Sam Shepard dies at 73

Hollywood pays tribute to playwright and actor

by Amber Wilkinson

Sam Shepard in Blackthorn
Sam Shepard in Blackthorn Photo: Mongrel Media
Sam Shepard: 'I still don't like to look at myself act'
Sam Shepard: 'I still don't like to look at myself act'
Hollywood today paid tribute to Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, screenwriter and actor Sam Shepard, who died on July 27, aged 73.

Shepard, who won the Pulitzer for Buried Child, died from the complications of Motor Neurone Disease at his Kentucky home.

In addition to his career as a playwright - penning more 40 plays - he also forged a career onscreen. He featured in films including Terrence Malik's Days Of Heaven and went on to be nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Philip Kaufaman's biographical drama about test pilot Chuck Yeager, The Right Stuff.

Other film roles included Steel Magnolias, Black Hawk Down and Don't Come Knocking. More recently, he also starred in Blackthorn, Ithaca and Midnight Special. His last film Never Here had it's premiere last month and he had also been working on Netflix series Bloodline.

He was known as a reluctant actor and he told Eye For Film in an 2014 interview for August: Osage County, "I still don't like to look at myself act".

As well as gaining plaudits in front of the camera, some of his plays were also adapted into films, including Paris, Texas, Simpatico and Don't Come Knocking.

Last night, Hollywood paid tribute.

Black Hawk down actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau wrote on Twitter: "A hero of theatre. A hero of writing. A hero of acting. A hero of mine. Sam Shepard RIP."

Reese Witherspoon wrote: "So sad to hear about Sam Shepard passing. A truly original actor and an incredible writer. Sending love to his family."

And Viola Davis posted a quote from Shepard along with a tribute to him

And MGM Studios tweeted: "From Hollywood to Broadway, your talents will be missed dearly, Sam Shepard."

Shepard leaves his children Jesse, Hannah and Walker.

Read more reviews of films starring Sam Shepard here.

Volker Schlöndorff, Joe Lansdale and Hampton Fancher remember Sam Shepard

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