Canadian actress and activist Shirley Douglas dies at age 86

Shirley Douglas worked with big-name directors such as Stanley Kubrick and David Cronenberg

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.

Throughout her acting career, she starred in many films, including 1962's Stanley Kubrick-directed film Lolita and the David Cronenberg-directed 1988 film Dead Ringers.

The pair, who divorced in 1971, shared two children, twins Kiefer and Rachel, a production manager.

She was well-known as both an actress and as an activist and her father Tommy Douglas was the former premier of Saskatchewan and the founder of Canada's Medicare.

Douglas studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts, and went on to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She was an ally to immigrants, advocated for women and established the fundraising group "Friends of the Black Panthers". She was one of the country's loudest voices in support of publicly funded health care. Her support for the group brought controversy, though - she was refused a US work permit and arrested in 1969 on conspiracy charges of possessing unregistered explosives.

Douglas had another son, Thomas, from a previous marriage. Douglas was eventually exonerated.

Canadian actor Art Hindle recalled Douglas as a "loving wife and mother" who was also "a fierce activist who guided me and so many others in our activism".

In 2013, Rick Mercer described Douglas as one of the greatest actresses Canada has ever produced.

"I know a lot of McCarthy-ite victims". She also had a starring role as the family matriarch in the comedy series Wind at My Back, which ran between 1996 and 2001.

She also was bestowed the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal, the Order of Canada and a star on Canada's Walk of Fame. I loved coming to rehearsal. She would speak of the importance of a universal health care system at virtually any opportunity and lobbied government officials.



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