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Sam Shepard, dead at 73, was a new kind of artistOld enough to see the rustic world of his childhood disappear, Sam Shepard, who died last week at age 73, was a new kind of man who brought a new kind of language to the American stage. "In True West," "Buried Child" and other groundbreaking plays, Shepard's characters spoke with a rugged poetry and raw introspection rarely heard from men and women from the American West. He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as pilot Chuck Yeager in 1983's "The Right Stuff" and wrote Wim Wenders' acclaimed 1984 drama "Paris, Texas". He took acting gigs more frequently as he grew older, noting that one movie could pay for 16 plays.Samuel Shepard Rogers VII was born in Fort Sheridan, Illinois, in 1943 .A drummer himself, Shepard found his own rock'n'roll rhythm.Shepard and Patti Smith were lifetime friends.While making the 1982 Frances Farmer biopic "Frances," he met Jessica Lange and the two remained together for nearly 30 years.
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