Playwright And Oscar-Nominated Actor Sam Shepard Dead At 73
Playwright And Oscar-Nominated Actor Sam Shepard Dead At 73. The Pulitzer-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor peacefully passed away last Thursday at his home in Kentucky after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS. A spokesperson for the Shepard family confirmed the news on Monday and stated: “The family requests privacy at this difficult time.” The influential playwright, who was a key writer for the Off-Broadway movement, won a Pulitzer Prize for “Buried Child” back in 1979 and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for 1983’s “The Right Stuff.” He was nominated for two more Pulitzers for “True West” and “Fool for Love” and wrote over 44 plays as well as books throughout his five-decade career. In 1999, he also received Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations for his performance in “Dash and Lilly.”
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 also had an extensive list of film credits, including “The Notebook,” “Black Hawk Down,” “In Dubious Battle,” “Killing Them Softly,” “Steel Magnolias,” “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. He most recently appeared in Netflix’s critically-acclaimed series, “Bloodline,” which had just recently wrapped its three-season run and the TV miniseries, “Klondike.” His last novel, “The One Inside,” was just published in February 2017.
He had been married to and divorced from O-Lan Jones and then had a longtime relationship with actress Jessica Lange from 1982 until 2009. Shepard is survived by his children Jesse, Hannah and Walker Shepard (Hannah and Walker are from his long-term relationship with actress Jessica Lange). Funeral arrangements will remain private and plans for a public memorial have not yet been determined.
Shepard’s Passing Is Truly A Loss To The Literary World
Susan Z’s Conclusion:
Shepard had such a low-key persona, I don’t think anyone who saw his movies and read his books were aware of how talented and honored he was in his profession. The fact he was still actively writing and acting while suffering with ALS is also a great tribute to his strength of character. He will be missed!
Princess of Wands:
Inverted (Upside Down)
This is young energy with new projects always in mind. Since inverted, I believe Shepard did not know how “not to be creative” until he took his last breath and felt defeated at times due to his illness.
Knight of Pentacles: Inverted This is the energy of a man with solid foundations, lots of integrity and sometimes stubborn. Being pulled inverted, I feel Shepard was frustrated with the progressive loss of function but stubborn enough to still find a way to do what he loved.
Queen of Swords:
This is a strong woman who speaks her mind and possibly carries emotional scars from the past. My feeling about this card pull is it represents his relationship with Jessica Lange. Even though they were no longer a couple, I believe they still were a strong support for each other till his end.
Susan Z Rich is an emotional addiction counselor, spiritual intuitive and holistic therapist. She counsels others to see life in a more positive way and teaches personal accountability for life choices. She is also the author of several children’s books and Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine. (life cycles) Learn more at her website: www.szrwhitewings.com