Donald Sutherland married three times, but his 50-year marriage to Francine Racette is a true love story.

The world of cinema mourns the loss of a true legend, as Donald Sutherland, the versatile and captivating actor known for his roles in films such as The Hunger Games, MAS*H, and Ordinary People, passed away at age 88. 

Sutherland's illustrious career spanned over seven decades, leaving an indelible mark on the film industry. However, beyond his on-screen achievements, Sutherland was a devoted family man, cherishing his wife and children. 

As we bid farewell to this extraordinary talent, we take a moment to celebrate his personal life and the enduring legacy he leaves behind.

Who is Donald Sutherland's wife?

donald-sutherland-wifeDonald and Francine. Image: Getty


Donald Sutherland's wife, Francine Racette, has been his rock and companion for over five decades. 

The Canadian actress, born in Quebec, met Sutherland on the set of the 1972 film Alien Thunder. French is her first language and most of her career has been in French-spoken films. 

Their connection was instant, and they married shortly after. Racette, an accomplished actress in her own right, has appeared in films such as Au revoir les enfants, Lumière, and The Disappearance. She was even nominated for a César award for best supporting actress for her work in Lumière in 1977. 

Throughout their marriage, Sutherland and Racette's love remained unwavering, with him stating, "She's an extraordinary human. I think it's like Joanne Woodward said, 'Beauty goes and sex goes but my husband makes me laugh every single day.' And so does my wife. We laugh all the time."

While Sutherland was constantly travelling for work, he said that being with his wife was always his aim. 

Telling GQ, "When people ask me where I live, I say, 'I live with my wife,'" he said. "I don't know whether I live in Paris, New York, or Miami. I live with my wife."

The pair would often advise each other on their work lives, learning their lesson after he didn't take a role she recommended, which ended up being a hit. She was also by his side when he found out he was going to be offered an honorary Academy Award in 2018. 


How many times has Donald Sutherland been married?

donald-sutherland-wifeDonald and Francine. Image: Getty

Donald Sutherland was married three times throughout his life. His first marriage was to Lois Hardwick, which lasted from 1959 to 1966. 

He then married actress Shirley Douglas in 1966, and they had two children together, twins Kiefer and Rachel. However, their marriage ended in 1970. 

Sutherland's third and final marriage was to Francine Racette in 1972, which endured until his passing. Together, they had three sons: Roeg, Rossif, and Angus.


He also had a romance with Jane Fonda after they co-starred in the film Klute. While the timeline is murky, there is some rumour of an overlap with his second wife Shirley. 

Does Donald Sutherland have kids?

donald-sutherland-wifeDonald and Francine with their son Rossif Sutherland.Image: Getty

Yes, Donald Sutherland was a proud father of five children. With his second wife, Shirley Douglas, he had twins Kiefer and Rachel, born in 1966. 

Kiefer followed in his father's footsteps, becoming a renowned actor known for his roles in 24 and Designated Survivor. Rachel, Sutherland's only daughter, has largely stayed out of the spotlight, working behind the scenes as a production manager. 


With his third wife, Francine Racette, Sutherland had three sons: Roeg, born in 1974, Rossif, born in 1978, and Angus, born in 1982. Roeg works as an executive at the talent agency CAA, while Rossif and Angus have pursued acting careers.

Why did Donald Sutherland name his son Kiefer?

donald-sutherland-wife-kiefer-sutherlandKiefer and his dad Donald. Image: Getty

Donald Sutherland's love for filmmakers was so profound that he named his four sons after directors he had worked with. 


Kiefer, his eldest son, was named after Warren Kiefer, who directed Sutherland in his first feature film, the Italian low-budget horror movie Castle of the Living Dead

Roeg was named after director Nicolas Roeg, Rossif after French director Frédéric Rossif, and Angus Redford has his middle name after Robert Redford.

What was Donald Sutherland's childhood illness?

Donald Sutherland faced numerous health challenges during his childhood. Born in 1935 in New Brunswick, Canada, Sutherland battled polio, rheumatic fever, hepatitis, pneumonia, and scarlet fever. 

Despite these obstacles, he pursued his passion for acting, studying at the University of Toronto before refining his craft in London and Scotland.

What movie roles made Donald Sutherland famous?

Donald Sutherland's breakout role came in the 1967 war film The Dirty Dozen, where he played Vernon Pinkley. He then gained international recognition for his portrayal of Hawkeye Pierce in the 1970 dark comedy MAS*H

Sutherland's diverse filmography includes iconic roles in Klute (1971), Don't Look Now (1973), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Ordinary People (1980), and JFK (1991). In recent years, he captivated a new generation of fans with his chilling performance as President Snow in The Hunger Games franchise.

His legacy will continue to inspire and influence generations to come.

Featured image: Getty

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