Sam Shepard (born November 5, 1943) is an American playwright, writer and actor.
He was born Samuel Shepard Rogers IV in Fort Sheridan, Illinois. His many works are known for being frank and often absurd, and for having an authentic sense of the style and sensibility of the gritty modern American west. Shepard is also a respected actor of stage and motion pictures.
His play Buried Child received a Pulitzer Prize in 1979; other notable work includes Curse of the Starving Class in 1978, True West in 1980 and A Lie of the Mind in 1985. He also continued with his collaboration with Bob Dylan that started with the surrealist film Renaldo & Clara on an epic, 11 minute song entitled Brownsville Girl, included on the 1986 Knocked Out Loaded album and later compilations.
In 1986, Shepard was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Shepard was previously married to actress O-Lan Jones (born O-Lan Barna) from 1969 to 1984, by whom he has one child.
He met Oscar-winning actress Jessica Lange on the set of a movie they both starred in, Frances. He moved in with her in 1983, and currently lives with her and their two children outside of Stillwater, Minnesota.
Although considered to be somewhat reclusive, Shepard actually has a pretty healthy social life and his involvement in acting and writing ensure that this is not likely to change.