Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor whose celebrated career spanned nearly five decades, has died, a family spokesman said. He was 73.
Shepard died at home in Kentucky on Thursday of complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, the spokesman confirmed to AFP.
Shepard, who wrote nearly 50 plays, won the Pulitzer for drama in 1979 for his play “Buried Child” and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1984 for best actor in a supporting role for “The Right Stuff”.
One of his most recent roles was in the Netflix television series “Bloodline”. Shepard was with his family at the time of his death. Funeral arrangements remain private, and plans for a public memorial have not yet been determined.
“The family requests privacy at this difficult time”, said the spokesman for the family, Chris Boneau. Born in Fort Sheridan, Illinois in 1943, Shepard was the son of a teacher mother and Army officer father, who was a bomber pilot during World War II.
Shepard had a nomadic early childhood, moving from base to base around the country before graduating from high school in Duarte, California. He started acting and writing while still in high school, and spent a year studying agriculture before joining a traveling theatre company and later moving to New York, where he began writing plays.