Canadian actress and activist Shirley Douglas passes away at 86

Updated: Apr 06, 2020, 10:36 IST | AFP | Toronto

Shirley Douglas spent her acting career between Canada and Hollywood, where she worked with big-name directors such as Stanley Kubrick and David Cronenberg

Shirley Douglas. Pic/AFP
Shirley Douglas. Pic/AFP

Canadian actress and civil rights activist Shirley Douglas died Sunday at the age of 86, her son actor Kiefer Sutherland said. Douglas died following a bout of pneumonia, Sutherland wrote on Twitter, specifying that it was not related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"My mother was an extraordinary woman who led an extraordinary life," wrote Sutherland, best known as agent Jack Bauer in the TV thriller "24." "Sadly she had been battling for her health for quite some time and we, as a family, knew this day was coming," he wrote. Douglas spent her acting career between Canada and Hollywood, where she worked with big-name directors such as Stanley Kubrick and David Cronenberg.

She is also known for campaigning for several progressive causes, including the civil rights movement and the Black Panthers in the 1960s and later defending Canada's public health care system. Douglas had three children, two of them -- including Kiefer -- with Canadian-born Hollywood actor Donald Sutherland. She was the daughter of Tommy Douglas, the founder of Canada's medicare system and a one-time prime minister of the western Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

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