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Shirley Douglas

Shirley Douglas, actress,

B: April 2, 1934 in Weyburn, Saskatchewan
D: April 5, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario

Shirley Douglas is usually remembered as the daughter of former Saskatchewan premier and statesman Tommy Douglas, and the mother of Kiefer Sutherland and his twin sister Rachel. She was married to Donald Sutherland, from 1966 to 1970. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in England, Douglas began her stage and television career in England and has performed in the U.K., Canada and the U.S. playing such iconic roles as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Oenone in Phaedra, and Hagar Shipley in the stage version of The Stone Angel. She is best known to Canadians for playing May Bailey on the television series, Wind at My Back, which brought her a Gemini nomination. She won a Gemini for Shadow Lake and was also nominated for Passage of the Heart. She held honorary doctorates from Ryerson University, Brandon University, University of Windsor, and University of Regina. In 2003, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and is pictured above when she was honoured with Women in Film and Television’s Crystal Award in 2009. A previous recipient of ACTRA’s Bernard Cowan Award, it was announced in November of 2012 that she would receive ACTRA Toronto’s Award of Excellence in early 2013. As the daughter of the man who brought medicare to Canada, Shirley Douglas had also been an activist helping to protect our publicly-funded health care system from privatization. Shirley Douglas was 86 when she died in Toronto following a long period of declining health. Her passing was announced on Twitter by her son, Kiefer Sutherland.

Also see: Remembering Shirley Douglas
The poster for Dead Ringers was scanned from an original in the Northernstars Collection.