Sam Shepard

Playwright, Screenwriter, Actor
Perhaps one of the most influential and celebrated playwrights of the late 20th century, Sam Shepard developed an extensive body of work that was preoccupied with the myth of the vanishing West and dysfunctional ... Read more »
Born: 11/04/1943 in Fort Sheridan, Illinois, USA

Filmography

Actor (73)

Cold in July 2014 (Movie)

Russel (Actor)

Klondike 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Actor

August: Osage County 2013 (Movie)

Beverly Weston (Actor)

Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction 2013 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Mud 2013 (Movie)

Tom Blankenship (Actor)

Out of the Furnace 2013 (Movie)

Gerald "Red" Blaze (Actor)

Savannah 2013 (Movie)

Mr. Stubbs (Actor)

Shepard & Dark 2013 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Darling Companion 2012 (Movie)

Sheriff Morris (Actor)

Killing Them Softly 2012 (Movie)

Dillon (Actor)

Safe House 2012 (Movie)

Harlan Whitford (Actor)

Blackthorn 2011 (Movie)

James Blackthorn (Actor)

Fair Game 2010 (Movie)

Sam Plame (Actor)

Inhale 2010 (Movie)

James Harrison (Actor)

Brothers 2009 (Movie)

Hank Cahill (Actor)

Felon 2008 (Movie)

Gordon (Actor)

Patti Smith: Dream of Life 2008 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Accidental Husband 2008 (Movie)

Wilder (Actor)

The Holy Modal Rounders: Bound to Lose 2007 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Charlotte's Web 2006 (Movie)

Voice of Narrator (Actor)

Don't Come Knocking 2006 (Movie)

Howard Spence (Actor)

The Return 2006 (Movie)

Ed Mills (Actor)

Trudell 2006 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Bandidas 2005 (Movie)

Bill Buck (Actor)

Stealth 2005 (Movie)

Capt. George Cummings (Actor)

Walker Payne 2005 (Movie)

Syrus (Actor)

Blind Horizon 2004 (Movie)

Sheriff Kolb (Actor)

Leo 2004 (Movie)

Vic (Actor)

The Notebook 2004 (Movie)

Frank Calhoun (Actor)

This So-Called Disaster 2004 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Kurosawa 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Narrator

Black Hawk Down 2001 (Movie)

Major General William F Garrison (Actor)

Swordfish 2001 (Movie)

Senator Reisman (Actor)

The Pledge 2001 (Movie)

Eric Pollack (Actor)

All the Pretty Horses 2000 (Movie)

J C Franklin (Actor)

Hamlet 2000 (Movie)

Ghost (Actor)

Kurosawa 2000 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Snow Falling on Cedars 1999 (Movie)

Arthur Chambers (Actor)

Curtain Call 1998 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Only Thrill 1998 (Movie)

Reece McHenry (Actor)

Larry McMurtry's Streets of Laredo 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Lily Dale 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Safe Passage 1994 (Movie)

Patrick Singer (Actor)

The Pelican Brief 1993 (Movie)

Thomas Callahan (Actor)

Thunderheart 1992 (Movie)

Frank Coutelle (Actor)

Voyager 1992 (Movie)

Walter Faber (Actor)

Bright Angel 1991 (Movie)

Jack Russel (Actor)

Defenseless 1991 (Movie)

George Beutel (Actor)

Jessica Lange: It's Only Make-Believe 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Steel Magnolias 1989 (Movie)

Spud Jones (Actor)

Baby Boom 1987 (Movie)

Dr Jeff Cooper (Actor)

Crimes of the Heart 1986 (Movie)

Doc Porter (Actor)

Fool For Love 1985 (Movie)

Eddie (Actor)

Country 1984 (Movie)

Gil Ivy (Actor)

The Right Stuff 1983 (Movie)

Chuck Yeager (Actor)

Frances 1982 (Movie)

Harry York (Actor)

Raggedy Man 1981 (Movie)

Bailey-- (Actor)

Resurrection 1980 (Movie)

Cal Carpenter (Actor)

Days of Heaven 1978 (Movie)

Farmer (Actor)

Renaldo & Clara 1976 (Movie)

(Actor)

Bronco Bullfrog 1969 (Movie)

Jo Saville alias Bronco Bullfrog (Actor)

After the Harvest (TV Show)

Actor

Dash and Lilly (TV Show)

Actor

One Kill (TV Show)

Actor

Purgatory (TV Show)

Actor

Ruffian (TV Show)

Actor

Shot In The Heart (TV Show)

Actor

Streets of Laredo (Movie)

