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Sam Shepard
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Shepard in 2004
Samuel Shepard Rogers III

(1943-11-05)November 5, 1943
Died July 27, 2017(2017-07-27) (aged 73)
  • Actor
  • playwright
  • author
  • screenwriter
  • director
Years active 1962–2017
O-Lan Jones
(m. 1969; div. 1984)
Partner(s) Jessica Lange (c. 1982; sep. 2009)
Children 3
Awards Full list
Sam SHEPARD signature.png

Samuel Shepard Rogers III (November 5, 1943 – July 27, 2017), known professionally as Sam Shepard, was an American actor, playwright, author, screenwriter, and director whose career spanned half a century. He won ten Obie Awards for writing and directing, the most won by any writer or director. He wrote 44 plays as well as several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs. Shepard received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in the 1983 film The Right Stuff. He received the PEN/Laura Pels Theater Award as a master American dramatist in 2009. New York magazine described Shepard as "the greatest American playwright of his generation."

Shepard's plays are known for their bleak, poetic, surrealist elements, black comedy, and rootless characters living on the outskirts of American society. His style evolved from the absurdism of his early off-off-Broadway work to the realism of later plays like Buried Child and Curse of the Starving Class.

Awards and honors

Year Nominated work(s) Category Result
1966 Chicago, Icarus's Mother, Red Cross Obie Award for Best Distinguished Play(s) Won
1967 La Turista Won
1968 Forensic and the Navigator, Melodrama Play Won
1973 The Tooth of Crime Won
1975 Action Obie Award for Best Playwriting Won
1977 Curse of the Starving Class Obie Award for Best New American Play Won
1979 Buried Child Obie Award for Best Playwriting Won
Pulitzer Prize for Drama Won
1980 Himself Obie Award for Sustained Achievement Won
1984 Fool for Love Obie Award for Best New American Play Won
Obie Award for Best Direction Won
The Right Stuff Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
1985 Paris, Texas BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
1986 A Lie of the Mind Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play Won
New York Drama Critics' Circle for Best Play Won
Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play Won
1992 Himself American Academy of Arts and Letters – Gold Medal for Drama Won
1994 American Theatre Hall of Fame Inducted
1996 Buried Child Tony Award for Best Play Nominated
1997 Hallmark Hall of Fame: "Lily Dale" Lone Star Film & Television Award for Best TV Supporting Actor Nominated
1999 Dash and Lilly Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
2000 Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Film Nominated
True West Tony Award for Best Play Nominated
2001 Black Hawk Down Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Acting Ensemble Nominated
2008 Ruffian SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries Nominated

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