Donald Sutherland was born on July 17, 1935 in St. John’s, New Brunswick and is an actor who spent nearly 50 years in the film industry. He studied at Victoria College at the University of Toronto where he met his wife. He graduated with a double major in engineering and drama, with the engineering side of him eventually phasing out which led him to pursue acting in England at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
A couple years after attending the academy, he started his career in acting by playing small parts in the British entertainment industry. Some of his work include Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors and a 1967 episode of The Avengers. In 1968, the enormously popular The Dirty Dozen, one of three war films put his name on the map and so he left for Hollywood soon after.
By the 1970s, Sutherland had become very demanding in the film industry and played leading roles in moveis such as Don’t Look Now and The Eagle Has Landed. He also helped launch a popular Canadian TV series called Witness to Yesterday by playing a doctor who also graduated from the University of Toronto, Dr. Norman Bethune, largely about Bethune’s experiences in revolutionary China.
In his most recent work, he played President Snow in The Hunger Games, and was re-contracted to continue the character in the sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Donald, thanks for making all of us here at U of T proud! We hope we’ll make as big of an impact as you are when we graduate.