Actor & playwright Sam Shepard dies at 73

Sam Shepard, Oscar-nominated actor and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, died Thursday at his home in Kentucky. He was 73.

Shepard family spokesperson Chris Boneau says 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.

A native of Fort Sheridan, Illinois, Shepard 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 his three children, Jesse, Hannah Jane, and Samuel Walker, and his two sisters.