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Sam Shepard Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (30) | Personal Quotes (13)

Overview (5)

Born in Fort Sheridan, Illinois, USA
Died in Midway, Kentucky, USA  (complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
Birth NameSamuel Shepard Rogers III
Nickname Charlie
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Sam Shepard was born Samuel Shepard Rogers in Fort Sheridan, Illinois, to Jane Elaine (Schook), a teacher, and Samuel Shepard Rogers, a teacher and farmer who was also in the army. As the eldest son of a US Army officer (and WWII bomber pilot), Shepard spent his early childhood moving from base to base around the US until finally settling in Duarte, California. While at high school he began acting and writing and worked as a ranch hand in Chino. He graduated high school in 1961 and then spent a year studying agriculture at Mount San Antonio Junior College, intending to become a vet.

In 1962, though, a touring theater company, the Bishop's Company Repertory Players, visited the town and he joined up and left home to tour with them. He spent nearly two years with the company and eventually settled in New York where he began writing plays, first performing with an obscure off-off-Broadway group but eventually gaining recognition for his writing and winning prestigious OBIE awards (Off-Broadway ) three years running.

He flirted with the world of rock, playing drums for the Holy Modal Rounders, then moved to London in 1971 where he continued writing.

Back in the US by 1974, he became playwright in residence at San Francisco's Magic Theater and continued to work as an increasingly well respected playwright throughout the 1970s and into the '80s.

Throughout this time he had been dabbling with Hollywood having, most notably in the early days, worked as one of the writers on Zabriskie Point (1970), but it was his role as Chuck Yeager in 1983's The Right Stuff (1983) (co-starring Fred Ward and Dennis Quaid) that brought him fully to the attention of the wider, non-theater audience.

Since then he has continued to write, act and direct, both on screen and in the theater.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Sam Shepard was an American playwright, actor, author, screenwriter, and director. He wrote 44 plays as well as several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs. In 1979 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Buried Child. In 1984 he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff (1983).

Shepard first major role was in Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven (1978), opposite Richard Gere and Brooke Adams. He starred in others films, including Resurrection (1980), The Right Stuff (1983), Baby Boom (1987), The Pelican Brief (1993), Black Hawk Down (2001), and Mud (2012). One of his last works was in the Netflix original series Bloodline.

He also directed two films, Far North (1988) and Silent Tongue (1993).

Shepard died on July 27, 2017, at his home in Kentucky, aged 73, from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pedro Borges

Spouse (1)

O-Lan Jones (9 November 1969 - 9 November 1984) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (30)

Won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the play "Buried Child" and was nominated for the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the play "True West" and the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the play "Fool for Love".
Lived with Jessica Lange from 1982 to 2009.
Suffered from fear of flying.
Has a son named Jesse Mojo Shepard (May 1970) from his marriage to O-Lan Jones and two children, Hannah Jane Shepard (January 13, 1986) and Samuel Walker Shepard (June 14, 1987), from his longtime relationship with Jessica Lange.
Was the drummer for late 1960s bands "Lothar and the Hand People" and "The Holy Modal Rounders" per a short interview in the August, 1970 issue of Playboy (the former confirmed by the interviewer, who was at the Astor Place Theater in NYC to see a twin-bill of the then-26-year-old Shepard's plays, "The Unseen Hand" and "Forensic and the Navigators") and encountered Shepard drumming away in the lobby with Lothar et al.
He wrote the 1971 play "Cowboy Mouth" with girlfriend Patti Smith and played in the very first production the role of Slim (with Smith in the role of Cavale). It is the only time he has played one of his own characters. Just before the second night's performance, Shepard was so disturbed about the experience of playing Slim, he abandoned the role without a word to anyone and left town. He has always had a fear of live audiences.
Living with Jessica Lange and their children outside of Stillwater, Minnesota. [2005]
Has twice been nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as author of a Best Play nominee: in 1996 for "Buried Child" and in 2000 for "True West."
Brought up on a succession of military bases before his family settled on a farm near Duarte, CA. Worked in a ranch in Chino between 1958 and 1960.
By the time he was 30, he had already written 30 produced plays in New York.
Collaborated with Bob Dylan in writing the song "Brownsville Girl," which appeared on Dylan's 1986 album "Knocked Out Loaded." The eleven-minute song is considered by many to be a bright spot in what was otherwise a creative drought for Dylan from the late seventies to the early nineties.
He did the rodeo circuit, riding broncs and bulls.
Son of Jane Elaine (Schook) Rogers (b. 1917) and Samuel Shepard Rogers (died in 1984), both teachers.
He rodeo-ed in E.M. Fredric's hometown, Salinas, California. "Steinbeck" country.
Lived in London, England between 1971 and 1974.
Plays drums and guitar.
Was a member of the rock band Holy Modal Rounders (1968-1971).
Shepard was awarded a fellowship from Yale University in 1968 and one from the University of Minnesota in 1969.
He received a 1967 Rockefeller Foundation grant and a 1968 Guggenheim Foundation grant.
He was the oldest of three children. Had two sisters named Sandy Rogers and Roxanne Rogers.
His sister Roxanne Rogers, a stage director, graduated in 1978 from Antioch.
His sister Sandy Rogers is a composer and a musician.
His play, "Simpatico" at the A Red Orchid Theater in Chicago, Illinois was nominated for a 2013 Equity Joseph Jefferson Award for Midsize Play Production.
He played Ethan Hawke's father in both Snow Falling on Cedars (1999) and Hamlet (2000).
Current girlfriend is Mia Kirshner. [January 2015]
Turned down the male lead in 9½ Weeks (1986).
Brandeis University presented him with the Creative Arts Medal in 1976.
Arrested for drunk driving in Santa Fe, New Mexico. [May 2015]
He also got a DUI in January 2009 in Normal, Illinois.
Is the third cast-member of Steel Magnolias (1989) after Bibi Besch and Bill McCutcheon to pass away, dying 28 years after the film's release.

Personal Quotes (13)

Collaboration - that's the word producers use. That means, don't forget to kiss ass from beginning to end.
Personality is everything that's false in a human, everything that's been added on to him and contrived.
The people the critics write for aren't important to me. As far as I'm concerned, Broadway just doesn't exist. [Aug. 1970, Playboy, p.19]
[on working in films] It's all about narcissism. Terrence Malick called it 'sanctioned vanity'. Everything is attended to. Would you like some Perrier? Anything we can do? May we throw ourselves on the ground in front of you? This unbelievable barrage of indulgence.
I was different on drugs - crystal Methedrine, which had more of an edge. When you walked down the street, your heels made sparks.
Don't you find it kind of self-indulgent for actors to go around writing parts for themselves?
There are places where writing is acting and acting is writing. I'm not so interested in the divisions. I'm interested in the way things cross over.
I'm not in demand. I'm all washed up.
Hollywood is geared toward teenage idiocy.
You're still much more afraid of the audience, and yet, on the other hand, you desperately want to plunge into new territory. So every once in a while, the opportunity to make this leap gets handed to you. It's like jumping into cold water.
It's one of the great tragedies of our contemporary life in America, that families fall apart. Almost everybody has that in common.
I didn't go out of my way to get into this movie stuff. I think of myself as a writer.
[on Harry Dean Stanton] He is one of those actors who knows that his face is the story.

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