Shirley Douglas, Canadian Actor and Activist, Dies of Pneumonia at 86

07 Avril, 2020, 04:11 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • Shirley Douglas

Canadian actress, activist and mother to Kiefer Sutherland, Shirley Douglas, has died at 86 years of age.

He called his mom "extraordinary", and said she had led a great life. 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.

Throughout her acting career, she starred in many films, including 1962's Stanley Kubrick-directed film Lolita and the David Cronenberg-directed 1988 film Dead Ringers. She also co-founded the first chapter of the Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament in Canada. The couple divorced in 1971.

A respected stage and film actress, Douglas appeared in a number of notable projects, including Wind at My Back, The Stone Angel, The Silver Surfer, and Flash Gordon.

Douglas is also survived by her son, Thomas, and Kiefer Sutherland's daughter, Veep's Sarah Sutherland.

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"You either have to decide you're going to be guilty about it and not do it, or that you are going to do it and that you will be, in the end - and I hate to use it as an excuse - but that you'll be a better mother than being home bitter that you aren't allowed out".

During that time, Douglas was involved in the Civil Rights Movement and the campaign against Vietnam.

Douglas, though, was foremost a champion for Canada's medicare system. She helped establish the group, "Friends of the Black Panthers"- a decision that sparked controversy, as Douglas was subsequently denied a U.S. work permit. Her support for the group brought controversy, though - she was refused a USA work permit and arrested in 1969 on conspiracy charges of possessing unregistered explosives. The courts eventually dismissed the case and exonerated her.

Before making the announcement of his mother's passing, Sutherland had been pretty quiet on social media - although he did take to Twitter on March 28 to reveal he would cut his own hair, since "given the timeframe of this bad virus no one will see my haircut" anyway. She was also an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of the country's highest honors, and an inductee into Canada's Walk of Fame. "My dad, as an actor, went where the work was, my mother was an actress and a political activist", Kiefer said in a 2018 interview.

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