Shirley Jean Douglas
April 2, 1934
|Died||April 5, 2020 (aged 86)|
|Alma mater||Royal Academy of Dramatic Art|
|Spouse(s)||Timothy Emil Sicks|
(m. 1957; div. 19??)
(m. 1966; div. 1970)
|Children||3, including Kiefer Sutherland|
Douglas was born April 2, 1934, in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, the daughter of Irma May (née Dempsey; 1911–95) and Tommy Douglas (1904–86), the late Scottish-born Canadian statesman, Premier of Saskatchewan and the first leader of the federal New Democratic Party. She attended high school at Central Collegiate Institute (now closed) in Regina. Douglas attended the Banff School of Fine Arts at the age of 16.
Douglas's acting career began in 1950 with a role in the Regina Little Theatre entry at the Dominion Drama Festival, where she won the best actress award. In 1952 Shirley graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and stayed in England for several years, performing for theatre and television, before returning to Canada in 1957.
She continued to act; and her career encompassed several memorable roles on stages in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. She portrayed prominent feminist Nellie McClung, family matriarch and business woman May Bailey in the television series Wind at My Back, Hagar Shipley in Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel, and even characters in popular science fiction series like The Silver Surfer and Flash Gordon.
In 1997, Douglas appeared on stage with her son Kiefer Sutherland at the Royal Alexandra Theatre and at the National Arts Centre in The Glass Menagerie. In 2000, she performed on stage in The Vagina Monologues. In 2006, she portrayed former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in the ABC mini-series The Path to 9/11.
Personal life and deathEdit
Douglas was the mother of three children: Thomas Emil Sicks from her marriage to Canadian prairie brewery heir Timothy Emil Sicks in 1957, and twins Rachel Sutherland and Kiefer Sutherland from her second marriage to Canadian actor Donald Sutherland (1966–70).
Our jobs, we move around a great deal … and that is the reality that my children grew up with – is being left, and not happily.
By 2009, Douglas was in a wheelchair due to a degenerative spine condition that caused her severe pain.
Douglas moved to Los Angeles, California in 1967 after marrying actor Donald Sutherland. She became involved in the American Civil Rights Movement, the campaign against the Vietnam War, and later on behalf of immigrants and women. She helped establish the fundraising group "Friends of the Black Panthers".
In 1969, she was arrested in Los Angeles for Conspiracy to Possess Unregistered Explosives. According to a sworn statement by FBI agents, she allegedly attempted to purchase hand grenades for the Black Panthers using a cheque from those FBI agents. As her defence, she claimed the FBI was framing her by creating a crime where none existed prior to their involvement.
Subsequently, the FBI denied her a work permit based on this allegation. Douglas, by then divorced from Sutherland, left America in 1977. She and her three children moved to Toronto. The courts eventually dismissed the case and exonerated her.
As the daughter of Tommy Douglas, promoter of Medicare, she was one of Canada's activists in favour of tax-payer funded health-care instead of privatized care. In the 2006 Canadian federal election, Douglas campaigned on behalf of the federal New Democratic Party and in 2012 she supported Brian Topp for that party's leadership.
