Sam Shepard, Playwright, Director And Actor, Dies At 73

Sam Shepard, actor, playwright and director, has died at the age of 73.

He had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and died with family by his side on July 27.

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A family spokesperson said Monday that Shepard died Thursday at his home in Kentucky from complications related to Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Actor Ethan Hawke, who co-starred with Shepard in “Snow Falling on Cedars” (1999) and “Hamlet” (2000), remembered Shepard in a statement: “He was a poet of the first order. I’ve acted in many of his plays and directed A Lie of the Mind. He played my father twice on film. Some days he could be irascible. At other times he could be profoundly wise and kind. He was the writer any serious American actor of my generation cut their teeth on. It is a gross understatement to say, he will be missed.”

After news of his passing spread, condolences began pouring in on Twitter.

Shepard wrote more than 40 plays and won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for Buried Child in 1979.

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He went on to be Oscar-nominated for his role in the 1983 film “The Right Stuff” and starred in many other films including “Black Hawk Down” and “Pelican Brief”.

Shepard recently starred in the first season of the Netflix series “Bloodline” as the patriarch of a prominent Florida Keys family who tries to keep a web of secrets from destroying their lives.

Shepard is survived by his three children, Jesse, 47, and two children he shared with actress Jessica Lange, Hannah, 31, and Walker Shepard, 30. The actor is also survived by his sisters, Sandy and Roxanne Rogers.

—With files from The Associated Press

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