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Sam Shepard

Sam ShepardAKA Samuel Shepard Rogers VII

Born: 5-Nov-1943
Birthplace: Fort Sheridan, IL

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Playwright, Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Buried Child

Playwright and movie star Sam Shepard worked as a ranch hand in his teen years, and after high school he briefly attended college, majoring in agriculture, but dropped out to join a traveling theater group. He sidestepped the Vietnam-era draft by claiming to be a heroin addict, and by 1963 he was working as a busboy in a Greenwich Village bar, doing plenty of drugs and becoming involved in the city's off-off-Broadway theater scene.

Shepard's first few short plays were savagely reviewed in major papers, but won good notices in the alternative paper The Village Voice. He won three consecutive OBIEs for writing in the mid-1960s, and contributed a few comic sketches for the limply plotted "erotic musical" Oh! Calcutta!, which starred Bill Macy on Broadway. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1979 play Buried Child starring Mary McDonnell, and Drama Desk honors for his 1986 play A Lie of the Mind starring Harvey Keitel and Amanda Plummer. At last count, Shepard has won ten OBIEs.

His first film credit as writer was Me and My Brother, starring beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky as themselves. His other screenplays include Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point, Wim Wenders' wandering Paris, Texas starring Harry Dean Stanton, Robert Altman's Fool for Love starring Shepard and Kim Basinger, and his study of the difference between the real west and the Hollywood west, Don't Come Knocking starring Shepard and his longtime love Jessica Lange.

He made his debut as a screen actor in 1970's little-seen Brand X with Sally Kirkland and Abbie Hoffman. His best film performances include the fading mysterious farmer infatuated with Brooke Adams in Terrence Malick's masterpiece Days of Heaven, the lover of miracle-worker Ellen Burstyn in Resurrection, the reporter who falls for the unjustly declared insane Frances Farmer in Frances, the testosterone-drenched astronaut Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff, the distant commander of a military mission gone wrong in Black Hawk Down witj Ewan McGregor, and Ryan Gosling's devoted father in The Notebook.

His sister is singer-songwriter Sandy Rogers, best known for writing the songs in Fool for Love and her album Green Moon. His other sister, Roxanne Rogers, is an erstwhile actress best known for the low-budget film Slow Moves. His son, Jesse Mojo Shepard, is named after the outlaw Jesse James and a Cajun good luck charm, and is the author of Jubilee King. Sam Shepard also plays the drums, and has performed with Bob Dylan and T-Bone Burnett.

Father: Samuel Shepard Rogers VI (military officer-farmer, b. 3-Feb-1917, d. 1984 fire)
Mother: Jane Elaine Schook Rogers (b. 16-Jul-1917)
Sister: Sandy Rogers (singer-songwriter)
Sister: Roxanne Rogers (stage director)
Wife: O-Lan Jones (actress, m. 9-Nov-1969, sep. 1982, div. 1984, one son)
Son: Jesse Mojo Shepard (author, b. May-1970 with Jones)
Mistress: Patti Smith (singer, dated 1970-71)
Girlfriend: Jessica Lange (together 1982-2009, one daughter, one son)
Daughter: Hannah Jane Shepard (b. 1985)
Son: Samuel Walker Shepard (b. 14-Jun-1987)

    High School: Duarte High School, Duarte, CA (1961)
    University: Mount San Antonio Junior College (dropped out)

    Pulitzer Prize for Drama 1979 for Buried Child
    American Academy of Arts and Letters 1986
    Driving While Intoxicated Normal, IL (3-Jan-2009)
    Risk Factors: Aviophobia

    FILMOGRAPHY AS DIRECTOR
    Silent Tongue (1-Feb-1994)
    Far North (10-Sep-1988)

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Out of the Furnace (9-Nov-2013)
    August: Osage County (9-Sep-2013)
    Savannah (23-Aug-2013)
    Shepard & Dark (11-Oct-2012)
    Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction (4-Sep-2012) · Himself
    Mud (26-May-2012)
    Killing Them Softly (22-May-2012)
    Safe House (2-Feb-2012) · Harlan Whitford
    Darling Companion (26-Jan-2012) · Sheriff Morris
    Blackthorn (1-Apr-2011) · James
    Inhale (27-Aug-2010) · James Harrison
    Fair Game (20-May-2010) · Sam Plame
    Brothers (3-Dec-2009) · Hank Cahill
    Felon (13-Jul-2008) · Gordon
    The Accidental Husband (13-Feb-2008) · Wilder
    Patti Smith: Dream of Life (20-Jan-2008) · Himself
    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2-Sep-2007)
    Charlotte's Web (7-Dec-2006) · Narrator [VOICE]
    The Return (10-Nov-2006)
    Walker Payne (27-Apr-2006)
    Bandidas (18-Jan-2006)
    Stealth (29-Jul-2005)
    Don't Come Knocking (19-May-2005)
    Trudell (20-Jan-2005) · Himself
    The Notebook (20-May-2004) · Frank Calhoun
    Blind Horizon (2-Mar-2004) · Sheriff Jack Kolb
    Leo (11-Sep-2002)
    Black Hawk Down (18-Dec-2001) · Garrison
    Kurosawa (29-Nov-2001) · Narrator [VOICE]
    Shot in the Heart (13-Oct-2001)
    Swordfish (4-Jun-2001)
    The Pledge (9-Jan-2001) · Eric Pollack
    All the Pretty Horses (11-Dec-2000) · J. C. Franklin
    One Kill (6-Aug-2000)
    Hamlet (24-Jan-2000) · Ghost
    Snow Falling on Cedars (12-Sep-1999) · Arthur Chambers
    Curtain Call (30-Aug-1999)
    Dash and Lilly (31-May-1999)
    Purgatory (10-Jan-1999)
    The Only Thrill (1997) · Reece McHenry
    Streets of Laredo (12-Nov-1995)
    The Good Old Boys (5-Mar-1995)
    Safe Passage (Dec-1994)
    The Pelican Brief (17-Dec-1993)
    Thunderheart (3-Apr-1992) · Frank Coutelle
    Defenseless (23-Aug-1991)
    Bright Angel (7-Jun-1991)
    Voyager (21-Feb-1991)
    Steel Magnolias (15-Nov-1989) · Spud Jones
    Baby Boom (17-Sep-1987) · Dr. Jeff Cooper
    Crimes of the Heart (12-Dec-1986) · Doc Porter
    Fool for Love (14-May-1986)
    Country (1-Mar-1985)
    The Right Stuff (9-Sep-1983) · Chuck Yeager
    Frances (3-Dec-1982) · Harry York
    Raggedy Man (18-Sep-1981) · Bailey
    Resurrection (6-Sep-1980) · Cal
    Days of Heaven (14-Sep-1978) · The Farmer
    Renaldo and Clara (25-Jan-1978)

Wrote plays:
La Turista (1966, debut at the American Place Theatre)
Operation Sidewinder (1970)
The Unseen Hand (1970)
The Tooth of a Crime (1972, debut in London)
The Geography of a Horse Dreamer (1974, debut in London)
Killer's Head (1975)
Angel City (1976)
Suicide in B-Flat (1976)
Curse of the Starving Class (1976)
Buried Child (1979)
Seduced (1979)
True West (1981)
Fool for Love (1983)
A Lie of the Mind (1985)
Simpatico (1995)
Eyes for Consuela (1998)
The Late Henry Moss (2000)


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