Oscar-nominated actor, director and playwright Sam Shepard has passed away aged 73, Dailymail UK reports.
The Broadway legend died peacefully at his home in Kentucky surrounded by his children and sisters on Sunday after a lengthy battle with Lou Gehrig’s Disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
‘The family requests privacy at this difficult time,’ spokesman Chris Boneau said.
His funeral arrangements will be private and plans for a public memorial haven’t been determined, Boneau said.
The actor, whose full name is Samuel Shepard Rogers II, was born in Fort Sheridan, Illinois on November 5, 1943. His father was an officer in the U.S. Army, and as a result, his family traveled often around the country and world.
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.
Shepard first met actress Jessica Lange, began a relationship that lasted nearly 30 years until they separated in 2009
He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1983’s The Right Stuff for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager. New York magazine once called him ‘the greatest American playwright of his generation.’
The father-of-three also received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award in 2009 as a master of American dramatist.
Shepard was once married to O-Lan Jones from 1969 to 1984 until they divorced. The couple had one son, Jesse Mojo Shepard, aged 47.
While married to Jones, Shepard had an affair with singer Patti Smith from 1970 to 1971.
Shepard went on to work with Academy Award winning actress Jessica Lange shortly after and the pair began a relationship that lasted nearly 30 years until they separated in 2009.