Sam Shepard, Actor and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright, Dies at 73

Shepard wrote 44 plays and starred in films “The Notebook,” “The Right Stuff” and “Black Hawk Down”

Sam Shepard, author, playwright and actor, died on July 27 from complications of ALS, theatre public relations firm Boneau/Bryan-Brown confirmed Monday. He was 73 years old.

Shepard is the author of 44 plays as well as books of short stories, essays and memories, and he won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play, “Buried Child.” His plays, “True West” and “Fool for Love,” were also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in 1983’s “The Right Stuff.”

Shepard’s plays include “Cowboys,” “The Rock Garden,” “Operation Sidewinder,” “Made Dog Blues,” “Suicide in B Flat,” “Inacoma,” “Curse of the Starving Class,” “True West,” “Fool for Love” and “Baby Boom.” Eleven of his plays won Obie Awards, including “Chicago” and “Icarus’s Mother.”

Shepard also had an extensive list of film credits, including “The Notebook,” “Black Hawk Down,” “In Dubious Battle,” “Killing Them Softly,” “Hamlet” and “Fools for Love.” He began his acting career when he was cast in Terrence Malick’s “Days of Heaven” opposite Richard Gere and Brooke Adams. The last film he appeared in was Camille Thoman’s “Never Here,” which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival last month.

Most recently, he starred on Netflix’s “Bloodline” and the TV mini series, “Klondike.” In 1999, he received Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations for his performance in “Dash and Lilly.”

His novel, “The One Inside,” was published in February 2017.

In 1986, Shepard was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 1992, he received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy. In 1994, he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame, and in 2009, he received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as a master of American dramatist.

Shepard was born in Fort Sheridan, Illinois in 1943. He is survived by his children Jesse, Hannah and Walker Shepard, and his sisters, Sandy and Roxanne Rogers. Funeral arrangements will remain private and plans for a public memorial have not yet been determined.

His representatives had no comment.