Actress Shirley Douglas Dead at 86: Son Kiefer Sutherland Pays Tribute to His 'Extraordinary' Mother

Shirley Douglas married actor Donald Sutherland in 1965

Kiefer Sutherland (R) and his mother, actress Shirley Douglas
Photo: George Pimentel/Getty Images

Shirley Douglas, a veteran actress and mother of actor Kiefer Sutherland, has died. She was 86.

Sutherland, 53, announced his mother’s death on Twitter Sunday. “Early this morning my mother, Shirley Douglas, passed away due to complications surrounding pneumonia (not related to COVID19),” The Fugitive actor wrote in a statement.

“My mother was an extraordinary woman who led an extraordinary life. Sadly she had been battling for her health for quite some time and we, as a family, knew this day was coming,” Sutherland continued.

“To any families who have lost loved ones unexpectedly to the Coronavirus, my heart breaks for you. Please stay safe,” he concluded.

Douglas married actor Donald Sutherland in 1965. The pair, who divorced in 1971, shared two children, twins Kiefer and Rachel, a production manager. Douglas also shared son Thomas from a previous marriage.

Kiefer Sutherland and mother Shirley Douglas
George Pimentel/WireImage

Douglas, who was born on April 2, 1934, in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada, was the daughter of Canada medicare founder Tommy Douglas.

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.

Among her many TV roles was an arc as Professor Dunwoody on Degrassi: The Next Generation.

In addition to her film credits, Douglas was known for her activist work, supporting causes such as public health care, civil rights and the Black Panthers. She also co-founded the first chapter of the Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament in Canada.

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