NEW YORK: Sam Shepard, the preeminent US playwright of his generation celebrated for depicting a darkness to contemporary American life and Oscar-nominated actor, has died. He was 73. The actor, director and writer passed away Thursday at home in Kentucky of complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, a family spokesman confirmed to Agence France-Presse on Monday. Shepard, who wrote nearly 50 plays, won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1984 for best actor in a supporting role for The Right Stuff. He went on to star in dozens of films with acting credits on the likes of Steel Magnolias with Dolly Parton and Julia Roberts, 2001 war drama Black Hawk Down, and 2013 family saga August: Osage County with Meryl Streep. His writing career extended to cinema and he wrote the screenplay for Paris, Texas, which won the Palme D’Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival. On television, his most recent work was in the first two seasons of Netflix series Bloodline in 2015 and 2016, which marked his final on-camera appearance.