Actor Sam Shepard dies aged 73

Stars have paid tribute to US playwright and actor Sam Shepard following his death at the age of 73.

Actor Sam Shepard has diedaged 73. Picture: AP Photo/Charles Sykes, File

The star, who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in The Right Stuff in 1983, died at his home in Kentucky on July 27.

A spokesman for the family said he died from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

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Born in 1943, Shepard grew up on a California ranch and went on to become an actor and prolific playwright, penning more than 40 plays.

Game Of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was among those to pay tribute.

He wrote on Twitter: “A hero of theatre. A hero of writing. A hero of acting. A hero of mine. Sam Shepard RIP.”

House Of Cards creator Beau Willimon wrote: “Sam Shepard is one of the greats. These eyes saw so much, and he wrote of what he saw with fearless, timeless honesty. RIP maestro.”

Novelist Chris Bohjalian tweeted: “”When you hit a wall - of your own imagined limitations - just kick it in.” - Sam Shepard. #RIP. You gave us so very much. You’ll be missed.”

Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander wrote: “A great man of the theater has passed. Thank you, Sam Shepard. RIP.”

The Shield star Michael Chiklis said: “First became a Sam Shepard fan as a playwright when I was in Buried Child @BU_SOT Tremendously talented actor as well. Gone too soon. RIP.”

Shepard wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child in 1979.

A production of the play, starring Ed Harris and Amy Madigan, finished a run at London’s Trafalgar Studios earlier this year.

The star’s films included Black Hawk Down, Fool For Love, The Notebook and August: Osage County and he recently appeared in Netflix series Bloodline.

Shepard was in a relationship with actress Jessica Lange for almost 30 years and they had two children together.

He had another child with his former wife O-Lan Jones.