He got his talent proverbially put to his cradle: Kiefer Sutherland.
His father is nobody else than Donald Sutherland und his mother is the actress Shirley Douglas. Kiefer Sutherland is one of the tallest actors the movieworld has seen. One moment
innocent and vulnerable and the next evil and menacing, he plays each role with incomparable style. He continues the tradition of his versatile father. In the meantime he has played almost everything:
Cops, Murderer, Doctors, Conservatives, Musketeers, Vampires, Gunslingers, Lunatics.
Born 21th December 1966 in London as Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland along with his twin sister Rachel, while his father was working in british films and
TV. It was inevitable that he would follow in his parents footsteps.
At the age of four Kiefer was taken to California, where his fathers film career had taken off and his mother kept herself busy exercising her radicalisim. It was around this
time, that Kiefer’s parents decided to split up for good. At the age of ten Kiefer and his twin sister Rachel lived in Toronto with their militant mom. He has visit theatre workshops in school and stood
already 1977 in the production "Throne of strow" on the stage.
He left home at fifteen, rented a room from friends, who were artists and actors, and at the age of sixteen he decided to give the family business a try. He attended local theatre
workshops and, in 1983, his father secured for him a walk-on role in his film “Max Dugan returns”. With this small success to his credit, he decided to drop out of high school to pursue acting full-time.
A year later he landed the lead in the canadian-produced “The bay boy” (1984). Set entirely in Nova Scotia in the 30‘s the movie showed Kiefer’s amazing talent. For the portrait of a young man during the
depression time he won the canadian Genie Award (the equivalent of an Oscar). “The bay boy” was such a triumph that he decided to test his mettle in New York. After a year of no luck he headed for L.A.,
where he finally ended with a role as the radio operator in the episode “The Mission” (1985) of Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing stories”. A lucky break. He also managed to get himself a bit part in the movie
“At close range” (1986). “Trapped in silence” (1986) was Kiefers next movie in which he played a troubled teen.
His career began to heat up after his 1986 performance as gang leader Ace Merrill in “Stand by me”, terrorizing the local teens. The film was a great success and earned Kiefer
great respect as a serious actor. “The brotherhood of justice” (1986) saw Kiefer playing the good guy up against Keanu Reeves‘ gang of vigilantes. Kiefer returned to Canada for his next movie “Crazy
moon” (1986), a off-beat love story, starring Vanessa Vaughn. A total different change of role came next in the thriller “The killing time” (1987) with Kiefer portraying a psychotic drifter.
On the set he met Camelia Kath, an actress fourteen years his senior with a daughter just ten years younger than he. Kiefer found himself attracted to her and the couple soon
found themselves living together. They married the following year and were soon parents of a second daughter - called Sarah Jude, after his friends Sarah Parker and Jude Law.
Kiefers next movie “The lost boys” (1987) turned out to be very successful and gained Kiefer a new legion of fans for his role as David, the sexy leader of a villainous gang of
vampires. Next up was the romantic drama “Promised land” (1988) which saw Kiefer team up with Meg Ryan. His next movie was “Bright lights, big city” (1988) with Michael J. Fox and “1969” (1988) with
Robert Downey Jnr., which was a moderate success. Then came one of his biggest hits starring with Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen and Lou Diamond Phillips in the big budget western “Young Guns” (1988) as
the real life cowboy Doc Scurlock. Reteaming with Lou Diamond Phillips in 1989, he starred as a cop in the thriller “Renegades”. He went on to play another cop in the movie “Flashback” (1990). In the
same year he travelled to England to film his next movie “Chicago Joe and the showgirl”. This one also marked the break up of his marriage to Camelia Kath. They got divorced February 1990. But their
divorce didn’t break Kiefers stride: in 1990, with five films in release, he was a man with a promising future. In 1990 Kiefer starred in the sequel to “Young guns 2” which turned out to be just as
successful as its predecessor back in 1988.
Romance was to blossom once again for Kiefer on the set of “Flatliners” (1990) with his co-star Julia Roberts, in which both playing medical students dicing with death. That
courtship of Kiefer and Julia was chronicled in the press from the very beginning. Sentimental fool that he is, Kiefer popped that Big Question over hamburgers, and for her birthday, he treated them to
identical tattoos (chinese symbols denoting their undying love for one another). A wedding date was set for 14th June 1991. But in early 1991 he moved out of Julias place and was frequently seen in the
company of the go-go-dancer Amanda Rice. Although he and Julia got back together, one week before the wedding she fled to Ireland with Jason Patric, Kiefer’s co-star from “The lost boys”, leaving Kiefer
standing at the proverbial altar.