Pea Eye Parker (Actor)

The Good Old Boys (TV Show)

Actor
Writer (14)

Don't Come Knocking 2006 (Movie)

(Story By)

Don't Come Knocking 2006 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Simpatico 1999 (Movie)

("Simpatico") (Play as Source Material)

Me and My Brother 1998 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Curse of the Starving Class 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Play as Source Material

Silent Tongue 1994 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Far North 1988 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Fool For Love 1985 (Movie)

("Fool For Love") (Play as Source Material)

Fool For Love 1985 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Paris, Texas 1984 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Sam Shepard's "True West" 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Writer

Zabriskie Point 1970 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

See You in My Dreams (TV Show)

Source Material

True West (TV Show)

Writer
Director (3)

Silent Tongue 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

Far North 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

Tongues 1981 (Movie)

(Director)
Music (1)

Silent Tongue 1994 (Movie)

drums (Music)

Biography

Perhaps one of the most influential and celebrated playwrights of the late 20th century, Sam Shepard developed an extensive body of work that was preoccupied with the myth of the vanishing West and dysfunctional families on the verge of tragedy. More existentialist and surrealist than romantic and conventional, Shepard often wrote plays that incorporated symbolism and non-linear storytelling while being populated with drifters, fading rock stars and others living on the edge. He also employed eccentric, inventive language - and sometimes music - to explore the parallel fantasy of disappearing from the known world. After getting his start with one-acts like "Cowboy" and "Icarus' Mother," Shepard won numerous awards with full length plays like "Curse of the Starving Class" (1978) and "Buried Child" (1978), the latter of which earned him a Pulitzer Prize in Drama. His playwriting career reached its zenith with the popular "True West" (1980), after which Shepard began focusing more on acting with roles in "The Right Stuff" (1983) and directing films like "Far North" (1988). By time he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 1994, Shepard was far and away one of the greatest playwrights of his generation.

Relationships

Sandy Rogers

Sister

O-Lan Jones Actor

Wife
Married Nobermber 9, 1969 divorced in 1984 mother of Shepard's oldest son Jesse Mojo

Jessica Lange Actor

Companion
Began relationship while filming "Frances" (1982) Had two children together Couple split in 2009, but it was not reported until December 2011

Samuel Rogers

Father
Served in the Air Force as a bomber pilot during World War II died in a fire in 1984 at age 67

Jane Rogers

Mother
Born July 16, 1917

Roxanne Rogers

Sister
Younger

Hannah Shepard

Daughter
Born c. 1985 mother, Jessica Lange

Jesse Shepard

Son
Born in May 1970 mother, O-Lan Jones

Samuel Shepard

Son
Born June 14, 1987 mother, Jessica Lange

Patti Smith

Companion
Together c. 1970-71 collaborated on "Cowboy Mouth"

EDUCATION

Mount San Antonio Junior College

Walnut , California
Dropped out to join a traveling theater group

Lincoln Elementary School

South Pasadena , California

Duarte High School

Duarte , California 1961

Milestones

2013

Joined the ensemble cast of the film version of "August: Osage County"

2012

Appeared in the action drama "Safe House" opposite Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds

2012

Featured in the lauded drama "Mud"

2011

Portrayed outlaw Butch Cassidy in the Western "Blackthorn"

2009

Played the father of Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal in Jim Sheridan's remake of "Brothers"

2007

Cast as Jesse James' (Brad Pitt) brother in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"

2007

Co-starred with Frank Whaley in "Ruffian," an ESPN-produced TV movie based on the legendary racehorse; earned a SAG nomination for Outstanding Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

2006

Played a washed up cowboy actor in the neo-Western "Don't Come Knocking"; also penned the screenplay

2004

Cast in Nick Cassavetes' "The Notebook"

2001

Starred in Ridley Scott's "Black Hawk Down"

2001

Cast as the chief of detectives in "The Pledge" helmed by Sean Penn

2000

New play, "The Late Henry Moss" premiered in San Francisco, featuring Sean Penn, Woody Harrelson and Nick Nolte

2000

Produced "True West" on Broadway with Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C Reilly, alternating leading roles; production garnered Tony nomination as Best Play

1999

Appeared in Scott Hicks' "Snow Falling on Cedars"

1999

Starred as Dashiell Hammett opposite Judy Davis in the A&E biopic "Dash & Lilly"; garnered an Emmy nomination

1998

"Sam Shepard: Stalking Himself" appeared as part of "Great Performances" (PBS)

1997

Reteamed with Peter Masterson for feature, "The Only Thrill"; film also starred Diane Keaton

