|Born:||Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland|
December 21, 1966
London, England, UK
- For the character, see Kiefer Sutherland (character).
- "This has been the role of a lifetime, and I will never be able to fully express my appreciation to everyone who made it possible, but when all is said and done, it is the loyal worldwide fan base that made it possible for me to have the experience of playing the role of Jack Bauer, and for that I am eternally grateful."
- — Kiefer Sutherland on the end of 24
Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland (born December 21, 1966; age 54) is a British-Canadian actor, producer, director, and musician, best known for his portrayal of Jack Bauer on 24 from 2001 to 2014. Additionally, Sutherland played the character in the 2008 television movie 24: Redemption, and voiced the character in 24: The Game, 24: Day Zero and 24: DVD Board Game. The only actor to appear in all 204 episodes of the series, Sutherland received critical acclaim and numerous accolades for his portrayal, including a Primetime Emmy Award (2006) and a Golden Globe Award (2001). Beginning in 2002, he assumed the role of producer on the series, rising to executive producer as of the fifth season.
Kiefer, along with his twin sister Rachel, was born in London, England, the son of Canadian actors Donald Sutherland and Shirley Douglas, on December 21, 1966. He has Scottish ancestry from both parents and is the grandson of Canadian politician Tommy Douglas, widely credited for bringing universal health care to Canada. Sutherland is both a British citizen (by jus soli) and a Canadian citizen (by jus sanguinis). Sutherland's given name derives from "Warren Kiefer," the oft-used alias of Italian film director Lorenzo Sabatini, who gave father Donald his first film role in the 1971 Castle of the Living Dead.
The family moved to Corona, California, shortly before Donald and Shirley divorced in 1972. Sutherland moved to Toronto with his mother in 1975, attending Crescent Town Elementary School, St. Clair Junior High East York, and John G. Althouse Middle School. He attended five different high schools including St. Andrew's College, Martingrove Collegiate Institute, Harbord Collegiate Institute, Silverthorn Collegiate Institute, Malvern Collegiate Institute and Annex Village Campus. Sutherland also spent a semester at Regina Mundi Catholic College in London, Ontario and attended weekend acting lessons at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School.
In 2009, Sutherland related on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that he and Robert Downey, Jr. were roommates for three years when he first moved to Hollywood to pursue his career in acting. In the same interview he revealed that his favorite television show of all time is Just the Ten of Us, starring Dennis Haysbert.
Kiefer Sutherland made his film debut alongside his father Donald in Neil Simon's Max Dugan Returns, a 1983 comedy-drama film starring Jason Robards and Matthew Broderick. His first lead role was in the 1984 The Bay Boy, a semi-autobiographical film based on director Daniel Petrie's youth in Glace Bay on Cape Breton Island during the Great Depression. The film was a critical success, earning Genie Awards for both Sutherland and Petrie, and prompting the actor to move to Hollywood to pursue an acting career.
Sutherland's first role in the United States was as town bully Ace Merrill in Rob Reiner's 1986 Stand by Me, a coming-of-age film based on Stephen King's short story "The Body." Following the film's success, Sutherland worked steadily as a leading actor well into the mid-1990s, frequently collaborating with writer and director Joel Schumacher. In 1992, he appeared as the eccentric FBI agent Sam Stanley in David Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, starring Ray Wise and featuring minor appearances by James Parks, Jurgen Prochnow, and Victor Rivers. Sutherland's other film roles include The Lost Boys (1987), The Killing Time (1987, with Michael Madsen), Bright Lights, Big City (1987, with Nicholas Guest), Young Guns (1988, with Lou Diamond Phillips), Flatliners (1990), Flashback (1990, opposite Dennis Hopper), A Few Good Men (1993), with Xander Berkeley), The Three Musketeers (1993), A Time to Kill (1996, with Doug Hutchison and Kurtwood Smith), and Dark City (1998). Sutherland also made his directorial debut in 1997 with Truth or Consequences, N.M., a neo-noir film written by Brad Mirman and starring Sutherland, Vincent Gallo, and Mykelti Williamson.
