Actor-Writer Sam Shepard Dies At 73

One of Hollywood’s most unique talents is gone.

Actor and writer Sam Shepard has died at 73, according to reports.

Shepard passed away last Thursday at his Kentucky home. The cause of death is said to be amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

A native of Illinois, Shepard began his career in Off-Broadway during the 1960s. His stage repertoire includes roles in Icarus’ Mother, La Turista, Red Cross and A Number.

Over time, he would branch out into playwriting, and later he would venture into directing. His most famous play is Buried Child, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1979. Two other productions, Fool for Love and True West, would also earn Pulitzer nominations. He also wrote A Lie of the Mind and Curse of the Starving Class.

Apart from theatre, Shepard would have an extensive movie career. He got his big break with Terrence Malick’s 1978 film Days of Heaven, co-starring with Richard Gere. The role was of a dying landowner. Other prominent movies include Steel Magnolias, Crimes of the Heart, Black Hawk Down, and The Notebook.

However, Shepard’s most famous film role is that of pilot Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff. The critics would praise his performance, and he earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Later, Shepard would have prominent roles in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and August: Osage County.

In 2015, he would appear on the Netflix show Bloodline as the family patriarch Robert Rayburn. This marks the final acting role of his career.

Shepard is survived by three children. He will be missed.

Jonathan Bruce
Jonathan Bruce
I am an English teacher by day and a freelance writer at night. Specialities include news, reviews, opinion and commentary articles. When I'm not teaching, I participate in theatre, building sets and working stage crew as a hobby. I also enjoy reading and having an occasional glass of Scotch.