Sam Shepard, dead at age 73, was a new kind of artist

Sam Shepard, dead at age 73, was a new kind of artist

August 1st, 2017 by Associated Press in National Obituaries

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)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

NEW YORK (AP) - Sam Shepard's death leaves the theater and film communities without an artist who brought a new kind of language to the American stage.

Shepard's creations expressed a level of introspection rarely heard in pieces about the American West, a result of his experience watching the rustic world of his childhood disappear.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor's life straddled the decline of rustic living in the American West and the post-World War II era that hastened its demise.

Shepard's death was announced by a family spokesman on Monday. The prolific writer and actor died from complications from Lou Gehrig's disease at age 73.

He released a novel earlier this year about a man dealing with the loss of control of his body due to Lou Gehrig's disease.