful, I was unaware of them. But they showed my letter to the director, Gary Ross, and he thought it’d be a good idea if I did it. He wrote those wonderfully poetic scenes in the rose garden, and they formed the mind and wit of Coriolanus Snow.”

Sutherland is survived by his wife Francine Racette, his four sons, a daughter, and four grandchildren, Variety noted. 


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