The award winning playwright and actor, Sam Shepard has been declared dead, his family’s representative disclosed it. The 73-year-old died from Lou Gehrig’s disease which is a complication that has to do with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Shepard’s career

Shepard got a Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for his play titled Buried Child. The play was a play that discussed the story of a family’s top secret. Just like many of his outstanding works, Buried Child touched on the feeling of disappointment and broken families. He also had Curse of the Starving Class, True West, and Fool for Love to his credits.

Shepard rugged gentle looks and manner made him the ideal choice for the role of the test pilot, Chuck Yeager in a film titled The Right Stuff which was released in 1983. The test pilot role got him nominated for an Oscar. He also featured in other movies like Black Hawk Down, Days of Heaven, The Notebook, Steel Magnolias, and August: Osage County.

Likewise, Shepard wrote movie scripts for films like Paris, Texas an award winning movie which was directed by Wim Wenders and Fool for Love – the screen version by Robert Altman.

In February, he released a novel titled The One Inside. He also played Patriarch Robert Rayburn in Bloodline – a Netflix thriller.

Brief biography of Shepard

Sam Shepard was raised in the West and Midwest by a father he addressed as a violent alcoholic. He topped his college schooling and spent some months with a theatre firm that travels, but later left for New York at age 19.

He had no connection with little money; he got found a New York scene while he was busy with his bus boy job at a popular Jazz club – Village Gate, where he staged his first plays.

Sam Shepards, a name coined from Samuel Shepards Rogers Jr. has over 40 plays he wrote and later joined the music world where he spent portions of 1960 drumming for Holy Modal Rounders. While working as a drummer, he stayed with Patti Smith who acted on the Cowboy Mouth.

Often, Shepards found a way to mix music and his plays. He said that writing plays involved finding rythms and melody that suits the work at hand.

He was married to an actress, O-Lan Jones; they had a kid throughout the period they stayed together, 1969 to 1984. Sam spent about 30 years in a relationship with Jessica Lange, and they both featured in Frances, a 1982 movie. They had two kids throughout the relationship.

He died at his house in Kentucky last week. Chris Boneau, the family spokesman said he died on Thursday. He also said that the burial arrangements are not going to be private and there are no plans at the moment for a public memorial.