He was a Pulitzer winning author and an Oscar nominated actor. Sam Shepard, 73, died at his home in Kentucky on Thursday, July 27 from complications of ALS. ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is progressive neurodegenerative disorder.
Shepard began his acting career with a role in Bob Dylan’s movie ‘Renaldo and Clara’ in 1978. His acting credits also include playing Spud, husband to Dolly Parton’s, Truvie in the tearjerker, ‘Steel Magnolias’; the veterinarian boyfriend to Diane Keaton in ‘Baby Boom’; tragic war veteran husband to Sissy Spacek in ‘Raggedy Man’; beleaguered husband to of Jessica Lange’s tragic Frances Farmer in ‘Frances’; and as Doc Porter in the tragic drama ‘Crimes of the Heart’ opposite Lange, Spacek and Keaton. But he will probably be best known for his portrayal of Chuck Yeager in ‘The Right Stuff’. He also notable roles include starring in ‘Country’ and ‘Black Hawk Down’ and recently appeared the Netflix’s family drama ‘Bloodline’ as patriarch Robert Rayburn.
Shepard was a shy, quiet-spoken man who actually preferred writing and being behind the camera. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for the play ‘Buried Child’. He also won an Obie in 1979 for playwriting. The 1996 Broadway production of ‘Buried Child’ was nominated for five Tonys, including Best Play. He wrote the screenplay for the films ‘Paris, Texas’ and ‘Don’t Come Knocking’. Shepard has written over 40 plays and two books of poetry. He also directed for films, including Far North.
Little known fact about Sam, he played drums in a band he formed called The Holy Modal Rounders. The Rounders were featured in the film ‘Easy Rider’. His band also toured with Bob Dylan on his Rolling Thunder Revue tour.
Shepard was also a private man and preferred to live quietly and to keep his private life, private. It was no surprise when the press learned that his long time relationship with actress Jessica Lange (1982 -2009) actually had ended two years prior to being “announced” in 2011. The public was no less disappointed to learn that this Hollywood mainstay couple was no longer together. Lange and Shepard never married.
Chris Boneau, the family spokesperson, asks for privacy for the family as they deal with Shepard’s passing. Funeral services will remain private and no public arrangements or tributes have announced.
Shepard is survived by two sisters, Sandy and Roxanne Rogers, and by three children, son Jesse Mojo, 47, from his marriage to O-Lan Jones; and daughter Hannah Jane, 31, and Samuel Walker, 30, from his relationship with Lange.
Written by Rhonda
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