Sam Shepard Dead at 73

Award-winning playwright and actor Sam Shepard has died at the age of 73.

A family spokesman said Shepard died last Thursday at his home in Kentucky from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), The New York Times reported Monday.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rare neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movements such as chewing, walking, breathing and talking. The disease is progressive and always fatal, and there is no cure or treatment to halt or reverse the progression of the disease.

Shepard won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1979 and was nominated for two other Pulitzers for his Broadway plays. He also won an Academy Award for his supporting role in the movie "The Right Stuff."

Shepard is survived by three children and two sisters, according to The Times.

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