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Perhaps the most definitive descriptor for Kiefer Sutherland's career is not any particular niche he's carved for himself, but rather his versatility. In a career that spans 20 years, Sutherland has covered abundant ground, he has established his individuality as an actor, bringing to the screen a distinctive voice and a keen edged presence. He's one of those actors we feel close to because we have watched them grow.... We've been with him through his initial success in films like The Lost Boys and Stand By Me, through the first loves, the heartbreaks, the hardships and all the rest. On December 21, 1966, Kiefer Sutherland and his twin sister, Rachel, were born in the UK to Canadian acting parents, screen legend Donald Sutherland and the esteemed stage actress, Shirley Douglas. He is also the grandson of one of Canada's most illustrious and influential politicians, Tommy Douglas - the former Premier of Saskatchewan and the founder of the Canadian system of socialized medicine. At age 4, his parents divorced and Sutherland moved from their home in L.A. to Toronto with his mother. Kiefer spent a lot of time in the theatre with his mother and occasionally visited the movie sets where his father was working. At age 15, he caught the acting bug and he began acting in various youth theatres in Toronto. In 1984, he landed his first starring role in the 1930s coming-of-age drama, The Bay Boy - for which he won a Genie Award in 1984 (Canada's equivalent to the Academy Award) After moving back to LA, Kiefer appeared in a series of hits in the late ’80s. With his bad boy grin and unkempt charisma, he was a perfect fit for rough-edged roles like the gang leader in Stand By Me, the head vampire in The Lost Boys, and as "Doc" in Young Guns.
In 1988, Sutherland married actress Camelia Kath (whom he met on the set of The Killing Time) and the couple had a daughter, Sarah Jude that same year. Unfortunately, the marriage ended after two years. "I had an incredible desire at a very young age to want to be older than I was. And one of the ways you can accomplish that is to say, 'I'm married, I have kids, I've arrived' But those aren't the right reasons to do that, as we found out. Our marriage didn't last long, but we have a beautiful daughter Sarah, and I'm very fortunate that Camelia and I have ended up remaining friends." In 1990, Sutherland starred in the hit Flatliners where he met Julia Roberts. The two were involved in a very high profile relationship and were engaged to be married in the summer of '91, but the wedding was abruptly called off three days before the wedding. He was scorched by the tabloid frenzy, and at the same time, he was thrown for a loop professionally. "I wasn't prepared when the work came to an abrupt stop. I had a chip on my shoulder, and it was getting pretty heavy."
After making A Few Good Men (1992) and The Three Musketeers (1993) Sutherland temporarily left Hollywood and spent the better part of the ’90s honing his rodeo skills on a 900-acre ranch in Montana. He also bought the horses he rode in Young Guns and Young Guns II. “My love for horses began with those movies, but during The Three Musketeers I really learned to ride. I needed to take time off, I was doing awful films and I just needed to stop. It's a terrible thing to get into: 'Well, you need the money, your kids have to go to school' - you start justifying it. I was doing really shitty work, which I only blame myself for, and I needed to stop and figure out what I was doing with my life."
In 1993, Kiefer made his directorial debut with the made-for-television drama Last Light, in which he also starred as a prison inmate on death row. The film was very well received and earned several Cable Ace nominations.
In 1996, Kiefer married fellow Torontian Kelly Winn, a former model. The following year, Kiefer starred and directed his first major motion picture, Truth or Consequences, N.M. That same year, he starred in the critically acclaimed Sci -Fi film Dark City with Jennifer Connelly and Rufus Sewell. This was followed by his second self-directorial effort, the TV movie, Woman Wanted, in which he also starred alongside Michael Moriarty and Holly Hunter.
In 1997, Kiefer returned to his theatrical roots starring with his mother in a Canadian production of Tennesee William's play The Glass Menagerie at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto.
He later took on supporting roles in higher profiled films as unsympathetic characters - playing a child killer/rapist in An Eye For An Eye, a Ku Klux Klan redneck in A Time To Kill, and a serial killer in Freeway also starring Reese Witherspoon.
Still unhappy with the work he was doing, Kiefer decided to return to the rodeo circuit in 1998, he wasn't sure how long this hiatus would last or if he'd go back to acting at all. He found success again on the rodeo circuit with partner John English, they won several competitions, including first place in the ’98 U.S. Team Roping Championships. "I was as shocked as anyone when we won our first rodeo, but I'm a competitive person. I wanted that buckle. But that wasn't the driving force of why I did it. I just really enjoyed the whole process, the discipline and the whole experience." But Kiefer soon found himself starting to miss his day job. "I remembered the great times I had making films. And how lucky I was to have been in that position in the first place."
