Late actor Donald Sutherland lived in a farmhouse with his parents, father Frederick McLea and mother Dorothy Isobel

Donald Sutherland's life journey shows he went from living in a shelter to having his million-dollar mansion.


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The renowned Canadian actor Donald Sutherland was born to a middle-class family where his parents, father Frederick McLea Sutherland and mother Dorothy Isobel McNichol, struggled to provide for their children.

His father, Frederick, used to work as a salesman and was the head of the local bus, gas, and electric company, while his mother, Dorothy, was a mathematics teacher at a local school.

Even though his parents worked hard, they could not earn enough money to live an average life.

Further, the actor Donald Sutherland mentioned that he lived in a farmhouse with his parents in Lakeside, a rural community in Kings County near Hampton.

Neither having a strong roof over his head nor good food that could provide energy to fight illness, Donald became the victim of diseases like rheumatic fever, hepatitis, and poliomyelitis at an early age.

Later, when Donald was just 12 years old, their family moved to Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, to search for new opportunities.

Having a low financial status, Donald started working professionally at the age of 14

Donald was just 14 years old when he first worked as the youngest news reader and disc jockey at CKBW, a Canadian radio station.

Due to his family’s financial condition, Donald learned to struggle early and started working before even completing his high school education.

While continuing his job, he completed his education at Bridgewater High School and later joined Victoria University in Toronto, where he met his future wife, Lois May Hardwick.

At first, he studied engineering but later switched to English and drama to follow his acting career.

During his education there, he worked in the school theater productions and made his first debut in 1952 in The Male Animal.

After graduating from UT in 1956, he moved to England and attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts while working on several stage productions in London.

After a couple of years in England, he moved to the USA, where he advanced his acting career through his work in the 1972 sitcom M*A*S*H and the 1971 movie Klute.

Now, Donald Sutherland is known as one of the most prolific, inventive, and respected actors who lived the rags to riches life.

The 88-year-old actor, who worked in 150 productions during his over 50-year career, passed away on June 20, 2024, in Miami, FL.

He left behind his wife, Francine Racette, and five children: Kiefer Sutherland, Rossif Sutherland, Rachel Sutherland, Angus Sutherland, and Roeg Sutherland.

May Donald Sutherland’s gentle soul rest in peace. We at Superslice send our regards to his wife and children.

Additional Information

  • Donald Sutherland’s parents are of mixed ethnic background, with Scottish, German, and English ancestry.
  • He had four siblings: two biological, Mary Lou Sutherland and Frederick McLea Sutherland, and two half-siblings from his father’s first marriage with Lois Josephine Parker.
  • In an interview, Donald Sutherland emotionally shared that his mother, Dorothy Isobel McNichol, called him Ugly and unattractive while comparing him to her other children.
Ruhi Tiwari
Ruhi Tiwari
Ruhi Tiwari, a passionate content writer with 2 years of experience, weaves captivating tales through her words. Beyond her profession, she immerses herself in the art of storytelling, channeling her creativity into compelling narratives.


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