It's another sad day for Hollywood as it's revealed that screen legend and award-winning playwright Sam Shepard passed away last week at his home in Kentucky following a short battle with motor neurone disease. He was 73-years-old, and still actively taking small and big screen roles.

Sam Shepard at 'Heartless' opening night after party in 2012Sam Shepard at 'Heartless' opening night after party in 2012

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and actor died on Thursday (July 27th 2017) at his home in Midway, Kentucky due to complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as motor neurone disease or Lou Gehrig's disease). A spokesperson confirmed the tragic news yesterday. 

Most famous for winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play 'Buried Child' in 1979, he was also nominated for an Academy Award for 1983's 'The Right Stuff' and a Golden Globe for 1999 TV movie 'Dash and Lilly'. Some of his comparatively recent films include 'August: Osage County', 'Mud', 'The Notebook', 'Black Hawk Down' and 'Swordfish'.

His last film was Camille Thoman's June thriller 'Never Here', with last year seeing him in Jeff Nichols' 'Midnight Special' and James Franco's 'In Dubious Battle'. He has also had a recurring role in the Netflix thriller series 'Bloodline' since 2015.

One of his early plays, 1969's 'The Unseen Hand', served as an inspiration to Richard O'Brien who went on to write 'The Rocky Horror Show'. He also wrote 'True West' (1980), 'Fool for Love' (1983) and 'A Lie of the Mind' (1985), and made history with a record-breaking 10 Obie Award wins.

While he was married to his first wife O-Lan Jones, he had a highly publicised affair with punk singer Patti Smith. He was later in a relationship with 'American Horror Story' star Jessica Lange from 1983 to 2009. 

More: Read our review for 'Midnight Special'

Sam Shepard is survived by his three children: Jesse Mojo Shepard (whose mother is O-Lan Jones), and Hannah Jane and Samuel Walker Shepard (the two children he had with Lange).