|1955||Joe MacBeth||Patsy||Crime drama film directed by Ken Hughes|
|1983||The Wars||Mrs. Lawson|
|1992||Passage of the Heart||Katherine Ward|
|1998||Barney's Great Adventure||Grandma|
|2000||The Law of Enclosures||Myra|
|2000||Franklin and the Green Knight||Narrator||Video|
|1955||Rheingold Theatre||Molly Gaines||Episode: "The Long White Line"|
|1978||Nellie McClung||Nellie McClung||TV film|
|1982||Hangin' In||Mrs. Ricardo||Episode: "Barnum and Baby"|
|1986||Turning to Stone||Lena||TV film|
|1986||Loose Ends||Elder Seth's Wife||TV film|
|1987||Really Weird Tales||Edna Besley||TV film|
|1989||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Monica Logan||Episode: "Driving Under the Influence"|
|1990–1991||Street Legal||Mayor Riley||Recurring role (4 episodes)|
|1992||Road to Avonlea||Miss Cavendish||Episode: "High Society"|
|1992||The Hat Squad||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1993||Shattered Trust: The Shari Karney Story||Vivian Karney||TV film|
|1995||Redwood Curtain||Schyler Noyes||TV film|
|1995||Johnny's Girl||Mrs. Hardwick||TV film|
|1996–1997||Flash Gordon||Additional Voices||25 episodes|
|1996–2001||Wind at My Back||May Bailey||Main role (65 episodes)|
|1998||Silver Surfer||Infectia (voice)||Unknown episodes|
|1999||Shadow Lake||Margaret Richards||TV film|
|2000||A House Divided||Elizabeth Dickson||TV film|
|2001||Made in Canada||Cybill Thornbush||Episode: "Beaver Creek Commercials"|
|2002||The Christmas Shoes||Ellen Layton||TV film|
|2005||Robson Arms||Pauline Dubois||Recurring role (4 episodes)|
|2005||Corner Gas||Peg||Episode: "Trees a Crowd"|
|2006||The Path to 9/11||Madeleine Albright||TV film|
|2008||Degrassi: The Next Generation||Professor Dunwoody||Episode: "Bust a Move: Part 2"|
- (2000) Gemini Award for her performance in the 1999 TV film Shadow Lake.
- (2001) Honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D) from Ryerson University.
- (2000) "Diamond Award" for her volunteerism, by the Variety Club an international charity for children in need
- (2002) Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal 
- (2003) Officer of the Order of Canada (OC) - October 24, 2003.
- (2004) awarded a space on the Wall of Fame at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa
- (2004) received the "Distinguished Canadian Award" by the Seniors’ Education Centre at the University of Regina, an award first presented to her father almost 20 years before
- (2004) inducted with a star, on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto
- (2005) Honorary degree from Brandon University
- (2006) In November, Shirley gave an honorary lecture at Trent University
- (2009) Shirley Douglas was awarded the International Achievement Award at the 2009 Crystal Awards presented in Toronto by Women in Film & Television - Toronto, November 30, 2009
- (2012) Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal – Toronto, February 28, 2012
- Sandra Nichols, "Shirley Douglas". The Canadian Encyclopedia, May 18, 2009.
- Solski 2009, p. 137.
- "Canadian actress and activist Shirley Douglas dies at age 86". The Seattle Times. Seattle: The Seattle Times Company. Associated Press. April 5, 2020. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
- Ahearn, Victoria (April 5, 2020). "Actress-activist Shirley Douglas, mother of Kiefer Sutherland, dies at 86". National Post. Toronto: Postmedia Network. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
- Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia
- "Canadian Actress and Activist Shirley Douglas Dies at Age 86". The New York Times. New York City. Associated Press. April 5, 2020. Archived from the original on April 6, 2020. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
- Ouzounian, Richard (February 9, 2013). "Shirley Douglas fondly remembers her famous father, Tommy Douglas". Toronto Star. Toronto: Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. (Torstar). Retrieved January 8, 2018.
- Ahearn, Victoria (April 5, 2020). "Actress-activist Shirley Douglas, daughter of medicare's Tommy Douglas, dies". CTV News. Toronto: Bell Media.
- "Canadian actress and activist Shirley Douglas dies at age 86". ABC News. New York City: ABC. Associated Press. April 5, 2020. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
- "Canadian actress and activist Shirley Douglas dies at 86". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore: Tribune Publishing. Associated Press. April 5, 2020. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
- Shakespeare & Williams 2006, p. 29.
- Mayer 2003, p. 216.
- "Past Honorary Doctorates".
- "Ms. Shirley Douglas".
- "Ms. Shirley Douglas".
- "Shirley Douglas 2004 Inductee". CanadasWalkofFame.com. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
- Solski, Ruth (2009). Famous Female Actors Gr. 4-8. Toronto: On The Mark Press. p. 137. ISBN 9781-770727779.
- Shakespeare, William; Williams, William Proctor (2006). Macbeth. Naperville, Illinois: Sourcebooks. p. 29. ISBN 978-1402206887.
- Mayer, Geoff (2003). Guide to British Cinema. Reference Guides to the World's Cinema. Santa Barbara, California: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 216. ISBN 978-0313303074.