Playwright, Actor Sam Shepard Dead

He was 73, suffered from ALS
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2017 10:42 AM CDT
Playwright, Actor Sam Shepard Dead
This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Sam Shepard in a scene from "Midnight Special."   (Ben Rothstein/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP)

Acclaimed actor and playwright Sam Shepard is dead at age 73, reports BroadwayWorld. Shepard, who died at home in Kentucky, had been suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease. He leaves behind an impressive legacy in the arts as the author of more than 40 plays, including Buried Child, for which he won the Pulitzer in 1979. Shepard also earned an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in 1983's The Right Stuff. Most recently, he had portrayed the family patriarch in the Netflix series Bloodline.

The New York Times calls Shepard "one of the most original voices of his generation," noting other plays such as Curse of the Starving Class, True West, and Fool for Love. As BroadwayWorld notes, his plays are "chiefly known for their bleak, poetic, often surrealist elements, black humor, and rootless characters living on the outskirts of American society." He is survived by three children: Jesse Mojo, 47, from his marriage to O-Lan Jones; and Hannah Jane, 31, and Samuel Walker, 30, from his long relationship with Jessica Lange, notes People. (Read more Sam Shepard stories.)

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