NEWS

Actor And Playwright Sam Shepard Dead At 73

The star was battling ALS.

01/08/2017 1:45 AM AEST | Updated 01/08/2017 12:05 PM AEST

Award-winning actor, director, author and playwright Sam Shepard has died. He was 73 years old. 

BroadwayWorld first reported the news Monday morning. A spokesman for the family also confirmed Shepard’s death with The New York Times, saying he died at his home in Kentucky on Thursday due to complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. HuffPost reached out to a representative for the playwright but did not receive an immediate response.

Fans shared words of remembrance over Twitter:

Shepard wrote over 40 plays, along with short stories and essays, over the course of his professional life. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play “Buried Child” and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting actor in 1983 for “The Right Stuff.” His most recent acting credits include “Never Here” and Netflix’s “Bloodline.” 

Last year, The New York Times spoke with Shepard about his esteemed career, as some referred to him as “the greatest living American playwright.”

“Yes and no,” he responded. “If you include the short stories and all the other books and you mash them up with some plays and stuff, then, yes, I’ve come at least close to what I’m shooting for. In one individual piece, I’d say no. There are certainly some plays I like better than others, but none that measure up.”

Shepard is survived by children Jesse, Hannah and Walker Shepard.

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