Sam Shepard Dead At 73


Sam Shepard with Loretta Greco.
Photo by Jennifer Reiley

The entertainment world has lost an icon.  Sam Shepard, who found fame both on and off the screen and stage, has died from complications of ALS.  He was 73.

Shepard won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for Buried Child and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in the 1983 film The Right Stuff.

Other credits include Crimes of the Heart, Steel Magnolias, Black Hawk Down and August: Osage County.  His most recent role was as patriarch Robert Rayburn in Netflix’s Bloodline.

Earlier this year, San Francisco’s Magic Theatre produced a revival of Fool for Love directed by Loretta Greco.

In a statement, she shared some memories of Shepard after his passing.  “Sam changed the face of American theatre forever. With over 40 plays, he is our field’s most raucous trailblazer and the reason most of us make theatre.  Actors kill for the chance to play roles crafted by Sam – and we directors are humbled by the odyssey. Sam was my kind of writer: Primal. Restless. Rhythmic. And wickedly funny. He wanted us to feel his plays.”

She continued, “Thankfully, he spent a lifetime digging at the mythic bones out back for hints of what it is to be human and we are all the richer for it. We will miss him dearly.”

Magic Theatre is planning to host a special celebration of Sam Shepard’s life next month. Details will be announced at a later date.

Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time.

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Image courtesy of Sam Shepard with Loretta Greco. Photo by Jennifer Reiley