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US Actor Sam Shepard dies at 73

US actor and playwright Sam Shepard has died at the age of 73, according to US media.

Shepard wrote more than 40 plays and won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for Buried Child in 1979.

He went on to be Oscar-nominated for 1983 film The Right Stuff and starred in films like Black Hawk Down as well as co-writing 1984’s Paris, Texas.

Shepard received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child and is the author of 44 plays as well as several books of short stories, memoirs and essays.

He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1983’s The Right Stuff for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager.

He also received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award in 2009 as a master of American dramatist.

Shepard’s screen acting career began  with Terrence Malick’s 1978 Days of Heaven, with Richard Gere and Brooke Adams. He played Ellen Burstyn’s love interest, Cal, in Resurrection (1980). In 1985, Robert Atman adapted Fool for Love with Shepard playing opposite Kim Basinger and Harry Dean Stanton.

The following year, Shepard was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Shepard was born in Fort Sheridan, Illinois. Survivors include his children, Jesse, Hannah and Walker Shepard, and his sisters, Sandy and Roxanne Rogers. Funeral arrangements remain private. Plans for a public memorial have not yet been determined.

Shepard died peacefully at his home in Kentucky surrounded by his children and sisters on Sunday after a lengthy battle with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

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