Sam Shepard, Pulitzer-winning playwright and actor, dead at 73

By Megan Thomas, CNN | Posted - Jul. 31, 2017 at 4:28 p.m.



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NEW YORK (CNN) — Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor, died on Thursday at his home in Kentucky. He was 73.

Chris Boneau, a spokesperson for Shepard's family, tells CNN he died of complications of ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Shepard authored more than 40 plays, winning the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1979 for his play "Buried Child," which explored the breakdown of the traditional American family. The Broadway production of the drama was nominated for five Tony Awards in 1996.

Shepard, a native of Fort Sheridan, Illinois, received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in the 1983 astronaut drama "The Right Stuff."

His other notable on-screen work includes performances in "Steel Magnolias," "Black Hawk Down" and most recently, the Netflix drama "Bloodline."

Shepard is survived by three children and two sisters.

"The family requests privacy at this difficult time," Boneau said in a statement to CNN.

Copyright 2017 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Megan Thomas

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