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Acclaimed Author Sam Shepard Dies at 73

LOS ANGELES - Pulitzer Prize-winning author and actor Sam Shepard, has died. He was 73.

He died at his home in Kentucky on Thursday, July 27, due to complications of ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, according to a statement issued by family spokesman, Chris Boneau. It had not been previously disclosed that Shepard suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Shepard was the author of 44 plays along with several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play “Buried Child” in 1979. He earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff (1983). Shepard was the recipient of the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as a master American dramatist in 2009. New York magazine described him as "the greatest American playwright of his generation."

Shepard's plays are known for their bleak, poetic, oftentimes surrealist elements, dark humor, and for characters living on the edge of American society. His style evolved over the years, from the absurdism of his early Off-Off-Broadway work to the realism of “Buried Child” and “Curse of the Starving Class” which were published in 1978.

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