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Born: Dec. 21, 1966 London, England, UK
Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland was born in London, England on December 21st, 1966. His family made a name for itself on the screen, stage and in politics. His father is actor Donald Sutherland, his mother is actress Shirley Douglas, and his grandfather, Tommy Douglas, was a former Saskatchewan premier, Canadian federal NDP leader, and “father of universal healthcare”, a role that earned him the title of “The Greatest Canadian” in a 2004 TV vote. With genes like that, was Kiefer destined to succeed?
After his parents divorced, Sutherland moved with his mother to Toronto. His feature film debut was in 1983’s Max Dugan Returns with dad Donald, Jason Robards, Marsha Mason and Matthew Broderick. He then earned a Genie nomination for his lead role in the Canadian film The Bay Boy in 1984.
In 1986, he appeared in At Close Range with Sean Penn, Christopher Walken, Mary Stuart Masterson and Chris Penn. That same year, Kiefer also appeared in Stand By Me with Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O’Connell. 1997 was a busy year for him as he appeared in Promised Land with Jason Gedrick and Tracy Pollan, Crazy Moon, The Killing Time with Beau Bridges, and Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys with Jason Patric, Jamie Gertz, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman and Dianne Wiest.
Keeping busy again in 1988, Sutherland appeared in Bright Lights, Big City with Michael J. Fox and Phoebe Cates, Young Guns with Emilio Estevez, Lou Diamond Philips, and Charlie Sheen, and 1969 with Robert Downey Jr. In 1989, he made Renegades with Jamie Gertz and Lou Diamond Philips. In 1990, he starred with Dennis Hopper in Flashback, reunited with the cast of Young Guns in Young Guns II and reunited with director Joel Schumacher for Flatliners with Julia Roberts, Oliver Platt and Stephen Baldwin.
In 1992, he starred with Ray Liotta, Forest Whitaker, Lea Thompson and John C. McGinley in Article 99, appeared in the Twin Peaks movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and joined Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore and Kevin Bacon in A Few Good Men. He followed that up with The Vanishing with Jeff Bridges, Nancy Travis, and Sandra Bullock and The Three Musketeers with Oliver Platt and Charlie Sheen.
In 1994, he was in The Cowboy Way with Woody Harrelson. He was everywhere in 1996, appearing in Freeway with Reese Witherspoon, an Eye for an Eye with Sally Field and Ed Harris and A Time to Kill with Matthew McConaughey, Samuel L. Jackson and Sandra Bullock. In 1998, he made Dark City with Jennifer Connelly and William Hurt and Break Up with Bridget Fonda and Steven Weber. He then starred with Holly Hunter and his mother Shirley Douglas in 2000’s Woman Wanted and appeared in Picking Up the Pieces with Woody Allen and Sharon Stone.
Sutherland then earned a huge amount of attention and critical notice in 2001 when he took the lead role in the FOX TV series 24 where he played anti-terrorist agent Jack Bauer, a role that has earned him Emmy, SAG and Golden Globe awards.
While starring in the series he made Dead Heat with Anthony LaPaglia and Behind the Red Door with Kyra Sedgwick. His distinctive gravelly voice was put to good use in Joel Schumacher’s 2002 film Phone Booth with Colin Farrell, Forest Whitaker, and Katie Holmes and in 2004 he made Taking Lives with Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke.
Kiefer, whose one-time fiancée Julia Roberts hightailed it off to Europe with former co-star Jason Patric, was married to Camelia Kath from 1987 to 1990. They had one child. He was then married to Kelly Winn from 1996 to 2008.
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