“Article 99” (1991) and David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks-Fire walk with me” (1992) followed before he starred in the courtroom drama “A few good men” (1992) opposite Hollywoods hotshots
Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson as Lt. Jonathan Kendrick, a brutal marine. In “The vanishing” (1993), a remake, Kiefer played a man, obsessed with finding out the truth about what happened to his
girlfriend, who suddenly and mysteriously vanished without a trace. Kiefer was sent the script of “The vanishing” after his public break up with Julia. Not letting this deter him he was soon back at work
filming the adventure “The three musketeers” (1993) for Disney, which also starred Charlie Sheen (Young Guns).
In 1993 he launched a promising second career as a director. Kiefer turned his hand to directing the remarkable “Last light” (1993), in which he played a convict on death row. The
movie received great praise form the critics and opened up new doors for Kiefer.
For his personal life he managed in 1993 a bit of revenge against the tabloids, when he won both: an apology and an undisclosed sum for libel damages from the publication “News of
the world” which had reported, that his marriage to Camelia Kath was a publicity stunt.
Starring with Woody Harrelson in the cowboy comedy “The cowboy way” (1994) gave him a passion for the rodeo circuit. In the same year, he also played a little uncredited role in
“Teresas tattoo” (1994) as a roadblock officer. The thriller “Eye for an eye” (1996) saw Kiefer take on a supporting role as a murdering rapist opposite Sally Field. “The last days of Frankie the fly”
(1996) saw Kiefer as Joey, a wannabe Hollywood-director. In “A time to kill” (1996) he played Freddie Cobb, a vicious Ku Klux Klan leader. His father Donald also had a appearance in the movie. Father and
son working together the first time since “Max Dugan returns” in 1983. They never once appeared in the same scene together. “Freeway” (1996) saw Kiefer playing a charming stranger, who is actually the
freeway murderer trying to lure the young Vanessa into to becoming his next victim.
In the same year in June, 29th, he married the four years older former model Kelly Winn, who he had previoulsy met at a party. He has taken on the role of stepfather to her two
sons Julian and Timothy.
In a pairing almost unique Kiefer starred with his mother, playing mother and son in the stage production of Tennessee Williams “The glass menagerie” (1996) at the Royal Alexandra
Theatre in Toronto. Turning to directing once again, he directed and starred in the violent “Truth or consequences n.m.” (1997), in which he played the wild Curtis Freley, a crazed former convict.
In 1998 four projects were on the program: “The break up”, the futuristic thriller “Dark City” with Kiefer as the disfigured Dr. Schreber, “ A soldiers sweetheart”, about a man in
vietnam who smuggled his girlfriend into the army, and “Ground Control”, playing an air traffic controller, who has lost a plane of people due to no fault of his own in the past. Will he be able to go
his way again in such a high risk game?
In 1999 follows with “Woman wanted” a further directing work, in which he played next to Holly Hunter the main character. Kiefer has removed his name as director from the credits
after seeing the premiere of the movie in Toronto. After a dispute on the final cut between Kiefer and the film’s producer, the use of an pseudonym became necessary.
Another one again with Lou Diamond Phillips called “Picking up the pieces” (1999), in which he played Sheriff Bobo. Since then he has worked steadily in a number of movies, like
the criminal drama “After Alice” (1999), “The red door” (1999), “Three seconds” (1999) and “Ring of Fire” (2000) with Kiefer as a rodeo clown.
Kiefer and Kelly Winn seperated in August 1999. They got divorced 13th March 2000 citing irreconcilable differences.
In April 2000 Kiefer joined thousands of protesters at a rally to denounce plans to privatize part of the country’s public health care system. He was asked to attend saturday’s
rally by his mother, who has taken six months off work to campaign across Canada against the privatization of health care.
As William S. Burroughs, a writer and self proclaimed junkie, one saw Kiefer next to Courtney Love in the drama “Beat” (2000), followed from “The royal way” (2000) and “The right
temptation” (2000). The latest productions are “Desert saints” (2000) about a hit man, the war drama “To end all wars” (2000) and the story of british football violence “Among the thugs” (2000), based on
the same-named book.
Written by Simone Arras, Germany, November 2000