After a two year hiatus, Kiefer returned to Hollywood. His friend, British director, Stephen Hopkins was directing a pilot for an innovative new television series called "24" and encouraged him to consider the role of Jack Bauer.
Kiefer's powerful portrayal of Federal Counter terrorism Agent, Jack Bauer, has earned him recognition as the Best Actor in a TV Drama at the 2001 Golden Globe Awards and most recently the 2003 SAG Award for Best Actor in a Drama. The sharp writing of this ground-breaking, dark and gutsy drama combined with the strong performance of its lead actor made 24 a solid, award-winning hit.
"I have watched over the last five years a huge transition - shows like The West Wing, ER and The Sopranos - a lot of programming on television which was better than a lot of the movies I was seeing. It was certainly better than a lot of the movies I was, in fact, making. From that perspective, if you're trying something you think is interesting, new and fresh, the stigma of swapping medium is not nearly what it used to be, certainly when I started. I was very, very lucky."
Despite his hectic schedule on 24, Kiefer still found time to continue his work on the big screen. He was seen recently as "The Caller" in the critically acclaimed film, "Phone Booth". In March 2004, he made a memorable cameo appearance in the big screen thriller "Taking Lives" which also starred Angelina Jolie & Ethan Hawke.
Kiefer is spending the summer of 2004 in New Zealand filming the epic period drama, River Queen, which is tentatively scheduled for a December 2005 release. Kiefer will reprise his role as Jack Bauer when "24" returns for a Fourth Season in January 2005.
Kiefer almost deaf due to action roles
24 actor Kiefer Sutherland has admitted that his TV and movie roles as action men have come at a cost.
Sutherland has revealed that he is "pretty much deaf in one ear, and half deaf in the other" after playing so many roles involving gun-shots and explosions.
He explained, "I can't wear ear plugs because often you have dialogue after, so you need to hear the other actor."
The fourth season of 24 hits screens in the UK on January 30 on Sky One.
24 New Things About The New Season Of 24
24'S back! The fourth season of Fox's hit show about special agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and his never-ending job of saving the world from evil gives fans several new reasons to tune in -- 24 new reasons to be exact! Star has them all, so let's get right to it.
1. Jack's new job. He's not working for the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) anymore. Jack now works for the Secretary of Defense.
2. Everyone's older. The action picks up 18 months after last season ended.
3.New time slot. After the season opener, 24 airs on Mondays, bumped up from the previous seasons'Tuesday time slot.
4.Welcome,William Devane!He plays Jack's new boss, Secretary of Defense James Heller. "He's gonna kick Jack Bauer's ass!" Devane gloats.
5.Jack's got a girlfriend who's got a hubby. Bauer is sleeping with Heller's daughter Audrey (played by Third Watch's Kim Raver), who is going through a divorce.
6. We'll miss you all. 24 has a habit of resurrecting old characters, but these regulars won't be back -- because they're dead: Sherry Palmer, the former president's manipulative ex-wife; Nina Myers, evil double agent; and CTU director Ryan Chappelle, executed by Jack at the direction of terrorists.
7. Don't expect any time-outs. Episodes air weekly right up until the finale, without a break or a repeat!
8. Jack's cleaned up! No more open collar shirts and tattered pants -- this year you get Jack in a suit!
9. Cool new digs. After three seasons in the same warehouse space, CTU has a new home. The office is hyper-sleek, sort of spooky and as curvy as the series' twisted plots.
10. More new hot spots. New locations include a swanky hotel -- perfect for a romantic tryst -- and a funky office housing an Internet start-up.
11. The new head of CTU. Meet bullheaded Erin Driscoll, played by La Femme Nikita's Alberta Watson.
12. Hey look, there's an Oscar nominee! Shohreh Aghdashloo, nominated for her role in House of Sand and Fog, plays the wife of a Middle Eastern terrorist masquerading as a businessman.
13. And isn't that... Aghdashloo's son from House of Sand and Fog, Jonathan Ahdout? Yes! He plays her son in 24, too. (Weird.)
