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Donald Sutherland, renowned for his role in “The Hunger Games,” had a remarkable life and career that spanned over six decades. At the time of his death on June 20, 2024, in Miami, Sutherland was 88 years old and had amassed a significant net worth of $60 million. His legacy includes a long and loving marriage to Francine Racette and five children who continue to carry on his creative spirit.

Who is Francine Racette?

Francine Racette, born in Quebec, Canada, grew up with French as her first language and pursued a career in acting after graduating from the National Theatre School of Canada in 1966. Racette has had a distinguished career, starring in notable French-language films such as “Au revoir les enfants,” “Lumière,” and “The Disappearance.” Her talent and dedication to the craft earned her a César award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 1977.

How Did Donald Sutherland and Francine Racette Meet?

Donald Sutherland and Francine Racette met while working on the 1974 Western “Alien Thunder.” Their relationship quickly blossomed, and they married in 1972. This union came after Sutherland’s separation from his second wife, Shirley Douglas, with whom he had two children, Kiefer and Rachel. Before meeting Racette, Sutherland had a brief relationship with actress Jane Fonda.

How Long Were Donald Sutherland and Francine Racette Married?

Sutherland and Racette enjoyed a marriage that spanned over 50 years, a testament to their enduring love and companionship. Despite Sutherland’s demanding career, which took him around the world, he always prioritized his relationship with Racette. He often expressed that no matter where he lived, as long as he was with his wife, he was home.

How Many Children Did Donald Sutherland and Francine Racette Have Together?

The couple welcomed three sons: Roeg, born on February 5, 1974, Rossif, born on September 25, 1978, and Angus, born on September 3, 1982. Sutherland also had two children, Kiefer and Rachel, from his previous marriage to Shirley Douglas. Each of their children has pursued a career in film and television, with Kiefer and Rossif following in their father’s footsteps as actors. Rachel works as a production manager, while Roeg is part of Creative Artists Agency’s Media Finance division, and Angus works behind the camera.

What Did Donald Sutherland Say About His Wife?

In interviews, Sutherland often spoke fondly of Racette, praising her for her extraordinary nature and sense of humor. He shared that Racette made him laugh every day, a trait he found invaluable in their relationship. Sutherland credited his wife as his main inspiration and guide, highlighting her influence on his decisions and actions.

How Did Francine Racette Influence Donald Sutherland’s Career?

Racette occasionally advised Sutherland on his career choices. Notably, she suggested he take the lead role in the U.S. adaptation of the play “Enigma Variations” in 1999 and acquire the English translation rights. This came after Sutherland regretted not listening to her advice earlier regarding another play, “La Cage aux Folles,” which became a great success.

What Was Donald Sutherland’s Reaction to Receiving an Honorary Academy Award?

In 2018, while in Rome with Racette, Sutherland received the news that he would be honored with an honorary Academy Award. He described the moment as shocking and shared a humorous anecdote about his wife’s reaction, saying, “We’re going to have to lose weight.” This award was a significant recognition of Sutherland’s outstanding contribution to the film industry.

How Did Francine Racette Support Donald Sutherland Throughout His Illness?

Francine Racette stood by Sutherland’s side throughout his long illness, providing unwavering support and care. Their bond remained strong, reflecting the deep connection they shared throughout their marriage. Sutherland’s passing on June 20, 2024, marked the end of an era for the couple, but their love story continues to inspire many.

What is Francine Racette Doing Now?

As of now, Francine Racette remains a respected figure in the film industry, known for her contributions and her enduring marriage to one of Hollywood’s most iconic actors. While she has kept a relatively low profile, her legacy as an actress and the profound impact she had on Sutherland’s life and career remain significant.

Donald Sutherland’s remarkable life, marked by his extraordinary talent, enduring marriage to Francine Racette, and a loving family, continues to leave a lasting legacy. His contributions to cinema and the deep love he shared with his wife are celebrated and remembered by fans and admirers worldwide.


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