Donald Sutherland: he was Homer Simpson in a movie, also Christ and almost died filming with Clint Eastwood

One day we could write about parents who have instilled in their children the same passion for acting (Jon Voight and Angelina Jolie) or directing (Dad Francis Coppola, his daughter Sofia).

But this Saturday, July 17, he turns 85 Donald Sutherland, which is much more than the father of Kiefer, the actor of the series 24 and the one he left at the altar grieving Julia Roberts.

That is another issue.

Donald Sutherland, as the seductive Casanova, in Federico Fellini’s film. Photo Clarín Archive

Donald Sutherland is one of the few living acting legends left to Hollywood. He is an actor who moved so much in comedy (College of Animals), in black humor (M.A.S.H.) as in terror (The body usurpers) or in the drama (People as one), and which was directed, for example, by Federico Fellini and Bernardo Bertolucci.

And precisely this year 45 of his personifications for the Italian masters are fulfilled. In 1976 it was Giacomo Casanova for the former, and the wicked Attila Mellanchini in Twentieth century for the second. Of course, both titles were banned and then sniped by censorship in Argentina.

Con Gerard Depardieu, en "Twentieth century"by Bertolucci. Photo Clarín Archive

With Gerard Depardieu, in “Novecento”, by Bertolucci. Photo Clarín Archive

Because in our country movies were banned and cut.

But that’s also another note.

Donald McNicol Sutherland was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. He had polio as a child, and in Toronto it took him a while to decide between engineering and acting, but when he embraced the latter he went to London to further his studies in Dramatic Art.

In August 2006, Kiefer won two Emmys, for "24". And his dad, a fan of the series, accompanied him. Reuters photo

In August 2006, Kiefer won two Emmys, for “24.” And his dad, a fan of the series, accompanied him. Reuters photo

He had barely turned 30 when successes came to him in the cinema, after passing through some Italian horror film and, off theater plays and TV. In Twelve of the gallows (1967) acted with established names such as Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson and Ernst Borgnine, but he becomes a star with his own brilliance as the American military doctor in Korea in M.A.S.H. (1970), the comedy directed by Robert Altman and co-starring with Elliot Gould.

From the same year is The spoils of the mighty, where he is part of another massive cast, led by Clint Eastwood and Telly Savalas. But Sutherland has no fond memories of that shoot.

On "The spoils of the mighty". He almost died after getting sick filming in Yugoslavia. Photo Clarín Archive

In “The Booty of the Brave.” He almost died after getting sick filming in Yugoslavia. Photo Clarín Archive

It’s that he got seriously ill while filming outdoors in Yugoslavia. So much so that his wife received a telegram asking him to travel urgently and warning him that he would probably be dead before she arrived.

He also had a near-death experience in 1979 when he became ill with meningitis. Doctors told him that he had died for a time and he claims to have had an ESP.

Well, in the end he separated from Shirley Douglas, who was his second wife, and Kiefer’s mother, who had been born on December 21, 1966, shortly after they were married.

Along with Jane Fonda, with whom he had an affair, in "The past condemns me". The film was originally titled "Klute", the name of his character ... Photo File Clarín

Together with Jane Fonda, with whom he had an affair, in “The past condemns me.” The film was originally titled “Klute”, the name of his character … Photo File Clarín

In 1971, along with Jane Fonda, with whom he had an affair between 1970 and 1972, he co-stars Klute, which was the name of his character, a detective looking for a missing man, and the only clue he finds is that of a prostitute (Fonda). Henry’s daughter would get her first Oscar and the title with which the film was known in Argentina placed more emphasis on her (The past condemns me) than in it.

That same year was Jesus Christ in Johnny took his rifle, Dalton Trumbo’s anti-war satire, scripted by Luis Buñuel (did not appear in the credits). The ’70s found him at the top, with the psychological horror thriller Venice red shocking (1973), alongside Julie Christie, or returning to adventure and action films The Eagle has arrived, along with Michael Caine and Robert Duvall.