1996

Broadway debut as playwright with revised version of "Buried Child"; directed by Gary Sinise; earned a Tony nominations for Best Play

1996

With Chaikin wrote "When the World Was Green"; commissioned for the Olympic Arts Festival in Atlanta

1995

Bruce Beresford adapted Shepard's "Curse of the Starving Class" for Showtime movie presentation

1993

Wrote, directed and provided percussion for "Silent Tongue"

1992

Portrayed Frank Coutelle in "Thunderheart"

1990

Headlined Volker Schlondorff's thought-provoking "Voyager," an adaptation of Max Frisch's "Homo Faber" (1957)

1988

Film directorial debut, "Far North"; last film to date with Lange; also wrote screenplay

1987

Played Dr Jeff Cooper in "Baby Boom" opposite Diane Keaton

1986

Wrote and directed the stage play "A Lie of the Mind"

1986

Reteamed with Lange for "Crimes of the Heart"; also first screen work with Diane Keaton

1985

Adapted his play "Fool For Love" for the screen; feature directed by Robert Altman; also co-starred in film

1984

Wrote screenplay for Wim Wenders' "Paris, Texas"; feature won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Filme Festival

1984

Acted opposite Lange in "Country"

1983

Directed first major stage production, "Fool For Love" at Circle Repertory Company in NYC; received an OBIE as Best Director

1983

Starred as legendary pilot Chuck Yeager in "The Right Stuff"; received Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor

1982

First feature with Jessica Lange, "Frances"

1979

Initial collaboration with Joseph Chaiken, "Tongues"

1979

Received Pulitzer Prize in Drama for "Buried Child"

1978

Screen acting debut, "Renaldo and Clara"; directed by Dylan

1978

First major film role as Farmer in Terrence Malick's "Days of Heaven"

1975

Toured as drummer with Bob Dylan's "Rolling Thunder Revue"; later wrote book about experience

1970

First major stage appearance, "Cowboy Mouth" at American Place Theatre in New York; written with Patti Smith

1969

First commercial film as co-screenwriter, "Zabriskie Point"; directed by Michelangelo Antonioni

1968

First teleplay broadcast, "Fourteen Hundred Thousand" (NET)

1968

Contributed sketches to the stage musical revue "Oh! Calcutta!"

1968

First film as screenwriter (co-written with director Robert Frank), the experimental "Me and My Brother"

1964

First produced play, "Cowboys" at Theatre Genesis in New York City

1963

Changed his name to Sam Shepard on the bus ride to NYC

Brought up on a succession of military bases before his family settled on a farm near Duarte, CA

Bonus Trivia

.

Shepard received a 1967 Rockefeller Foundation grant and a 1968 Guggenheim Foundation grant.

.

Shepard was awarded a fellowship from Yale University in 1968 and one from the University of Minnesota in 1969.

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Brandeis University presented Shepard with the Creative Arts Medal in 1976.

.

"I still haven't gotten over this thing of walking down the street and somebody recognizing you because you've been in a movie. There's this illusion that movie stars only exist in the movies. And to see one live is like seeing a leopard let out of the zoo." – Shepard in The New York Times, Nov. 13, 1994

.

"I feel it's in my bones somehow. It's something that has not only affected me personally, being raised up in this country, but that is in the whole fabric of the culture. I can't put my finger on it and I don't have the cure for it and I would never pretend to. It certainly feels, as time goes by, that there is a very mysterious betrayal of some kind that we don't understand. We keep paying for it and paying for it and we don't know why we're paying for it. There's all kinds of sociological bullsh*t you can explain it away with – genocide, for example, but we can't seem to come to terms with it as Americans. We don't seem to be able to face what has actually become of us." – Shepard on why betrayal is so central to his work, quoted in Interview magazine, June 1996

.

"Something's been coming to me lately about this whole question of being lost. It only makes sense to me in relation to an idea of one's identity being shattered under severe personal circumstances – in a state of crisis where everything that I've previously identified with myself suddenly falls away. A shock state, I guess you might call it. I don't think it makes much difference what the shock itself is – whether it's trauma to do with a loved one or a physical accident or whatever – the resulting emptiness or aloneness is what interests me. Particularly to do with questions like home? family? the identification of others over time? people I've known who are now lost to me even though still alive." – Shepard writing to Joseph Chaikin in 1983, published in American Theatre, July-August 1997

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"The really tragic thing about [Oedipus] isn't that he lost his eyes. The tragic thing is that he did everything he could to get out of his fate, and he just went falling right into it. That really compels me." – Shepard to New York magazine, Feb. 2, 1998

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