Will Smith Honors Late Co-Star Donald Sutherland: 'Rest in Peace'

Iconic actor Donald Sutherland leaves a profound legacy

by Zain ul Abedin
Will Smith Honors Late Co-Star Donald Sutherland: 'Rest in Peace'
© Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Will Smith is honoring his late friend and Six Degrees of Separation cast member – Donald Sutherland. The legendary actor died on June 20 due to illness at the age of 88. Smith, 55, has also paid his tribute to Sutherland through his social media account.

The talented Oscar-winning actor took to Instagram to share a carousel including two pictures from the set of the 1993 movie Six Degrees of Separation. Smith added the caption, "Rest in Peace, Donald." In Six Degrees of Separation, Smith played Paul, a charming con man who manages to insinuate himself into the lives of an Upper East Side couple portrayed by Stockard Channing and Sutherland.

The film, which is an adaptation of the Broadway play, tells the real-life story of David Hampton, an imposter who conned New York business people into believing that he was the son of the famous black actor Sidney Poitier.

Sutherland’s death was announced by his agent, Missy Davy of CAA, who informed PEOPLE that the actor died due to a long illness in Miami. Davy added that the family would organize a private funeral service in honour of his lost life.

Sutherland's Legacy Lives

Sutherland had a long, successful career; some of his most notable works include Pride and Prejudice (2005), where he portrayed Mr. Bennet, and M*A*S*H (1970), where he played Hawkeye Pierce. He also received acclaim for his roles in Ordinary People (1980) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978).

Later, Sutherland thrilled fans as the wicked President Snow in The Hunger Games trilogy, with Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. The acting icon who was born and raised in Canada has left behind a great legacy in the film industry as well as numerous children, including Kiefer Sutherland, a famous actor, and ex-wife, Shirley Douglas.

Sutherland left behind five children and five grandchildren. He was previously married to Lois Hardwick and later to actress Francine Racette, with whom he had three sons: Roeg, Rossif, and Angus. He also has a daughter with Douglas, Rachel, who died in the year 2020.

Kiefer Sutherland posted a mourning message on X (formerly Twitter) after the death of his father. Donald Junior shared a black and white photo of himself and his father when he was a child; he praised his father for the good things he did to the film industry.

"With a heavy heart, I tell you that my father, Donald Sutherland, has passed away," Kiefer wrote. "I personally think one of the most important actors in the history of film. Never daunted by a role, good, bad or ugly." "He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more than that," Kiefer concluded. "A life well lived."

Will Smith