Kiefer Sutherland had a minor role in the1983 comedy, ‘Max Dugan Returns’. His father acted in the movie too, but Kiefer did not have any scene with him.
His first starring role was in the Canadian film, ‘The Bad Boy’, in 1984. The coming-of-age film saw him play a sensitive teenager who resists his mother’s attempts to make him a priest.
In 1986, he acted in his first American film, ‘Stand by Me’. In this film about four boys’ looking for a dead body, he played "Ace" Merrill, a bully.
He acted for the first time in a Joel Schumacher directed movie, the1987 horror-comedy, ‘The Lost Boys’. The movie was critically and commercially successful. Sutherland would work with Schumacher in many more films.
In the 1990 sci-fi thriller, ‘Flatliners’, he starred with Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin and Oliver Platt, as one of the five medical students researching life beyond death.
In 1992, he acted in the psychological thriller, ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me’, and had a more significant role in the Oscar nominated film, ‘A Few Good Men’, as Lieutenant Jonathan James Kendrick.
In 1993, Sutherland starred alongside Jeff Bridges and Nancy Travis in ‘The Vanishing’, an unconvincing remake of a Franco-Dutch thriller, and ‘The Three Musketeers’ which received negative reviews, but did well commercially.
In the 1996 crime thriller, ‘Eye for an Eye’, he played Robert Doob, a serial killer. The film also starred Sally Field and Ed Harris, and was criticized for its promotion of vigilantism.
Now considered a cult classic, ‘Dark City’, the sci-fi film of 1998, starred the actor with Rufus Sewell, Jennifer Connelly and William Hurt. The film received many awards in film festivals around the world.
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He had a supporting role in the Joel Schumacher directed 1996 box-office hit, ‘ A Time to Kill’. The movie starred Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kevin Spacey.
The TV series, ‘24’, starring Sutherland as Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) agent Jack Bauer, premiered in 2001 and has now completed 192 episodes over 8 seasons. Events in each episode happen in real time.
In the Joel Schumacher nail-biter, ‘Phone Booth’ (2003), the actor was given second billing behind Colin Farrell, despite appearing physically onscreen only for three minutes. He is the mysterious caller in the movie.
In the 2006 thriller, ‘The Sentinel’ he starred with Michael Douglas. Both don the roles of secret service agents. Directed by Clark Johnson, the movie was poorly received by critics.
In the 2012 supernatural drama series, ‘Touch’, he stars as a former reporter who discovers that his sensitive special-needs son has a gift for foretelling future events.
In May and July 2014, twelve-episodes of ‘24: Live Another Day’, was aired by Fox.
The Christopher Cain directed western action film, ‘Young Guns’, in 1988, saw him share screen space with Emilio Estevez, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen, Dermot Mulroney, Casey Siemaszko. It was a box office hit.
The television series ‘24’ completed 8 seasons between 2001 and 2008. His performance as Jack Bauer won him critical acclaim and accolades .The serial was watched by an estimated 11 million people every season.
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Despite being nominated many times for his role in ‘24’, Kiefer Sutherland’s only Golden Globe Award came in 2002 in the category Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
For the innovative serial,‘24’, he won two Emmy Awards in 2006– the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series; the Outstanding Drama Series that he shared with 12 other executive producers.
He won the coveted Screen Actors Guild Awards twice between 2004 and 2006 for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series for the television serial, ‘24’.
He was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto and in 2009, he was honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Television at 7024 Hollywood Boulevard.
Personal Life & Legacy
He was married to Camelia Kath from 1987 to 1990 and had daughter with her. Camelia was the widow of Chicago band member Terry Kath. He became the stepfather to Camelia’s two sons.
He was engaged to actress Julia Roberts, but the actress broke the engagement over Sutherland’s alleged affair with a stripper. He later married Kelly Winn, but the two are now divorced.
The actor is a guitar collector, and a fan of the Queen. He follows American football avidly, USC Trojans being his favorite. He is also an auto racing enthusiast and follows NASCAR events.