Donald Sutherland on Canada Post stamp honour: 'It's the biggest thing to me'

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Natasha O'Neill
CTVNews.ca Writer

Canada Post is honouring the long career of one of Canada's best-known actors with a new collectible stamp.

The legacy of Donald Sutherland, who Canada Post calls one of the country's "most respected and versatile actors," spans more than 200 movies and TV shows over seven decades.

The stamp shows a side profile of Sutherland and lists the titles of some of his iconic movies in English and French, emulating a movie poster. It was designed by Quebec graphic design firm Paprika.

"It's the biggest thing to me," he told The Canadian Press in an interview from his home in Quebec's Eastern Townships. "I kept saying: 'I'm a Canadian and now I'm a Canadian stamp."

"This is really something. I think just now when I said it, all the hair stood up on my arms. But it is cold in here."

Early in his career, Sutherland, who was born in Saint John, N.B. on July 17, 1935, appeared in stage shows and TV. He made his feature film debut in 1963 as the character "Tall Man in Nightclub" in "The World Ten Times Over."

His breakthrough role came when he played Vernon Pinkley in "The Dirty Dozen."

He also appeared in a variety of films, including "Klute," "Ordinary People," "Backdraft," "Disclosure," "A Time to Kill," "Fallen," "Pride & Prejudice," and "The Hunger Games" franchise.

Donald Sutherland's stamp is inspired by movie posters. (CNW Group/Canada Post)

However, his first lead role in a major movie was in 1970 when he played Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce in "M*A*S*H", which the press release said, "transformed him into a Hollywood A-lister and one of the biggest movie stars in the world."

"Sutherland's incredible talents and eclectic tastes led him to take on a broad range of roles," Canada Post said in a press release issued Thursday. "With his international success, Sutherland has remained a proud Canadian and starred in many Canadian productions."

Some of those include "Bethune" and "Bethune: The Making of a Hero," in which he played "legendary" Canadian Dr. Norman Bethune.

Throughout his long career, Sutherland has received numerous awards including an Emmy, two Golden Globes and has been inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. 

With files from The Canadian Press