Sam Shepard, Pulitzer-winning playwright, dies at 73

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2011 file photo, actor Sam Shepard poses for a portrait in New York. Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Oscar-nominated actor and celebrated author whose plays chronicled the explosive fault lines of family and masculinity in the American West, died of complications from ALS, Thursday, July 27, 2017, at his home in Kentucky. He was 73. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Oscar-nominated actor and celebrated author whose plays chronicled the explosive fault lines of family and masculinity in the American West, has died. He was 73.

Family spokesman Chris Boneau said Monday that Shepard died Thursday at his home in Kentucky from complications related to Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

This image released by Netflix shows Sam Shepard from the original series, “Bloodline.” Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Oscar-nominated actor and celebrated author whose plays chronicled the explosive fault lines of family and masculinity in the American West, died of complications from ALS, Thursday, July 27, 2017, at his home in Kentucky. He was 73. (Saeed Ayani/Netflix via AP)

The taciturn Shepard, who grew up on a California ranch, was a man of few words who nevertheless produced 44 plays and numerous books, memoirs and short stories. His 1979 play “Buried Child” won the Pulitzer for drama.

His Western drawl and laconic presence made him a reluctant movie star, too. He appeared in dozens of films, and was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in 1983’s astronaut drama “The Right Stuff.”

Shepard recently starred in the first season of the Netflix series “Bloodline” as the patriarch of a prominent Florida Keys family who try to keep a web of secrets from destroying their lives.

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