Sam Shepard Starring in ‘Klondike’ for Discovery Channel

Sam Shepard will play a man of the cloth in the middle of Alaska's gold rush

Playwright and actor Sam Shepard has joined the cast of "Klondike," the Discovery Channel said Wednesday.

Getty ImagesThe series about the gold rush that overtook Alaska and Canada's Yukon Territory in the 19th century will mark the network's first-ever, scripted miniseries.

Shepard, who was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of aviation ace Chuck Yeager in 1983's "The Right Stuff," will play Father Judge. 

He next stars in the Southern drama “Mud,” opposite Matthew McConaughey, as well as in the big screen adaptation of the play “August: Osage County” opposite Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.

The miniseries, based on Charlotte Gray's book "Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike," centers on a group of fortune seekers as they struggle against the elements in a small, frontier town in the remote Klondike.

Production began last week in Alberta, Canada.

For the record: An earlier version of this article mistakenly stated that the Yukon Territory was in Alaska.