Shirley Douglas Dies: Actress, Activist And Mother Of Kiefer Sutherland Was 86

06 Avril, 2020, 07:08 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Shirley Douglas, Canadian Actor and Activist, Dies of Pneumonia at 86

Her other screen credits included the film "Nellie McClung", in which she played the title role of the famed Canadian activist. Sadly she had been battling for her health for quite some time and we, as a family, knew this day was coming, ' Kiefer, 53, wrote. The mother of actor and country singer Kiefer Sutherland had been battling poor health for some time, the family says, so her death at the age of 86 was not surprising.

Douglas worked alongside directors including Stanley Kubrick - starring in Lolita - and David Cronenberg in Dead Ringers.

Douglas's son, actor Kiefer Sutherland, took to Twitter to announce the unfortunate news.

Douglas had another son, Thomas, from a previous marriage.

Canada's performers' union also lauded her accomplishments.

Douglas, who celebrated her birthday three days ago, was married to actor Donald Sutherland from 1966-1971.

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Douglas graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London in 1952 and performed on stage and TV for several years before returning to Canada in 1957. She is the daughter of former Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas, though Shirley was drawn to performing as a young girl.

During that time, Douglas was involved in the Civil Rights Movement and the campaign against Vietnam. She was an ally to immigrants, advocated for women and established the fundraising group "Friends of the Black Panthers". Her support for the group brought controversy - she was refused a US work permit and charged in 1969 with conspiracy to possess unregistered explosives. She appeared in projects like "Wind at My Back", "The Stone Angel" and narrated the children's program "Franklin".

In 2013, Rick Mercer described Douglas as one of the greatest actresses Canada has ever produced. The courts eventually dismissed the case and exonerated her. Her last film role was in the 2000 Canadian movie The Law of Enclosures, while her final TV appearance was in 2008's Degrassi: The Next Generation.

"Kiefer, I loved watching your mom's work".

Perhaps her biggest role, though, was as a champion for medicare.

Another supporter spoke of Douglas' importance in the Canadian entertainment space.

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