Playwriter and actor Sam Shepard died at the age of 73 at his residence in Kentucky. According to a family spokesperson Chris Boneau, he died due to complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Chris Boneau further added that “The family requests privacy at this difficult time” and that the funeral arrangements will be private.
Sam Shepard’s career initially started with early full-length plays where he revolutionized the modes of acting on stage. The first commercially successful stage show he produced with Off Off Broadway was “Operation Sidewwhich in which a computerized snake, Black Panthers, and Sam’s rock group called Holy Modal Rounders were cast. With movies like “Days of Heaven” and “The Right Stuff”, Sam Shepard hit his spot in the limelight where he got critically acclaimed for his innate talent and acting skills. The 7-decades long career bear witness to some tremendous performances and stardom but Sam was humble, modest and always sought solitude by staying away from media and paparazzi.
Sam Shepard work spanned over half a century, during which he received critical acclaim for his plays and acting roles in various films and live theatrical plays. Sam Shepard received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play “Buried Child” in 1979. He was also nominated for two other Pulitzers, for “True West” and “Fool for Love,” which both received Broadway productions. He was also nominated for an Academy award for the best supporting actor for his role in “the right stuff”. Moreover, He was also nominated for two Tony Awards. Shepard plays were known for their black humor and poetic elements. His final play was A Particle of Dread, which was first performed in New York in 2014. His most recent acting role was in the Netflix thriller “Bloodline” where he appeared in the character of Robert Rayburn. Many actors have shown their love for him and his work on twitter including Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who starred in “Black Hawk Down” and also appears in “Game of Thrones” wrote,
“A hero of theatre. A hero of writing. A hero of acting. A hero of mine.”
House of Cards creator Beau Willimon described Shepard as “one of the greats”, The eyes of Shepard saw so much, and he wrote of what he saw with fearless, timeless honesty.”
He leaves children Jesse, Hannah and Walker Shepard and sisters Sandy and Roxanne Rogers.
The sad demise of Sam Shepard marks the end of an era of a versatile artistic period where live theatrical plays boomed and the stages witnessed the awe striking performances of Shepard.