Longhair, it was Jesus Christ in "Johnny took his rifle". Photo Clarín Archive

Long-haired, it was Jesus Christ in “Johnny took his rifle.” Photo Clarín Archive

Donald used to have long blonde gray hair now. Tall, it measures 1.85 m. still hunched over from the years. Usually bearded (as seen by fans of The Hunger Games, where he played the malevolent President Snow in the saga), he owns a smile as frank as it is sarcastic, and blue eyes that pierce with his gaze.

Like many, Donald before retiring found a place on television, but there more than taking refuge he had great protagonists. Like in Crossing Lines, Dirty Sexy Money O Commander in Chief.

In the miniseries "The Undoing", last year, where he worked with Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman. HBO photo

In the miniseries “The Undoing” last year, where he worked with Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman. HBO photo

Or as in The Undoing, the HBO miniseries released last year, where he composed Franklin Reinhardt.

Multiple candidate (9 times) for the Golden Globe, which he won twice, always for work on TV and for supporting roles, for Citizen X (1995) and by Path to War (2002), this year he was nominated for The Undoing, but the award went to John Boyega for Small Axe.

With Mary Tyler Moore and Timothy Hutton in "People as one". They, candidates for the Oscar. He does not. Photo Clarín Archive

With Mary Tyler Moore and Timothy Hutton in “People as One.” They, candidates for the Oscar. He does not. Photo Clarín Archive

Do not talk about merits or recognition of good old Donald, who in 2018 received an Honorary Award from the Hollywood Academy.

He was never an Oscar nominee, not even as the father of the family of People as one (1980). There they nominated Timothy Hutton, as the brother of the young man who died (he won), and the psychologist (Judd Hirsch), and even Mary Tyler Moore, the mother. He was left out of everything.

Along with Kevin Costner in "JFK"by Oliver Stone. Photo Clarín Archive

With Kevin Costner in Oliver Stone’s “JFK.” Photo Clarín Archive

The next time we see it on a screen it will be in Moonfall, the new catastrophe movie from hecatomb specialist Roland Emmerich, the director of Independence Day, 2012 Y The day after tomorrow. A mysterious force pulls the Moon out of its orbit around the Earth and sends it hurtling here, bringing the world to the brink of annihilation.

Anyway, it is always a pleasure to see his lineage on a big screen. And I don’t know how he does, but we always believe everything he says.

On "Lobster day" it's Homer Simpson. Yes, there was a Homer before the cartoon. Photo Clarín Archive

In “Lobster Day” he is Homer Simpson. Yes, there was a Homer before the cartoon. Photo Clarín Archive

10 curiosities of his career and life

1) He was considered before Anthony Hopkins for the role of Hannibal Lecter in The silence of the inocents (1991)

2) refused to star The sweet future (1997) because the salary was too low. His role eventually went to Ian Holm.

On "M.A.S.H."by Robert Altman, his first hit. Photo Clarín Archive

In Robert Altman’s “MASH”, his first hit. Photo Clarín Archive

3) Appeared in Lobster day (1975) as a character named Homer Simpson, and then made a guest appearance in The Simpson (1989).

4) Pauline Kael, considered by many to be one of the best film critics, made the Lobster day, and wrote: “There is nothing specifically wrong with Donald Sutherland’s performance. It is just horrible.” “That was the stupidest and most destructive criticism I have ever received. I stopped reading reviews after that, ”said the actor.

5) Kiefer is named after Warren Kiefer, who directed Donald’s first film, The castle of the living dead (1964).

On "The body usurpers"by Philip Kaufman. Photo Clarín Archive

In “The usurpers of bodies”, by Philip Kaufman. Photo Clarín Archive

6) He has acted alongside his son Kiefer in two films: Like fallen from the sky (1983) and Time to kill (1996), where they played enemies.

7) He was so shocked by his own performance as the sadistic and perverse fascist leader in Twentieth century (1976), who couldn’t see the movie for years.

The desperate father of "Venice red shoking". Photo Clarín Archive

The desperate father of “Shoking Red Venice”. Photo Clarín Archive

8) If they let you, you prefer to shoot the opening scenes of a movie last, to better set the tone of the movie for your audience.

9) He’s a big fan of the TV series 24 (2001) starring his son as Jack Bauer and he never missed an episode.

10) However, he turned down an offer to play Jack’s estranged father, Phillip Bauer, who appeared in the show’s sixth season, and the role went to James Cromwell.