Sam Shepard Dies; Veteran Actor Was 73

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Sam Shepard, a long-time actor, playwright and director, has passed away at the age of 73.

Broadway World was the first website to report this sad news and no other details are available at this time.

(UPDATE: The actor died from complications related to ALS.)

Sam Shepard Image

Shepard was a well-respected star of the big screen and of the stage, having penned an incredible 44 plays and numerous books throughout his career.

He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for the play Buried Child and was also nominated for an Academy Award for the role of Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff in 1983.

At one time, New York magazine dubbed Shepard “the greatest American playwright of his generation.”

Shepard was born on November 5, 1943 and started his acting career opposite Richard Gere and Brooke Adams in 1978’s Days of Heaven.

He later received praise for his work in 1980’s Resurrection, prior to his Best Supporting Actor nomination for The Right Stuff three years later.

Sam Shepard in 2014

By the mid-1980s, with the film adaption of his play Fool for Love, Shepard was successfully straddling the worlds of play-writing and acting.

He ended up on a cover of Newsweek as a result.

Shepard was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1986 and elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences that same year.

His is survived by his three children from his marriage to O-Lan Jones and from his relationship with Jessica Lange.

The late star was married to Jones from 1969 until their divorce in 1984; while his relationship with Lange lasted from 1982 until 2009, when they broke up.

Sam Shepard Photograph

Wrote Broadway World upon reporting on Shepard's death:

"[His] plays are chiefly known for their bleak, poetic, often surrealist elements, black humor and rootless characters living on the outskirts of American society.

"His style has evolved over the years, from the absurdism of his early Off-Off-Broadway work to the realism of Buried Child and Curse of the Starving Class."

His most recent work was in the Netflix show Bloodline, in which he appeared as the character of Robert Rayburn.

May Sam Shepard rest in peace.

Note: Click through the following photo gallery for a look at a variety of actors, actresses and singers who have passes away in 2017.

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