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Shirley Douglas

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Occupation  Actress, activist
Name  Shirley Douglas

Role  Television actress
Siblings  Joan Douglas
Shirley Douglas Shirley Douglas featured speaker at August 6th Hiroshima

Full Name  Shirley Jean Douglas
Born  April 2, 1934 (age 81) (1934-04-02) Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada
Spouse  Donald Sutherland (m. 1966–1970)
Children  Kiefer Sutherland, Rachel Sutherland, Thomas Emil Sicks
Parents  Irma May Douglas, Tommy Douglas
Movies and TV shows  Wind at My Back, Dead Ringers, Barney's Great Adventure, Franklin, Road to Avonlea
Similar People  Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Tommy Douglas, Rachel Sutherland, Francine Racette

Women in film television 2009 crystal awards shirley douglas the wine ladies tv

Shirley Jean Douglas, (born April 2, 1934) is a Canadian television, film and stage actress and activist. Her acting career combined with her family name has made her recognizable in Canadian film, television and national politics.


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Personal life

Shirley Douglas wwwcbccastrombocontentimagesDOUGLASBIOjpg

Douglas was born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, the daughter of Irma May (née Dempsey) and Tommy Douglas (1904–86), the late Scottish-born Canadian statesman and Premier of Saskatchewan. She attended high school at Central Collegiate Institute (now closed) in Regina. She is the mother of three children: Thomas Emil Sicks from her first marriage and twins Rachel Sutherland and Kiefer Sutherland from her second marriage to Canadian actor Donald Sutherland (1966–70).

Acting work

Shirley Douglas Keifer Sutherland with his mom actress Shirley Douglas ex wife of

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 is not to be confused with the child actress who appeared in Gone with the Wind, the Wizard of Oz, and Show Boat.

She continues to act; and her career since then has encompassed several memorable roles on stages in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. She has 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.

In 2003, for her contributions to the performing arts, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.


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, after she allegedly attempted to purchase hand grenades for the Black Panthers. She claimed that the FBI was trying to frame her and spent five days in jail [3]. Subsequently, the U.S. government denied her a work permit based on this incident. Douglas, by then divorced from Sutherland, was forced to leave the U.S. in 1977. She and her three children moved to Toronto.

As the daughter of Tommy Douglas, who brought Medicare to Canada, she has also been one of Canada's most prominent activists in favour of the publicly funded health care system over privatized care. In the Canadian federal election, 2006, Douglas campaigned on behalf of the federal New Democratic Party. In 2012, she supported Brian Topp for that party's leadership.


  • (2000) Gemini Award for her performance in the 1999 TV film Shadow Lake.
  • (2000) Honorary doctorate from Ryerson University
  • (2000) "Diamond Award" for her volunteerism, by the Variety Club an international charity for children in need
  • (2003) Order of Canada
  • (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
  • (2006) In November, Shirley gave an honorary lecture at Trent University
  • (2009) Shirley Douglas will be 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
  • References

    Shirley Douglas Wikipedia