Pulitzer-winning playwright, actor Sam Shepard dies at 73

Sam Shepard the famed playwright director and actor has died at age 73 in Kentucky

The cause of death was complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease. Lange and Shepard were in a almost three-decade long relationship, and had two children together, Hannah and Samuel.

A true American original in every sense of the term, Shepard is survived by his three children and two sisters.

Spokesperson Chris Boneau told THR, "The family requests privacy at this hard time".

Funeral services will be private and Boneau asked fans to respect the family's privacy. Shepard also won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for "Buried Child" in 1979. He fell into New York's off-off-Broadway scene while working as a bus boy at the famous jazz club the Village Gate and his first plays were staged that year.

Working at Off Broadway landmarks like La MaMa and Caffe Cino, Mr. Shepard nearly immediately received critical acclaim upon embarking on his career, winning Obie Awards for "Chicago" and "Icarus's Mother" in 1965 and then "Red Cross" and "La Turista" in 1966.

Overall, Shepard enjoyed a very eclectic and successful career within the entertainment world that saw him produce a wide variety of celebrated content. He was married to actress O-Lan Jones and had a long term relationship with Jessica Lane.

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According to Sam-Shepard.com, a website dedicated to documenting his career, Shepard wrote close to 50 plays and enjoyed critical acclaim in theater, as well as outside the industry, as an actor, director and author.

- RainnWilson (@rainnwilson)RIP Sam Shepard.

He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1983's The Right Stuff for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager. Through his entire life, Sam Shepard was able to complete 44 plays, more than William Shakespeare.

With his Hollywood good looks, Shepard became a movie star in the midst of his playwrighting success.

It is not yet known if Shepard's loved ones will also hold a public memorial.

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