President Joe Biden Joins Hollywood Legends In Paying Tribute To Donald Sutherland

Donald Sutherland, who died Thursday at age 88 following a long illness, has received widespread tributes from fellow actors, Oscar-winning filmmakers and President Joe Biden himself.

Sutherland’s lifelong friend, actor Elliott Gould, vowed to “never forget” him.

“It’s never easy, losing the caliber of a human being and actor like Donald Sutherland, but this one really profoundly hurts because Donald was like my brother, and a big part of my own career,” Gould wrote on Instagram.

“Rest in peace, you, dear, dear Kind friend,” he wrote. “I love you and I will never forget you.”

Kiefer Sutherland confirmed his father’s death on social media Thursday and has since thanked the public for their thoughts. His physically and artistically towering father, who earned an honorary Oscar in 2017, was perhaps most notably mourned by the sitting U.S. president.

“Donald Sutherland was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and one-of-a-kind actor who inspired and entertained the world for decades,” Biden wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “My thoughts are with his family and all those who loved him.”

Sutherland’s career spanned more than 60 years, and he’s been mourned by fans from multiple generations as a result. Some lauded him as the fine actor who delivered Oliver Stone’s exposition in “JFK,” while others pointed to his performance in the “Hunger Games” movies. Still others have argued that he cemented his legacy as the star of classic films including “Don’t Look Now” and “The Dirty Dozen.”

“We asked the kindest man in the world to portray the most corrupt, ruthless dictator we’ve ever seen,” read a post on X from the official account of the “Hunger Games” franchise. “Such was the power and skill of Donald Sutherland’s acting that he created one more indelible character among many others that defined his legendary career.”

Donald Sutherland is seen at the veteran-led, anti-war
Donald Sutherland is seen at the veteran-led, anti-war "Rapid American Withdrawal" rally in 1970. Leif Skoogfors via Getty Images

Sutherland was also a lifelong political activist, protesting the Vietnam War in 1971 to counter Bob Hope’s pro-war USO tour. He was placed on the National Security Agency’s “Watch List,” which also included Muhammad Ali, until 1973. Decades later, Sutherland also joined the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations against income inequality.

The actor, whose career is studded with Primetime Emmys, Critics’ Choice Awards and Golden Globes, earned heartfelt tributes from John Cusack, Elijah Wood and Rob Lowe, as well as directors Ron Howard and Matt Reeves and literary giant Stephen King.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated Donald Sutherland starred in the television series “M.A.S.H.” He starred in the 1970 film.