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Donald Sutherland Died With Lung Issues: 88-Year-Old Used Oxygen Tank in Final Days After Puffing on Four Packs of Cigarettes

donald sutherland died with lung issues used oxygen tank final days pp
Source: / MEGA

Donald passed away at 88 on June 20 after a long illness.

Jun. 20 2024, Published 8:20 p.m. ET

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Screen legend Donald Sutherland battled deadly breathing difficulties for years and was even forced to carry an oxygen tank and tube to help him, has learned.

Sutherland, who it was announced Thursday had died aged 88, was infamously a four-pack-a-day smoker.

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donald sutherland died with lung issues used oxygen tank final days
Source: JSD/Mirrorpix/Newscom/The Mega Agency

Sutherland on the set of the 'Eagle has Landed' in 1976, when his smoking habit was at an all-time high.

Sources told the veteran Canadian actor was suffering from an ongoing and obstructive lung condition, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

“It was a debilitating and incurable lung illness, most commonly caused due to smoking,” the insider said.

Sutherland, whose career spanned more than six decades and included the role of President Snow in The Hunger Games franchise, often was forced to use breathing equipment while in public due to his pesky cigarette habit in the past.

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donald sutherland died with lung issues used oxygen tank final days
Source: MEGA

Sources said Donald was 'haunted' by the 'fact he nearly lost his firstborn son.'

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“If he didn’t have oxygen on standby, he would have it on constant standby, almost as if he was always at high altitude,” the source added.

COPD limits air intake so severely that most of those who suffer with its debilitating symptoms become dependent on oxygen tanks for their survival.

COPD can also cause a severe respiratory crisis and sufferers face acute respiratory failure if untreated.

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donald sutherland died with lung issues used oxygen tank final days
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The actor is survived by his wife Francine Racette, sons Roeg, Rossif, Angus, Kiefer and daughter Rachel.

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Another source close to the actor — whose son is Designated Survivor star Kiefer Sutherland — said Sutherland puffed four packs a day “back in the ’60s and ’70s” and added that it “wouldn’t be surprising at all to find out that he had COPD, even though he quit smoking cold turkey decades ago.”

After he stopped puffing, Sutherland became a fanatic about anyone smoking near him — and kept cigarette users at least 100 yards away on movie sets, the source said.

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Composite photo of Donald Sutherland and son Kiefer Sutherland.
Source: MEGA

Sources revealed Donald Sutherland's tragic regret before his death.

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As we previously reported, Kiefer announced his father’s death, saying: "With a heavy heart, I tell you that my father, Donald Sutherland, has passed away. I personally think one of the most important actors in the history of film."

Donald had an impressive list of credits including The Dirty Dozen, M*A*S*H, the thriller Klute as well as classic Animal House, and the hit film Pride & Prejudice.

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"Never daunted by a role, good, bad or ugly," Kiefer recalled in his tribute, celebrating the legacy his beloved father left behind. "He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more than that. A life well lived."



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