Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of plays, screenplays, stories and memoirs, whose rugged good looks and laconic style made for a memorable screen presence as actor, has died, according to reports. He was 73.
His death was reported first by Broadway World and then by The New York Times, which cited an unnamed spokesman for his family. His New York agent, Patrick Herold of ICM Partners, would not confirm the death and declined to comment, according to his office.
Shepard was one of those rarities: an award-winning stage dramatist and a movie star., screenwriter and director.
He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child, which launched his career as a playwright. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in 1983's The Right Stuff, a role that seemed to embody Shepard's own laconic personality.
The author of nearly 50 plays, according to his website, Shepard's work firmly established him in the canon of American theater. It also made him one of America's most famous playwrights, regularly anthologized and taught in universities and drama schools across the country.