Facts about Sam Shepard
Sam Shepard Biography
Playwright and actor Sam Shepard was best known for the plays Fool for Love and True West, and for his many screen roles, including The Right Stuff and Black Hawk Down.
Shepard grew up in California, but made his way to New York City to be part of the theater scene in the 1960s. He wrote plays and won awards, played drums for the Holy Modal Rounders and had a fling with poet Patti Smith.
In the late 1970s, Shepard began working in Hollywood as well, with Bob Dylan on Renaldo and Clara (1978), and as The Farmer in 1978’s Days of Heaven.
Frances (1982), had him as a leading man — and Shepard ended up having a 27 year relationship with the film’s star, Jessica Lange — but it was as Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff that made Shepard a movie star (he was nominated for an Oscar).
On screen, Shepard was often a utility character, from rascally cowboy hobo to stern military commander. His credits include The Pelican Brief (1993), Dash and Lilly (1999), All the Pretty Horses (2000), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) and Mud (2012),
His plays mixed Old West and New West mythology in the context of lonesome, sometimes bleak relationships. Buried Child was a 1979 Pulitzer Award winner; True West was nominated for a Pulitzer in 1983; Fool for Love was nominated for a Pulitzer in 1984.