While filming Klute in 1970, Sutherland fell in love with fellow star and activist Jane Fonda, although they were both married at the time. In the 1960s and ’70s he was at the heart of Hollywood activism, along with an on-screen career that included provocative and seminal films like Don’t Look Now and The Invasion of The Body Snatchers. They were united in body, mind and soul. For the next two years, together they were at the forefront of Hollywood’s support for the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War. The couple were just as passionate in private, and Sutherland still dwells (often without detail) on their intimate moments together.
Klute began filming in 1970. Fonda had been together with her husband Roger Vadim, who directed her in 1968’s Barbarella, since 1963. When rumors began in 1970 that they had split, her official spokesman was quick to deny it.
However, Sutherland later described how it was his gorgeous co-star who went through all the moves with him: “We’d already been cast but hadn’t started filming, and one day, she made it very clear, through a somewhat provocative suggestion, that I should go home with her. And I just said…Okay.'”
It would mark the end of the actor’s second marriage to Shirley Douglas, which had produced twins Kiefer and Rachel.
Kiefer revealed in 2014 that they had never discussed the matter, but he imagined his father would say, “‘I fell in love.'” I understand. People do it. And when they’re falling in love, they believe in everything so strongly and passionately, this kind of heightened experience, that it’s very hard to judge someone for it.”
Her father has spoken frequently and famously about love and lust, famously stating, “She had, at the time, the most beautiful breasts in the world.”
Apparently, he followed that description with an anecdote so explicit that it was not suitable for printing. However, he turned lyrical in another interview about a naked moment that still has the power to stop his breath decades later.
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Sutherland told GQ: “I was with Jane Fonda at the Chelsea Hotel in 1970, maybe ’71. It was a room with a queen-size bed and to the right four or five steps up to a landing leading to the bathroom. There There was a small oval window on the landing and there was a street light shining through that window, although it looked more like moonlight, so maybe it was the moon, I like to think it was the moon.
“I was lying on my back in bed when Jane came out of the bathroom. She was also naked, and when the moonlight hit her perfect breasts, I stopped breathing. Everything stopped. And then it started again. Now, when to see it in my memory, I stop breathing again”.
It’s easy to believe. The actress has maintained her remarkable figure through the decades, though this year she finally let her natural gray shine through.
The romance was passionate and intense, though Fonda has been less vividly ‘descriptive’ over the years.
She said in her autobiography that he had “something of the old world gentleman in him”. The actress added that she found the “lanky, embarrassed quality about him and his droopy pale blue eyes especially appealing”.
Along with their successful careers in Hollywood, the couple performed together at benefits for soldiers who opposed the Vietnam War and found themselves on CIA watch lists.
Although they seemed to be a perfect fit, the affair suddenly fizzled out as abruptly as it began, leaving Sutherland devastated.
He said, “We got together shortly before we did Klute and then we were together until the relationship blew up and it fell apart in Tokyo. And it broke my heart.”
“I was gutted. I was very sad. It was a wonderful relationship until the moment we lived together.”
However, in 1972, Sutherland married French-Canadian actress Francine Racette, after meeting her on the set of the pioneering Canadian drama Alien Thunder. It remains one of the longest and most stable marriages in Hollywood, and has produced three children: Rossif Sutherland, Angus Redford Sutherland, and Roeg Sutherland.
After three high-profile marriages to Roger Vadim, activist Tom Hayden and media mogul Ted Turner, Fonda dated music producer Richard Perry until 2017 and has said she is now happily single.
The actress has also battled cancer three times. Last week she announced that after undergoing several rounds of chemotherapy to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma, her cancer is now in remission.
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