For more than 50 years Donald Sutherland has been a mainstay in Hollywood. The veteran actor has nearly 200 acting credits to his name, including a number of badass sci-fi and horror films. Sutherland was born on July 17, 1935 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. We at PopHorror would like to wish Donald a very happy 85th birthday!
Early Horror Career
Donald Sutherland’s horror resume dates back to the 1960s when he appeared in Castle of the Living Dead and Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors. After a string of television series and movie appearances, Sutherland made a big splash in 1970 with landmark roles in M*A*S*H and Kelly’s Heroes. His breakout horror role, though, would come in in 1978 with the unforgettable Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
This remake of the 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers scarred me for life. I watched it when I was a kid and I was afraid to go to sleep for a month. I kept having nightmares about pod people and dogs with a men’s faces. Along with The Exorcist and Dawn of the Dead, Invasion of the Body Snatchers was probably the biggest early influence on my love of horror…at least until John Carpenter’s The Thing came along in 1982.
Donald Sutherland would later appear in several genre classics including Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Outbreak, The Puppet Masters, Virus, and, more recently, The Hunger Games films. The Puppet Masters, to me, was particularly enjoyable because it marked a return to Sutherland’s Body Snatchers roots. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it!
Donald Sutherland has earned his share of accolades. He received seven Golden Globe Nominations over the years, earning two wins. Other awards in his trophy case include a Young Hollywood Award, an Image Award, a Genie Award, and a Primetime Emmy. As crazy as it sounds, Sutherland has never been nominated for an Oscar! He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.
The BBC interviewed Sutherland back in 2000 and asked him to reflect on his career. He summed it up with the following:
You have a little bit of talent, a certain amount of good fortune and a lot of hard work in pursuit of whatever truth you can find in it, and if you are really lucky, a terrific partner and I have that and those four things worked out for me.
Happy birthday, Mr. Sutherland, from all of us at PopHorror! We wish you a very happy 85th, and many happy returns!