Since 2001, Sutherland is best known for his work on 24 as Jack Bauer, a part he won after consideration of several other actors, including Richard Burgi. He received numerous accolades for the role throughout the series' run, including five consecutive nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (winning one for Season 5 in 2006), five consecutive Golden Globe nominationsm (winning in 2001), and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. At one point, Sutherland became the highest-paid actor on television, with a salary of $40 million for a three-season contract.
Outside the series, Sutherland also voiced Bauer in the 399th episode of The Simpsons, "24 Minutes," which itself was a stylistic parody of 24. He also appeared in a farcical series of advertisements in Japan for the popular energy supplement Calorie Mate. Most of these ads feature Sutherland as Bauer, racing to avert an imminent terrorist attack while snacking on one of Calorie Mate's products. He also appeared in a similar 2012 Acer commercial and appeared with Mary Lynn Rajskub and host Andrew Garfield in the opening skit for a 2014 episode of Saturday Night Live.
Due to the series' often controversial subject matter, Sutherland has occasionally broken character to deliver public service announcements during the airing of certain episodes. This occurred on November 25, 2003 following the broadcast of "Day 3: 5:00pm-6:00pm", an episode featuring a game of Russian roulette, when Sutherland promoted an organization called Americans for Gun Safety Foundation. Two years later, Sutherland delivered a second PSA during the airing of "Day 4: 2:00pm-3:00pm" regarding the portrayal of Arab-Americans in Season 4, in response to a potential lawsuit by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The Dean of the United States Military Academy, Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan, visited the set of 24 in February 2007 to urge the show's makers to reduce the number of torture scenes, and Sutherland accepted an invitation from the U.S. military to tell West Point cadets that it is wrong to torture prisoners. In interviews, Sutherland repeatedly downplays the significance of 24 to world affairs, insisting that the series is merely "entertainment."
In May 2013, it was announced that Sutherland will return to the role of Jack Bauer in 24: Live Another Day, a twelve-episode miniseries which aired on Fox in summer 2014.
In June 2015, Sutherland stated in an interview at a 24 Emmy Awards screening that he did not anticipate that he would ever return to the role of Jack Bauer:
|“||I’m not coming back to do 24 because there are other things I want to do. And when they said limited-series run, I meant it. But I’ve always felt, from Season 1 on, that 24 is such a great idea that this can go on forever. I think if you create a new cast or other characters in the telling of this story, it will bring a freshness. And let’s face it there’s only so many bad days one can have before the show becomes a mad comic. And what I don’t want it to be is a mad comic... it doesn’t rule out to one [sic] having a cameo.||”|
24: Legacy, a 24 spin-off series, was announced in January 2016, with Sutherland as executive producer.
Sutherland's recent film projects, concurrent with 24, include To End All Wars (2001), with Robert Carlyle and Greg Ellis), Phone Booth (2002), with Yorgo Constantine and James MacDonald), Taking Lives (2004), The Sentinel (2006, with Eva Longoria), Mirrors (2008, also executive producer), and Monsters vs. Aliens (2009). In addition, Sutherland lent his voice to episodes of The Simpsons and Family Guy (2006), as well as the video game Call of Duty: World at War (2008, with Nicholas Guest). Sutherland provides the voice and motion capture for the character of Venom Snake/Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and its prologue, Ground Zeroes, taking over the role from previous voice actor David Hayter. The game also featured Philip Anthony-Rodriguez, Greg Ellis, Gideon Emery, James Horan, and Cliff M. Simon.
Since the series' end, Sutherland filmed Melancholia, a disaster drama film directed by Lars von Trier and co-starring Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg. In March 2011, Sutherland made his Broadway debut in a revival of That Championship Season opposite Brian Cox, Chris Noth, and Jason Patric. Additionally, he appeared with John Hurt and Greg Ellis in an Internet series called The Confession, portraying a hitman making his final confession to a shady priest. The webisode series, which reunited Sutherland with writer/director Brad Mirman, premiered in March 2011 on Hulu. Sutherland is signed to appear as the villain in Paul W.S. Anderson's historical epic Pompeii, opposite Kit Harington, Emily Browning, and fellow 24 guest star Currie Graham. He will also star opposite his father Donald Sutherland in the upcoming Western Forsaken, directed by Jon Cassar and also featuring Michael Wincott and Greg Ellis.
