Shirley Douglas, actress and Kiefer Sutherland's mother, dies aged 86

Shirley Douglas, Lolita actress and mother to Kiefer Sutherland, has died at the age of 86 from pneumonia complications. 

The actress’s passing was confirmed by Kiefer on Twitter, who asserted that her death was not related to coronavirus, rather a long-held battle with her health.

He wrote: ‘Early this morning my mother, Shirley Douglas, passed away due to complications surrounding pneumonia (not related to COVID19).’

‘My mother was an extraordinary woman who led an extraordinary life,’ he continued. ‘Sadly she had been battling for her health for quite some time and we, as a family, knew this day was coming.

‘To any families who have lost someone unexpectedly to the Coronavirus, my heart breaks for you, please stay safe.’

Shirley is survived by three children – Thomas Emil Sicks from her first marriage to Timothy Emil Sicks, and twins Kiefer and Rachel from her four-year marriage to actor Donald Sutherland.

Over the course of her career, Shirley starred in a number of highly praised movies with some of Hollywood’s greatest directors.

Most notably, she appeared in Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of novel Lolita in 1962, and David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers in 1988.

A Canadian native her entire life, Shirley became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003, and spent her life in Toronto.

She also became known for her activism, particularly for civil rights, standing against the War on Vietnam, and the fight for public healthcare.

In 2012, she was one of the recipients of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

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