Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland and his twin sister Rachel, were born on 21 December in London, England. His parents are actor Donald Sutherland and actress Shirley Douglas.
Kiefer, who bears a strong resemblance to his father, made his breakthrough as a troubled teen in 'The Bay Boy'.
Named after writer-director Warren Kiefer, who helped his father on a breakthrough role in 'Castle of the Living Dead', Sutherland began acting at age nine. He moved with his mother to Toronto, where as a child actor he honed his craft in local stage productions.
After 'The Bay Boy', US audiences got their first glimpse of him as the radio operator of a WWII bomber in 'The Mission', an extended 1985 episode of the Spielberg-directed 'Amazing Stories'.
Beginning with his memorable turn as a small-town bully in 'Stand By Me', Sutherland became established in Hollywood features. He more than held his own as a one of the gang, led by a volatile Sean Penn, in 'At Close Range', and cut a swathe as a charismatic teen vampire in the Joel Schumacher-directed 'The Lost Boys'.
Over the next decade or so, Sutherland alternated between showy leads and nuanced character parts. He was perfectly cast in 'Bright Lights, Big City' and gave a poetic portrayal in the romantic 'Young Guns'.
The tepid 'Flatliners' introduced the actor to Julia Roberts and their resultant relationship spilled much tabloid ink. In particular, when Sutherland was spotted with another woman on the eve of their impending marriage, and Roberts' subsequent decision to cancel the wedding at the eleventh hour.
Two years later, Sutherland was back in high-profile roles, as a quirky FBI agent in the film prequel 'Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me' and an overly religious marine in 'A Few Good Men'. The actor went on to team with Charlie Sheen and Oliver Platt, as 'The Three Musketeers'.
In 1993, Sutherland began a promising secondary career as a filmmaker, with the hard-hitting made-for-cable prison drama 'Last Light'. Moving to the big screen, Sutherland helmed 'Truth or Consequences, N.M.', an uneven but stylishly enjoyable hostage drama.
In what some may have seen as a surprising move, Sutherland began to seek work in series TV. After some false starts, he took the role of government agent Jack Bauer, who uncovers a plot to assassinate a presidential candidate, in the real-time monster hit '24'.
First aired in November 2001, each 24-episode season covers a period of 24 hours in the life of the agent played by Sutherland. Apart from playing the lead role in the series, he also executive produced the show, which has won numerous awards, including Best Drama Series at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards.
In 2005, Sutherland joined Canada's Walk of Fame inductees Donald and Shirley, his parents, with his very own star in recognition of his achievements in showbusiness. Further tribute came in 2009 when he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Despite being a formidable actor, Sutherland has also demonstrated his talent behind the camera. His directing credits include the films 'Women Wanted', which his actress mother featured in, and music videos 'Broken' and 'Little Toy Gun', released in 2008.
Kiefer is currently back on TV screens in another series of '24' called '24: Live Another Day' (2014) and was recently seen in 'Pompeii' (2014).
Success on the screens is not without controversy off the spotlight for the multi-talented actor. In September 2007, Sutherland was arrested after failing a drink-driving test. He pled guilty to the charge of driving while under the influence of alcohol and agreed a deal with LA prosecutors to serve a 48-day jail sentence.
He has one daughter, Sarah Jude, born in 1988, along with a stepdaughter, Michelle Kath, from his first marriage to Camelia Kath. In 2006, Sutherland became a grandfather when Michelle gave birth to a son. In 1996 he married Kelly Winn. They divorced in 2004.