Hey there! Welcome to the world of Canadian television! As one of the resident Canucks here at TVRage, I have taken it upon myself to educate the TV-loving masses on the sheer talent and number of fantastic Canadian actors and actresses that are infiltrating your living rooms. Here in the land of beavers, maple syrup and hockey, we take a lot of pride in the accomplishments of our home grown talents. I hope that each week I can surprise you with some very famous people you had no idea were from the true north, strong and free! It’s the invading moose!
This week on Canada, Eh? we get to look into the life and career of a true Canadian mega-star. How many Canadians can say that their grandfather was voted "The Greatest Canadian," their father is an international film and television star, and they are best friends with a hockey legend? Not many, is the answer. So who is this collosal Canadian celebrity? None other than the extremely bad-ass Kiefer Sutherland.
Sutherland, the son of Donald Sutherland, was born in London, England before moving to Toronto, Canada in 1975 at the age of 9 with his mother. Born into Canadian acting royalty, how could this boy not follow in his father's footsteps and become an actor himself? When your father is Donald Sutherland, you have some big boots to fill, but I imagine you also have magical acting DNA. Sutherland also has some magical Canadian DNA - - he comes from some mighty good stock. Sutherland's grandfather, Tommy Douglas, was the former Premier of Saskatchewan (that super-boring, super-flat province in the middle of Canada) and has been credited as the father of Canada's public health-care system. On top of that, Tommy Douglas has been voted as "The Greatest Canadian." So, basically, Keifer Sutherland is the direct descendent of the greatest Canadian this proud country has seen. Beat that.
Sutherland got his first role on a comedy drama in 1983 called 'Max Dugan Returns.' One year later, Sutherland was cast in his first major role on the Canadian drama 'The Bay Boy' which earned him a best actor nomination in the Genie awards. Not too shabby for only his second acting role. After 'The Bay Boy', Sutherland made his way to Los Angeles to more seriously pursue his acting career where he became room mates with none other than 'Iron Man' himself. Well, Robert Downey Jr. that is - - he wasn't exactly 'Iron Man' just yet. After making multiple television appearances, Sutherland landed a break-out role in the coming of age film 'Stand By Me.' Sutherland played the role of the jerk, the bad boy, the bully - - the guy we all hate, but his performance was fantastic and his career picked up after appearing in the hugely popular film. In the entirety of his career, Sutherland has appeared in more than 70 films, including major titles such as 'A Few Good Men', 'Young Guns', 'The Three Musketeers', 'A Time To Kill', and 'The Sentinel.'
It came as a surprise to some, Sutherland included, when he made the jump from film to television. "Twelve years ago, if anyone had suggested I would do TV, I would have laughed at them," Sutherland once said, "Film actors didn't do TV. But when I was finally offered "24" (2001), it came like a saving grace. I owe it a lot." Of course, everyone knows about '24' and Jack Bauer. A critically acclaimed television series, '24' has been nominated countless times for television awards, and has been called one of the greatest shows to have ever been on the air. Sutherland has been nominated four times for the "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series" Primetime Emmy Award, winning in 2006, for his role as Jack Bauer. He also one a Golden Globe award in 2002 for "Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Drama Series" for his role. Jack Bauer is the cool guy who gets to walk away from explosions, deal with high stress situations and save the country from terrorists and bad guys. The series went off the air after eight highly successful seasons, but it was announced earlier this year that it will be returning to television for a limited series. The series, '24: Live Another Day', is scheduled to be released in 2014.
The list of reasons why Sutherland is awesome just go on and on. Sutherland is close friends with Canadian icon and hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. Like any truly dedicated Canadian, Sutherland also plays hockey himself on a celebrity team. In 2005 Sutherland was inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame in Toronto, where both his mother and father have stars of their own.
Sutherland once said that if he had not gotten into acting that he would be "laying phone cable in northern Ontario." While I can vouch for the fact that northern Ontario is a beautiful place to be, and cable laying is a noble position, I think we can all be glad that Sutherland was destined to become an amazing actor instead.
Thanks for stopping by for this weeks Canada, Eh?! I am off to go tap some maple syrup from a tree and prepare my collection of toques for the winter.
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