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Donald Sutherland

Posted January 07, 2011 to photo album "Donald Sutherland"

Since the 1970s, Donald Sutherland has created carefully crafted and unique cinematic characters.

Donald Sutherland | The Eagle's Elder Statesman
Donald Sutherland | From Canada to Hollywood
Donald Sutherland | The Quintessential Seventies Star
Donald Sutherland | The (Anti-)Establishment Guy
Donald Sutherland | An Acting Patriarch
Donald Sutherland | An Actor who Never Gets Old
Donald Sutherland | The Quintessential Seventies Star

Donald Sutherland | The Quintessential Seventies Star

A year after Castle of the Living Dead came out, Sutherland moved to Los Angeles, picking up various TV roles, before getting his breakout part as one of The Dirty Dozen in Robert Aldrich’s hit military flick. That film caught the attention of Robert Altman who cast him as the martini-guzzling, skirt-chasing, ace army surgeon Hawkeye Pierce in the 1970 zeitgeist comedy M*A*S*H. In many ways, Sutherland would prove the quintessential seventies movie star––quirky, irreverent, but always memorable. When as a teenager he’d asked his mother if he was handsome, she replied quite to the point: “Donald to be perfectly truthful, no. But your face has a lot of character.” And that character kept getting him noticed by great directors. Alan J. Pakula cast him as a straight small town cop (opposite Jane Fonda’s New York city call girl) in the 1971 psychological thriller Klute. For the 1973 horror classic Don’t Look Now, Nicolas Roeg, as critic Amy Taubin notes, “maps Sutherland's disintegrating psyche onto the city of Venice, with its labyrinthian alleys, murky canals, and crumbling facades.” Indeed world-class directors used Sutherland expressive face and deep eyes as a conduit for all kinds of characters, often with less than stellar attributes. For the 1975 Hollywood expose The Day of the Locust, John Schlesinger cast him as a sad-sack accountant who captures the pathos of celebrity culture. For Fellini's Casanova, the Italian master choose him to express the shallow narcissism of the title character. And then for his historical epic 1900, Bernardo Bertolucci asked Sutherland to take on the persona of the vicious Fascist farm manager.