Wild Wednesday: at age 50, Kiefer Sutherland remains the ‘Designated Survivor’

Whether he’s Jack Bauer or Tom Kirkman, one thing’s certain for Kiefer Sutherland: the clock has been always ticking, which is why the actor continues to live another birthday.

Born December 21, 1966, Kiefer appeared with his real-life father Donald in “Forsaken”.  Though they both co-starred in 1996’s “A Time to Kill”, “Forsaken” marked the first time both men shared the screen together with Kiefer as John Henry Clayton, ex-Civil War soldier and ex-gunfighter who returns home to mend fences with his minister father (Donald) after years of estrangement.  But when outlaws led by a corrupt businessman threatens their town with violence, John Henry decides not to stay down no longer, but stay and save the town with his own brand of righteousness and justice.

“Forsaken” was Kiefer’s return to the Old West since his days as one of Hollywood’s “Young Guns” alongside Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen, and Lou Diamond Phillips.  He reprise the role of Doc in the 1990 sequel “Young Guns II” where he, Estevez and Phillips were joined by Christian Slater and future “CSI” William Petersen.  Kiefer was also in director Rob Reiner’s “Stand by Me”, 1992’s “A Few Good Men” with Tom Cruise and Demi Moore, and 1994’s “The Cowboy Way” with Woody Harrelson.

In 2001, Kiefer Sutherland began the longest role of his career: renegade counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer on FOX’s “24”.  Set in real time, the action-suspense thriller follows the life of Bauer through one long, bad day after another around the world in his one-man war against global terrorism and governmental corruption/hypocrisy.  “24” made Sutherland the action hero of the 9/11 era as Bauer, the guy who will always do the right thing in saving millions of lives – even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice.  The series earned Kiefer both a Golden Globe and an Emmy.

After saving the world on “24”, Kiefer tried to save the world once more – this time, as widowed father Martin Bohm on “Touch”, in which he and creator Tim Kring co-executive produced.  The series, which lasted two seasons, co-starred future “Gotham” star David Mazouz as Martin’s son Jake, a gifted but autistic boy whose ability with numbers provides him and his father the opportunity to touch the lives of the people they meet … and touch the lives of people all over the world.

Now, Kiefer has been inaugurated as ABC’s “Designated Survivor” as Tom Kirkman, a low-level Cabinet member who has suddenly become the President of the United States when an attack on the U.S. Capitol during a State of the Union address led to the deaths of his predecessors.  Already picked up for a full season, the series returns with a new episode on Wednesday, March 8.


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