14. Nice couch! There's new furniture throughout from high-end designers like Mies van der Rohe and affordable superstores like Ikea.
15. It's Aisha Tyler! The Friends and Talk Soup hottie plays a CTU analyst.
16. And isn't that... Lucas Haas in a guest role? Yep.
17. New CTU bigwig #2. Stubborn Chief Tactical Officer Curtis Manning is played by Roger Cross.
18. Hey, where's Jack's daughter? Kim is not in the first few episodes. And after that? No one's saying.
19. And President Palmer? He's out of office. This will be 24's first season with no Palmer subplot.
20. At least Chloe's back! But CTU's Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) isn't the same old drab computer assistant. "I get to look a little bit hotter than I did in season three," Rajskub laughs. And her role is bigger, too!
21. Michelle's got a new job. Like Jack, agent Michelle Dessler (Reiko Aylesworth) is no longer working for CTU, but she'll still be in some new episodes.
22. Under arrest! Michelle's husband, Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard), who almost caused a disaster last year while trying to save Michelle's life and was arrested, won't be back.
23. Cool new Web game. Go on the fox.com Web site and you can be Jack Bauer chasing rogue agents.
24. Last but not least... Jack gets offed in the first episode. Kidding! There are only 23 new things.
Kiefer's Iceland Fireworks Thrill
Actor KIEFER SUTHERLAND saw in the new year (05) filming firework displays in Iceland.
The 24 star flew to Reykjavik to catch rocker pal ROCCO DE LUCA's New Year's Eve (31DEC04) show and he was left stunned by Iceland's chaotic pyrotechnics.
He says, "I saw probably the most extraordinary firework display in my life.
"There's no laws in Iceland with regard to fireworks, which makes New Year's Eve very interesting. It's a small population but they spend over $15 million for fireworks for that night.
"It's like a warzone. There's no organisation to it... I saw a six-year-old carrying a 30-pound mortar with another six-year-old following behind with a match.
"I filmed it because I didn't think anyone back home would believe it."
Muslims Upset By ''24''
An American-Islamic group has blasted the makers of KIEFER SUTHERLAND's hit TV drama 24 after learning the first episode of the new season portrays a Muslim family as terrorists.
Officials at the Council on American-Islamic Relations were made aware of the controversial episode after upset Muslims got hold of a promotional preview of the show, which airs next week (09JAN05).
The council's spokeswoman RABIAH AHMED says she's particularly disturbed by one scene, in which an American-Muslim teenager plots to kill Americans.
She adds, "It casts a cloud of suspicion over every AmericanMuslim family out there."
Bosses at TV network FOX, who air the show, have yet to counter the comments.
Kiefer To Return As Unlucky Bauer In Fourth ''24''
Kiefer Sutherland is planning to prove his 24 character JACK BAUER is the unluckiest man on TV by returning for another hellish day in January (05).
The LOST BOYS star has confirmed there will be a fourth series of his hit show next year (05), despite the fact he admits he was disappointed with the current season, which climaxes in America tonight (25MAY04).
He says, "I wish we had made more of the (heroin addiction) story line... but we did find ourselves in a bind about what you can do to a lead character and what he can come back from - and heroin was pretty much the line."
Sutherland admits he's very excited about the next series of 24: "For three years, we've done the same scenario - a specific issue generates a 24-hour response... Next season will be dramatically different."
''24'' Will End In Sensational Style
Actor KIEFER SUTHERLAND's character in award winning TV series 24 will be killed off in sensational style.
Kiefer's federal agent character JACK BAUER is watched by millions of TV viewers, thwarting terrorist attacks and escaping from dangerous situations.
But the Hollywood star warned, "I think one day Jack's luck might run out.
"I know I'm going to read a script one day with my death scene and go 'Oh s**t!', just like everyone else."
In the meantime, work has just started on the fourth series of 24 where it is rumoured Jack will face a new threat by Middle Eastern terrorists.
Kiefer The Male Stripper
Hollywood star KIEFER SUTHERLAND stunned a troupe of male strippers during a show in New Zealand, by joining them onstage and peeling off.
The 24 star is filming new movie RIVER QUEEN down under and on a night out with castmates he decided to take to the stage at the COSMOPOLITAN CLUB in Raetihi.
A partygoer says, "He seemed to be in good spirits and suddenly decided to join in."
