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.