Who: Donald McNichol Sutherland
Born: July 17, 1935
Where: Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Movie History: Donald Sutherland broke into the biz a whopping 49 years ago when he gave up dreams of becoming an engineer and hopped over to England to drink tea and study acting. His first role: playing a switchboard operator for the BBC's 'Studio 4.' Only two years later, he had his first feature film parts -- yes, plural -- playing Sgt. Paul, the Witch and the Old Man in the Christopher Lee–starring horror flick 'Castle of the Living Dead.'
His career set, it wasn't long until Sutherland earned his breakout gig, Vernon Pinkley in 'The Dirty Dozen.' This led him to 'M*A*S*H,' his first Golden Globe–nominated performance, and a long history of film and television work including 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers,' 'Ordinary People,' 'Backdraft,' 'JFK,' 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and now, this week's 'The Eagle' ... not to mention the recently released 'The Mechanic.'
He also offered up our favorite '24'-hour crime fighter, Kiefer Sutherland.
Canadianness: Though Sutherland flew to England to start his acting career, his ties to Canada remain. He was made an officer of the Order of Canada in the '70s; he's married to French-Canadian actress Francine Racette; he won a Genie Award (Canada's Golden Globes) in 1983 for 'Threshold''; he was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2000 and he not only narrated television ads for the Vancouver Olympics -- he was also a flagbearer (above image).
Memorable Canadian quote: In reference to 'Pride and Prejudice': "I am too old, too busy and too Canadian for this."
Here's a glimpse of the man at the start of his career, in 'Castle,' as the witch:
And here's a glimpse of him in his latest, 'The Eagle,' with that classic, gritty purr of a voice:
Loads of famous Hollywood talent are Canadian. Do you know them all? Stay tuned for more ...