According to onlookers, the 37-year-old joined the MEN OF STEEL strippers for a performance of TOM JONES hit YOU CAN LEAVE YOUR HAT ON.
Kiefer Sutherland Blames Hearing Problems On Action Roles
24 star KIEFER SUTHERLAND blames his hearing problems on the numerous action movies he's performed in over the years.
The London-born actor's hearing has deteriorated over the years, and he believes his career may have something to do with it.
He says, "I'm pretty much almost all deaf in one ear and half deaf in the other.
"I think a lot of it is, I've been (acting) for about 20 years and (with) the gunfire (in movies) I can't wear the ear plugs because many times you have to have dialogue after, so you have to hear the other actor.
"I think the gunfire over the years has just kind of hurt my ears a bit."
Kiefer Sutherland begins another bad day on fourth season of ''24''
Four years ago, television audiences were introduced to Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and his motley counterterrorism crew, who, in each season, save the world (or do they?) over a 24-hour period. (Each episode is an hour in “real time” presented to the “chi-chick” chime of the show’s signature digital clock). The past three “days”—generally separated by a year or so—have given us many unforgettable television moments. Like the time they dropped a nuclear bomb in the desert outside of L.A. Or the time the blonde girl got caught in a bear trap and stalked by a cougar. Or the time that that one guy was shot in the neck, went in for risky surgery, and was back at the office two hours later. And that’s not even mentioning the time that Jack pretended to kill a terrorist’s family. Or the time that Jack kicked a heroin problem in a matter of hours. Or the time that Jack (almost) died, or when Jack’s amnesia-prone pregnant wife was killed by his double-agent ex-lover sidekick Nina (Sarah Clarke). Well, you get the idea.
Of course, one doesn’t watch 24 for its connection to reality. No, one watches 24 because it is the synthesis of all of the absurdities of reality television mixed with classic, obvious potboilers. And let me be the first to say I’ve seen nearly every episode, though I haven’t always been happy (or sober) about it. Despite the fact that 24 is Sutherland’s show, two women—an ex-agent and an ex-first lady—were the reason to keep coming back. Sherry Palmer (Penny Johnson) and the aforementioned Nina Myers were as good television bitches as have existed on network TV since Melrose Place left us. We’re talking first-rate, cold-blooded baby-eaters. Women who walked on screen and suddenly the absolute inanity of the show faded away as you watched talented grown women chew scenery. Unfortunately, they were both (very unsatisfactorily) killed in the last (very unsatisfactory) season, so as once again to surprise the audience and put the focus back to the indefatigable Jack.
And so, for better or worse, the fourth season of 24 is all about Jack. When we rejoin him, he’s dating his boss’s daughter and silently regretting that he’s left the action-packed lifestyle of a counterterrorist agent. Lucky for us, the “chi-chink” counter already started minutes ago, and a train has already been blown up for the contents of a mysterious silver briefcase. Here we go again.
The new season of 24 seems to be a “best of” season. You liked the Mexican drug lord family? How about a terrorist family (with House of Sand and Fog’s Shohreh Aghdashloo as the mother, no less)? You liked that blonde boy who may have been smuggling a virus (rather than cocaine) over the border? How about a brunette hacker who may have seen too much of some sort of doomsday code instead? Oh, I know! You like the forbidden office romance stuff? How about if Jack is sleeping with the daughter/assistant of his new boss? And, better yet, what if the boss is also at the center of the season’s first story arc? But you miss the presidential stuff? Hmmm…what if we give you a new president? And what if he were more suitable to the Bush era? How about we cast the dad from the forgotten WB classic Unhappily Ever After as President? (A side note on presidents and 24: During the “Bush was wired at the debates” meme last year, did anyone notice that the same thing happened on 24 last season?)
Should you watch the new season of 24? Ask yourself three questions: Do you have the time on Monday nights to devote your full attention to a silly show? Have you been watching from the beginning? And do you care?
If you answered “yes” to all three questions, then by all means, watch the new season of 24. If you got hung up on one of the first two questions, follow my lead and just wait for the inevitable DVD box set that will come out in August.
Kiefer got community service
Kiefer Sutherland will have to do more than 24 hours worth of community service to put a drink-driving charge to rest.
The 24 star was arrested last month and was sentenced to 50 hours of community work and a €430.50 fine after pleading no contest in Los Angeles.
Judging by his hit show, it will take the actor months to work through that much time. He usually looks shattered after 24.