From 2012 to 2013, Sutherland starred in a new Fox television series called Touch. He played the father of an autistic boy who communicated with him through numbers and mathematics, in an effort to help people in the world through intricately related events. The show has also featured appearances by Jude Ciccolella, Mark Ivanir, Greg Ellis, Annie Wersching and Mykelti Williamson as well as directorial efforts from Jon Cassar, Milan Cheylov, Adam Kane, and Ian Toynton. Sutherland also served as executive producer. Touch was canceled in May 2013, following the end of its second season.
Since 2013, Sutherland has appeared in ads for the tequila brand Jose Cuervo.
In December 2015, Sutherland was cast in a new primetime ABC drama Designated Survivor (2016-present) as Tom Kirkman, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who became the President of the United States following the assassination of the President and the entire Cabinet at the State of the Union address. The series features Kal Penn as part of the main cast with appearances by Michael Gaston, Kevin McNally, Geoff Pierson, Arjay Smith, Kim Raver, and Mykelti Williamson in guest and recurring roles. In May 2018, the series was cancelled, ending with its second season. However, on September 2018, Designated Survivor was revived for a 10-episode third season by Netflix.
In March 2016, Sutherland announced his first studio album, Down In a Hole, co-written with his friend Jude Cole and due to be released in summer 2016. Sutherland directed the music video for the album's first single, "Not Enough Whiskey," released in April. He toured in support of the album from March through May 2016.
Sutherland has one daughter, actress Sarah Jude Sutherland (born 1988), from his marriage to Camelia Kath between 1987 and 1990. He was also stepfather to Kath's daughter Michelle Kath; Michelle is married to Adam Sinclair, who played Gavin Leonard in Live Another Day. From his father's subsequent marriage to Francine Racette, he has two half-brothers, Rossif (born 1978) and Angus Sutherland (born 1982).
After they starred together in Flatliners, Sutherland began dating Julia Roberts, and announced their engagement in August 1990. However, Roberts called off the wedding three days before it was scheduled, after discovering Sutherland had been meeting with a stripper named Amanda Rice. Roberts had gone off with Sutherland's Lost Boys co-star Jason Patric. On June 29, 1996, Sutherland married Kelly Winn. The couple separated in 1999 and filed for divorce in 2004.
In the late 1990s, Sutherland briefly retired from acting and spent a few years on the rodeo circuit, inspired by his experiences filming Young Guns and The Cowboy Way. He purchased a 900-acre ranch in Montana and competed in numerous roping contests, winning two in Phoenix and Albuquerque. He desperately wanted "that Rodeo buckle". He garnered three for his efforts. He did get bucked by one of the bulls and broke three of his fingers.
Known in Hollywood circles for his partying lifestyle, Sutherland was arrested in Los Angeles on September 25, 2007, on drunk driving charges after failing a field sobriety test. He pleaded no contest to the DUI charge and was sentenced to 48 days in jail. Initially, the sentence was to be non-consecutive so as not to interfere with the filming of 24's seventh season; however, after the WGA strike halted production, Sutherland was able to serve out the full sentence, beginning on December 6, 2007. In 2009, Sutherland surrendered to NYPD after head-butting fashion designer Jack McCollough at a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Several weeks later, he and McCollough issued a joint statement in which Sutherland apologized for the incident, and the charges were dropped.
Sutherland is an avid music lover and a guitar collector. He is the co-owner of the independent record label Ironworks, and "inspired" a limited-run Gibson Custom guitar, the KS-336, each of which bore the actor's signature.
Kiefer plays hockey on a celebrity team along with other Canadian-based Hollywood actors such as Matthew Perry, whom he's close friends with.
