Billy Baldwin pays tribute to 'true acting master' Donald Sutherland

Billy Baldwin is mourning the loss of a "true acting master" in Donald Sutherland, his co-star in 'Backdraft', 'Virus' and ABC series 'Dirty Sexy Money'.



Billy Baldwin has paid tribute to Donald Sutherland
Billy Baldwin has paid tribute to Donald Sutherland

Billy Baldwin is mourning the loss of a "true acting master" in Donald Sutherland.

The 61-year-old star appeared with the screen legend – who died on Thursday (20.06.24) aged 88 – in 'Backdraft', 'Virus' and ABC series 'Dirty Sexy Money' and he has paid tribute to his beloved "complex, complicated and quirky" collaborator.

Writing for Deadline, Billy said: "I have the honour and pleasure of working with Donald Sutherland on three occasions.

"The first was when he so brilliantly portrayed the deranged, psychopathic arsonist Ronald in Ron Howard’s 'Backdraft'.

"The second was 20 weeks on the Universal sci-fi thriller 'Virus' with Jamie Lee Curtis.

"The third, and by far my favourite, was when he played my father and patriarch of the Darling family, Tripp Darling, on the short-lived but wonderful ABC hit 'Dirty, Sexy, Money'.

"Donald was a complex, complicated and quirky man in the most delicious way. He had a gentle, childlike boyish streak in him that I absolutely adored.

"His persona on screen and his personality in life were as interesting and original as the features on his face … need I say more.

"He was a true original. A one of a kind. I have never known anyone remotely like him.

"His many incredible qualities and somehow even his flaws made him more unique, more charming … more lovable."

The pair grew particularly close while shooting 'Dirty Sexy Money' between 2007 and 2009 and Billy will "never forget" when his co-star told him he had grown to regard him as one of his own sons.

He continued: "I remember one day we were coming out of the 'DSM' table reading and Donald had this big smile on his face and bounce in his step and said to me, 'Look at this… read this.' He proceeded to hand me his script and I read a scene that had lots of snappy, brilliant Craig Wright/Tripp Darling dialogue in it.

"He said to me… 'Can you believe that? Can you believe I get to say that… how wonderful.' It was so sweet and so exhilarating for me to see how excited he still was about the work at 73 years old.

"I played his eldest son Patrick on 'Dirty, Sexy, Money' and we had gotten so close during the two seasons we worked together that he once said to me, 'I have affection for you as if you were one of my sons.' That meant to the world to me and I will never forget that."

The 'Too Old to Die Young' actor ended his tribute with sympathy for Donald's wife Francine Racette and his five children.

He wrote: "There will never be another Donald Sutherland… ever.

"We have lost a true acting master and a quirky, one of a kind, never met anyone like him before original.

"My condolences to Francine, Rossif, Angus, Roeg, Kiefer and Rachel.

"He will be dearly missed."