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Gossip & Rumors: Kiefer Sutherland Didn't Know Dad Donald Sutherland

GOSSIP & RUMORS: Kiefer Sutherland didn’t know dad Donald Sutherland until he was 15

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For the first decade and a half of his life, Kiefer Sutherland didn’t have a relationship with his father, Donald Sutherland, who died June 20 at the age of 88.

“Me and my dad really got to know each other after I left home at 15,” Kiefer, 57, told The Sunday Times in an interview published Saturday.

“My parents split when I was three and my mum, sister and I moved to Canada,” he continued. “I didn’t live with my dad. I would see him at Christmas and for a couple of weeks in the summer. I certainly did see him, but it was really relegated to around holidays.”

Kiefer Sutherland and Donald Sutherland in the 1980s. MediaPunch via Getty Images

Donald and his second wife, Shirley Douglas, welcomed twins Kiefer and Rachel Sutherland in 1966.

Douglas died in 2020 at the age of 65 due to complications from pneumonia.

Donald had three more kids — sons Roeg, Rossif, and Angus — with his third wife, Francine Racette.

Kiefer Sutherland and Donald Sutherland at the 1989 Academy Awards. Getty Images
Donald Sutherland at Kiefer Sutherland’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony in 2008. Getty Images

Kiefer looked back on his sometimes troubled childhood in the interview, including when he stole a car as a teenager.

“I certainly wish I hadn’t taken the car,” he said. “That was just me wanting to drive and feel older. There are things I wish I had done differently, but I’m grateful for some of the things I had the courage to do. When I left home it was the first time that teenagers were playing teenagers on screen, so I did that at the right time.”

Kiefer Sutherland at “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial” FYC event on April 10, 2024. Getty Images for Paramount+

Kiefer followed in his father’s footsteps and became an actor.

To this day, he’s best known for his role on the hit FOX television series “24,” for which he won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

“I have to believe that having the same surname as my dad has helped me at times,” Kiefer told The Sunday Times. “There must have been moments where people who were friendly with my dad leant towards helping me.”

“But I know of two specific instances where someone was not friendly with my dad and I sat in the office for four hours and never got the meeting,” he added.

Donald Sutherland and Kiefer Sutherland at the Emmy Awards. FilmMagic
Donald Sutherland and Kiefer Sutherland at the “Forsaken” premiere in 2016. Getty Images

Kiefer announced his father’s death on social media on June 20.

“With a heavy heart, I tell you that my father, Donald Sutherland, has passed away,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“I personally think one of the most important actors in the history of film. Never daunted by a role, good, bad or ugly. He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more than that. A life well lived,” Kiefer also said.

Kiefer Sutherland as a child with his dad Donald Sutherland. Kiefer Sutherland/X

Kiefer previously addressed his complicated relationship with Donald in 2022.

“I’m so proud to have him as my father,” the “Designated Survivor” actor told Express. “Having grown up with my mother, there’s a kind of distance between us. But I want to impress him; I want him to be proud of me.”

Donald Sutherland and Kiefer Sutherland in 2016. Matt Sayles/Invision/AP
Donald Sutherland at “The Burnt Orange Heresy” premiere in Sept. 2019. AFP via Getty Images

Donald had a career spanning over 60 years that started with the 1970 war film “M*A*S*H.”

He had more than 200 film and TV credits. One of his best known roles was as President Snow in the Jennifer Lawrence “Hunger Games” movies.

Many years after they reconnected, Donald and Kiefer worked together on the 2016 film “Forsaken,” which brought them even closer.

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