Oscar Nominated Actor, Playwright & Director Sam Shepard Has Died

July 31, 2017
Source: Variety

Sam Shepard

"There are places where writing is acting and acting is writing. I'm not so interested in the divisions. I'm interested in the way things cross over." Sad news to report - playwright, director, and beloved actor Sam Shepard has died at age 73. The news comes from multiple sources (e.g. Variety), reporting that Shepard died at his home in Kentucky on Sunday from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as "Lou Gehrig's disease." He was nominated for a Best Supporting Performance Oscar in 1984 for playing Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff, but he is known for memorable appearances in many different films, not to mention books, plays, and other projects over the years. He most recently starred in Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special last year.

Here's a few of the heartfelt remembrances posted on Twitter after news broke about Sam Shepard's death:

Sam Shepard was born in Fort Sheridan, Illinois. He worked on a ranch as a teen until discovering Samuel Beckett in college. He then dropped out, and starting acting in a touring theater repertory troupe. His break out role was in Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven in 1978, and he went on to appear in films including The Right Stuff, Steel Magnolias, The Pelican Brief, Snow Falling on Cedars, Hamlet, Swordfish, Black Hawk Down, The Notebook, Stealth, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Brothers, Fair Game, Safe House, Mud, Out of the Furnace, Cold in July, and Midnight Special. Shepard was also awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play "Buried Child", and he also wrote the scripts for Zabriskie Point, Paris Texas, Fool for Love, and Buried Child. The two films he directed were Far North and Silent Tongue. Shepard was also a very prominent figure on Broadway, writing, directed and starring in various stage shows, including earning Tony nominations for Best Play for "Buried Child" and "True West".

It's always very tough when someone this iconic and this beloved passes away. As said best by fellow writer Mark Harris today, Sam Shepard leaves behind a magnificent "body of work to be explored for generations".

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  • son_et_lumiere
    damn, only just re-watched The Right Stuff at the weekend, and saw "Buried Child" on stage in January. what a range of roles and abilities, an amazing all around talent. RIP, sir.
  • Bo
    Yea, not many around like Shepard. He was the real deal, for sure. One of the best John Malkovich's performances I've ever seen was his very early performance in Shepard's terrific and funny play True West that was put on video which enabled me to see it on PBS way, way back when. Great play and great, great performance by Malkovich.
    Of that "real man" generation, we have few. We should all relish their craft.
  • Damn.
  • eurogibbon
    Damn shame




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