New stamp honours Canadian actor Donald Sutherland

Canada Post issued a new stamp today commemorating the career of one of Canada’s most respected and versatile actors, Donald Sutherland.

Born on July 17, 1935, in Saint John, N.B., Sutherland studied engineering and drama at the University of Toronto before moving to England to pursue his passion for acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

He appeared in stage productions and television shows, debuting his feature film in 1963 as “Tall Man in Nightclub” in The World Ten Times Over. In 1967, Sutherland starred in his breakthrough role as killer Vernon Pinkley in the classic Second World War film, The Dirty Dozen.

His first lead role in a major motion picture came in 1970 when he played Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce in the bitingly dark comedy, M*A*S*H. The role transformed him into a Hollywood A-lister and one of the biggest movie stars in the world. It also earned him his first of nine Golden Globe nominations.

Donald Sutherland and Canada Post’s President and CEO Doug Ettinger pose with a framed stamp enlargement. (Photo by Rossif Sutherland.)

Sutherland’s incredible talents and eclectic tastes led him to take on various roles throughout his seven-decade career. He is known for memorable performances in a variety of films, including Klute (1971), Ordinary People (1980) Backdraft (1991), Disclosure (1994), A Time to Kill (1996), Fallen (1998), Pride & Prejudice (2005), and The Hunger Games franchise (2012-2015).

The first-day cover with an image of Sutherland as the character Sgt. Oddball in Kelly’s Heroes (1970).

With his international success, Sutherland has remained a proud Canadian. He starred in many Canadian productions, including the TV movie Bethune (1977) and the 1990 feature film Bethune: The Making of a Hero, playing legendary Canadian Dr. Norman Bethune in both.

His work in nearly 200 films and television productions has garnered him many awards, including a Genie (1983), an Emmy (1995), two Golden Globes (1995 and 2002), the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement (2000), and an Honorary Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (2017).

He has also received stars on Canada’s Walk of Fame (2000) and the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2011) and been named a Companion of the Order of Canada (2019) and a Commandeur of France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2012).

About the stamp

The movie-poster-inspired stamp, designed by Paprika and printed by Colour Innovations, features an image of the actor’s profile, with several of his movie titles in English and French. Cancelled in Sutherland’s birthplace of Saint John, the issue includes a booklet of 10 Permanent domestic rate stamps and a first-day cover with an image of Sutherland as the character Sgt. Oddball in Kelly’s Heroes (1970).

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