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Sam Shepard, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Writer and Actor, Dead at 73

Actor and playwright Sam Shepard died due to complications from ALS. Shepard won the Pulitzer Prize for his play “Buried Child” and was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the film “The Right Stuff.” He recently starred in the hit Netflix drama, “Bloodline.”

He died at his home in Kentucky with his family. Spokesman Chris Boneau noted, “The family requests privacy at this difficult time.”

From The Hollywood Reporter:

In 2015, he appeared in Netflix’s dark family drama Bloodline as patriarch Robert Rayburn, which marked his final on-camera appearance.

For his playwriting, Shepard won a Drama Desk award for his play A Life of the Mind and Obie awards for the off-Broadway plays La Tourista, Tooth of Crime, Curse of the Starving Class and the trilogy Chicago, Icarus’ Mother and Red Cross.

Shepard’s first produced the play Cowboys in 1964. He went on to write more than 40 produced plays, including True West, Curse of the Starving Class, Fool for Love and A Life of the Mind.

Fool for Love was adapted for the screen as Country in 1976, with Shepard co-starring with his future wife Lange. He made his screen acting debut in Bob Dylan’s movie Renaldo and Clara. His film acting credits also include Steel Magnolias, playing the husband of the beauty shop owner; Terence Malick’s Days of Heaven, for which his movie career took off; Resurrection; Raggedy Man; Frances; Crimes of the Heart and Baby Boom.

As a screenwriter, Shepard wrote Paris, Texas, which won the Palme d’Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival. He had a screenwriting credit on Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point. More recently, he penned Don’t Come Knocking, which was directed by Wim Wenders. He also directed for film, including Far North.

Shepard also played drums in a band he formed called The Holy Modal Rounders, who were featured in Easy Rider, and he accompanied Bob Dylan on the Rolling Thunder Revue tour.

Two volumes of his prose and poetry were published, Hawk Moon and Motel Chronicles.

Shepard directed his plays at San Francisco’s Magic Theater and at the Royal Court in London. He was also active in the University of California, Davis Drama Workshop.

Hollywood reacted to the tragic news:

Shepard is survived by his children, Jesse, Hannah and Walker Shepard, and his sisters, Sandy and Roxanne Rogers.

Let us pray for Shepard’s family during this difficult time. Rest in peace.

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