Photo of Sam Shepard Sam Shepard

A quadruple threat as an actor, director, screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (for "Buried Child"), Sam Shepard was born Nov. 5, 1943, in Fort Sheridan, Ill. After a nomadic upbringing, he headed for New York City and soon had a pair of plays produced; in the early 1970s, Shepard was the resident playwright at San Francisco's Magic Theater.

His acting career kicked into gear with impressive turns in Days of Heaven (1978) and Raggedy Man (1981). In 1983, his performance as test pilot Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff brought Shepard not only stardom but an Oscar nod as Best Supporting Actor. His other noteworthy films include Baby Boom (1987), Steel Magnolias (1989), The Pelican Brief (1993) and Black Hawk Down (2001).

No stranger to the small screen, the lanky actor copped Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his work in the made-for-TV movie Dash and Lilly (1999).

Sam Shepard in In Dubious Battle

In Dubious Battle

2017 R

Helmed by actor James Franco, this cinematic adaptation of John Steinbeck's Depression-era novel follows a pair of young activists who pose as California apple pickers to organize the workers and incite a strike over pay cuts.

  • Sam Shepard in Fair Game Fair Game
  • Sam Shepard in Out of the Furnace Out of the Furnace
  • Sam Shepard in The Notebook The Notebook
  • Sam Shepard in Midnight Special Midnight Special
  • Sam Shepard in Mud Mud
  • Sam Shepard in Ithaca Ithaca
  • Sam Shepard in The Right Stuff The Right Stuff
  • Sam Shepard in Black Hawk Down Black Hawk Down
  • Sam Shepard in The Pelican Brief The Pelican Brief
  • Sam Shepard in Steel Magnolias Steel Magnolias
  • Sam Shepard in The Accidental Husband The Accidental Husband
  • Sam Shepard in Safe House Safe House
  • Sam Shepard in Killing Them Softly Killing Them Softly
  • Sam Shepard in Days of Heaven Days of Heaven
  • Sam Shepard in August: Osage County August: Osage County
  • Sam Shepard in Brothers Brothers
  • Sam Shepard in Charlotte's Web Charlotte's Web
  • Sam Shepard in Darling Companion Darling Companion
  • Sam Shepard in The Assassination of Jesse James The Assassination of Jesse James
  • Sam Shepard in Savannah Savannah
  • Sam Shepard in Thunderheart Thunderheart
  • Sam Shepard in Hamlet Hamlet
  • Sam Shepard in The Pledge The Pledge
  • Sam Shepard in Stealth Stealth
  • Sam Shepard in Ruffian Ruffian
  • Sam Shepard in All the Pretty Horses All the Pretty Horses
  • Sam Shepard in Swordfish Swordfish
  • Sam Shepard in Cold in July Cold in July
  • Sam Shepard in Raggedy Man Raggedy Man
  • Sam Shepard in Snow Falling on Cedars Snow Falling on Cedars
  • Sam Shepard in Purgatory Purgatory
  • Sam Shepard in Blind Horizon Blind Horizon
  • Sam Shepard in Voyager Voyager
  • Sam Shepard in Silent Tongue Silent Tongue
  • Sam Shepard in Safe Passage Safe Passage
  • Sam Shepard in The Only Thrill The Only Thrill
  • Sam Shepard in Don't Come Knocking Don't Come Knocking
  • Sam Shepard in Bandidas Bandidas
  • Sam Shepard in The Return The Return
  • Sam Shepard in Shepard & Dark Shepard & Dark
  • Sam Shepard in Klondike Klondike
  • Sam Shepard in Streets of Laredo Streets of Laredo
  • Sam Shepard in This So-Called Disaster This So-Called Disaster
  • Sam Shepard in Felon Felon
  • Sam Shepard in Patti Smith: Dream of Life Patti Smith: Dream of Life
  • Sam Shepard in Inhale Inhale
  • Sam Shepard in Blackthorn Blackthorn