Hollywood has been rocked by the death of legendary actor, writer, playwright, and filmmaker Sam Shepard.
Shepard passed away after a lengthy battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, on July 27 at the age of 73. His passing was just announced today via outlets.
Born on November 5, 1943 in Fort Sheridan, Illinois, Shepard was the son of a teacher and a former WWII pilot turned teacher and farmer. In high school, the acting bug bit Shepard while working as a ranch hand after the family settled down in California. In 1962, Shepard joined a theater troupe and never looked back.
Shepard got his start on the stage in the Off-Off Broadway circuit as a playwright. While he focused writing for the stage, he did write the occasion film as well. In 1975, he became the core playwright for the Magic Theater in California. A mere three years later, Shepard transitioned into acting when he made his debut in front of the cameras in Days of Heaven for director Terrance Malick. One of his most iconic acting roles was that of astronaut Chuck Yeager in 1983’s The Right Stuff.
Shepard would go on to have a successful career in both the stage and film. In addition, he even has done some writings which have been published. He would direct only two films, 1988’s Far North and 1993’s Silent Tongue.
Shepard is survived by his sisters and three children. World Film Geek sends its condolences to the family of Sam Shepard.
Rest in Peace, Sam Shepard.