- 24: DVD Board Game (voice)
- 24: The Game (voice)
- 24: Day Zero (voice)
- 24: Live Another Day (all episodes)
- Season 2: Producer
- Season 3 – Season 4: Co-Executive Producer
- Season 5
- Season 6 – Season 8: Executive Producer
- 24: Live Another Day: Executive Producer
- 24: Legacy: Executive Producer
- Sutherland provided DVD audio commentary for the following episodes:
- "24: Exposed," Season 2 DVD
- "24: On the Loose," Season 3 DVD
- "Boys and Their Toys," Season 3 DVD
- Webcast Diaries, Season 6 DVD
- "24 and the War on Terror: Can Truth Learn from Fiction?," 24: The Official Companion: Season 6 DVD
- Narrator of "Blood Never Dry: Child Soldiers in Africa," 24: Redemption DVD
- "24 in 24"
- Scenemakers: Various episodes for Season 7 and 8 showcase Kiefer mapping out pre-conceived/storyboarded scenes and doing his own stunts in the action-heavy portions during filming.
- "Jack Is Back"
Awards and nominations
- See also: 24's awards and honors
|Primetime Emmy Awards||2002||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||✕|
|Outstanding Drama Series||✕|
|2004||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||✕|
|Outstanding Drama Series||✕|
|2005||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||✕|
|Outstanding Drama Series||✕|
|2006||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||✓|
|Outstanding Drama Series||✓|
|2007||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series||✕|
|2008||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie||✕|
|Golden Globe Awards||2002||Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama||✓|
|2009||Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television||✕|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||2002||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series||✕|
|Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||✕|
|2003||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series||✓|
|Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||✕|
|2005||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series||✕|
|Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||✕|
|2008||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries||✕|
|Satellite Awards||2002||Best Performance by an Actor in a Series, Drama||✓|
|2014||Best Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television||✕|
|Television Critics Association Awards||2002||Individual Achievement in Drama||✕|
|Critics' Choice Television Awards||2015||Best Actor in a Limited Series||✕|
|Golden Nymph Awards||2003||Outstanding Actor - Drama Series||✓|
|2006||Best International Producer||✓|
|Outstanding Actor - Drama Series||✓|
|Saturn Awards||2006||Best Actor in a Television Program||✕|
|Gold Derby TV Awards||2004||Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series||✓|
|2009||Best Lead Actor in a Made-for-TV Movie||✕|
|Teen Choice Awards||2003||Choice TV Actor - Drama/Action Adventure||✕|
|2006||Choice TV Actor||✕|
|Choice TV Actor - Drama/Action Adventure||✕|
|2010||Choice TV Actor: Action||✕|
|OFTA Awards||2002||Best Actor in a New Drama Series||✓|
|Best Actor in a Drama Series||✓|
- Flatliners (2017)
- Zoolander 2 (2016)
- Forsaken (2015)
- Marked (2014)
- Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces (2014)
- Pompeii (2014)
- The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012)
- Melancholia (2011)
- Marmaduke (2010)
- Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)
- Mirrors (2008)
- I Trust You to Kill Me (2006)
- The Sentinel (2006)
- The Wild (2006)
- The River Queen (2005)
- Taking Lives (2004)
- Phone Booth (2003)
- The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration (2003)
- Desert Saints (2002)
- To End All Wars (2001)
- Eye of the Killer (1999; A.K.A. After Alice)
- Woman Wanted (1999)
- A Soldier's Sweetheart (1998)
- Dark City (1998)
- Truth or Consequences, N.M. (1997)
- A Time to Kill (1996)
- Freeway (1996)
- An Eye for an Eye (1996)
- The Cowboy Way (1994)
- The Three Musketeers (1993)
- The Vanishing (1993)
- Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)
- A Few Good Men (1992)
- Young Guns II (1990)
- Flatliners (1990)
- Renegades (1989)
- Young Guns (1988)
- The Lost Boys (1987)
- Stand By Me (1986)
- The Bay Boy (1984)
- Max Dugan Returns (1983)
- The Fugitive (2020)
- Designated Survivor (2016-2019)
- 24: Live Another Day (2014)
- Saturday Night Live (2014)
- Touch (2012-2013)
- The Confession (2011)
- The Simpsons (2006, 2007, 2011) (see Jack Bauer in other media)
- 24 (2001-2010)
- Family Guy (2006)
- The Industry (1999)
- Fallen Angels (1995)
- Amazing Stories (1984)
Video game appearances
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015)
- Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (2014)
- Call of Duty: World at War (2008)