Donald Sutherland Net Worth How Rich Is Donald Sutherland?

Donald Sutherland, born on July 17, 1935, in Saint John, New Brunswick, was a celebrated Canadian actor whose career spanned over six decades. With an estimated net worth of $60 million, Sutherland left an indelible mark on the film and television industry. Known for his versatility and compelling performances, he starred in numerous iconic films and television series. This article explores his life, career, and the notable moments that defined his legacy.

What Were Donald Sutherland’s Early Years Like?

Donald Sutherland’s early life was marked by various health challenges, including rheumatic fever, hepatitis, and polio. Raised in Bridgewater, Sutherland began working as a news correspondent at the age of 14. After graduating from high school, he attended Victoria University in Toronto, where he met his future wife and majored in both engineering and drama. Despite his engineering background, Sutherland’s passion for acting led him to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 1957.

How Did Donald Sutherland Start His Acting Career?

Sutherland’s acting career began in the mid-1960s with small roles in British television series. His first feature film role came in 1964 with “Castle of the Living Dead.” He continued to take on minor roles in films like “The Bedford Incident” and TV series such as “Gideon’s Way” and “The Saint.” His big break came in 1967 with the war film “The Dirty Dozen,” where he joined a star-studded cast that included Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson.

What Were Sutherland’s Most Notable Roles in the 1960s and 1970s?

After his success in “The Dirty Dozen,” Sutherland relocated to the United States to further his career. He starred in significant films such as “MAS*H,” “Klute,” and “Kelly’s Heroes.” In the 1970s, he solidified his status as a leading man with roles in “Don’t Look Now,” “The Eagle Has Landed,” and “Eye of the Needle.” His performance in the 1978 film “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” alongside Jeff Goldblum remains one of his most memorable.

What Impact Did Sutherland Have on Television?

In addition to his film career, Sutherland made significant contributions to television. He helped launch the Canadian series “Witness to Yesterday” and starred in notable shows such as “Commander in Chief” and “Trust.” His ability to transition seamlessly between film and television allowed him to maintain a diverse and enduring career.

How Did Sutherland’s Career Evolve in the 1980s and 1990s?

The 1980s and 1990s saw Sutherland continue to take on diverse roles. He appeared in critically acclaimed films like “Ordinary People,” “A Dry White Season,” and “Backdraft.” One of his standout performances was in the film “JFK,” where he played a mysterious intelligence officer. He also appeared in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Disclosure,” and “A Time to Kill,” showcasing his versatility as an actor.

What Roles Did Sutherland Play in the 2000s and Beyond?

In the 2000s, Sutherland continued to captivate audiences with his performances in films such as “Cold Mountain,” “The Italian Job,” and “Pride & Prejudice.” He gained widespread recognition among younger audiences with his portrayal of President Snow in “The Hunger Games” franchise. His role in the franchise cemented his place in contemporary cinema, making him a household name for a new generation of fans.

What Was the “Animal House” Financial Blunder?

One of the most talked-about moments in Sutherland’s career was his financial decision regarding the film “Animal House.” Despite being offered a percentage of the film’s gross earnings, Sutherland opted for a one-time payment of $50,000. The film went on to gross $141 million, and Sutherland’s decision cost him what would have been a substantial financial gain. Had he accepted the offer, he would have earned $20 million, equivalent to about $122 million today.

What Was Donald Sutherland’s Personal Life Like?

Donald Sutherland was married three times and had five children. He married his first wife, Lois Hardwick, in 1959, but they separated in 1966. The same year, he married Shirley Douglas, with whom he had twins Rachel and Kiefer. They separated in 1970. Sutherland married his third wife, Francine Racette, in 1972, and they had three sons together. Notably, all of Sutherland’s sons are named after directors, reflecting his deep connection to the film industry. His son Kiefer Sutherland, who also became a successful actor, is named after Warren Kiefer, the director of Sutherland’s first film.


Donald Sutherland’s career is a testament to his incredible talent and adaptability as an actor. From his early days in British television to his iconic roles in Hollywood, Sutherland left an indelible mark on the film industry. His legacy continues through his children, who have also made significant contributions to the entertainment world. With a career spanning over six decades, Donald Sutherland remains a celebrated figure in cinema, remembered for his unforgettable performances and dedication to his craft.


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