The untold truth of Kiefer Sutherland's mom, Shirley Douglas

It never gets easier to say goodbye to celebrities that we've lost, but that's what those who loved and admired actress Shirley Douglas, the mother of former 24 star Kiefer Sutherland, have had to do following her death on April 5, 2020, at the age of 86.

Douglas got her start in the industry back in 1953 and, over the course of her career, the award-winning actress worked alongside Hollywood heavyweights, including filmmakers Stanley Kubrick and David Cronenberg, per The Hollywood Reporter. She was also an activist who "tirelessly supported a variety of causes throughout her life, including the civil rights movement, the Black Panthers, and the fight to save Canada's public health care...," according to Page Six.

On the day of her death, Sutherland took to Twitter to share the news of her death. "Early this morning my mother, Shirley Douglas, passed away due to pneumonia (not related to COVID19)," he wrote, referring to the coronavirus, which had taken the lives of several stars at the time of Douglas' death. 

He continued, "My mother was an extraordinary woman who led an extraordinary life. Sadly she had been battling for her health for quite some time and we, as a family, knew this day was coming." The family may have been aware of the fact that Douglas' death was near, however, they're surely still devastated by the loss of such an adored figure — and they're certainly not alone.

Justin Trudeau called Shirley Douglas' passing 'a true loss'

Shirley Douglas' son, Kiefer Southerland, wasn't the only famous figure to pay tribute to the actress following her passing. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not only the son of a well-known politician, the late Pierre Trudeau, he's also the son of former actress Margaret Trudeau, so he grew up in the same world that Douglas was a part of and, therefore, had a deep respect for the star. That's likely one of the reasons he took to social media to reflect on her life and legacy.

"Shirley Douglas was a tremendous talent, a tireless advocate, and a fearless activist who never stopped fighting for what she believed in," Trudeau wrote on Twitter on the day the actress died. "Her passing is a true loss for our country, and I'm sending my condolences to [Kiefer Sutherland] and their entire family during this difficult time."

Sutherland responded to the political leader's message, tweeting, "Mr Prime Minister, thank you for your kind words. They moved me and my family. I wish you all the best in this difficult time." 

There's no doubt that Douglas left her mark on those she left behind.

Shirley Douglas was married to another Hollywood star

Shirley Douglas had already established herself in the entertainment industry when she met fellow Canadian actor Donald Sutherland, who you've likely seen as Merrick in 1992's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and as President Snow in The Hunger Games film franchise. The pair married in 1965 and together, Sutherland and Douglas — who already had a son from a previous marriage — had two children of their own, twins Rachel and Kiefer Sutherland.

The pair's daughter, Rachel Sutherland, is a production manager who has worked on shows like Rookie Blue, Lost Girl, and Saving Hope, while Kiefer obviously followed his parents into acting. 

When Douglas was honored with an ACTRA award for "excellence in Canadian television, film, and radio" in 2013, according to City News, it gave her son a chance to talk about how she had inspired him. "Watching her career helped inform me to make the decision I made to become an actor," he said at the time. And while she's now gone, her legacy will likely continue to inspire those in her family for years to come.