Director, actor, and playwright Sam Shepard has died according to US Weekly. Illinois-born Shepard reportedly died on Thursday, July 27, at his family home in Kentucky. He was 73-years-old and had been suffering from complications due to medical condition ALS. ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a degenerative disease which affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. According to the publication, Shepard's family was by his side when he passed away. The star married O-Lan Jones in 1969 and the couple had one son together, Jesse Mojo.They divorced in 1984.

Shepard went on to meet Jessica Lange in 1982. The couple never married but they had two children, Hannah Jane and Samuel Walker. Shepard split from Lange in 2009. His sisters Roxanne and Sandy Rogers were reportedly also with him at the time of his death.

Actor, director, and playwright's work will not be forgotten

Shepard made his first appearance as an actor in the 1978 film "Days of Heaven". He starred alongside Richard Gere and Brooke Adams, playing the part of a farmer. Later in his career, the star held roles in "Steel Magnolias", "Baby Boom" and "The Notebook". The actor was perhaps best known for his role as Chuck Yeager in the 1982 film "The Right Stuff". The movie was a historical drama based on author Tom Wolfe's book of the same title and told the story of Navy, Marine and Air Force test pilots and the U.S.

Space program "Mercury 7". Shepard was nominated for an Academy Award (Best Supporting Actor) for his depiction of Chuck Yeager, a World War 2 pilot. The actor also wrote and directed many plays. In total, he wrote 44 plays including "A Lie of the Mind", "True West" and "Fool for Love". In 1979, Shepard was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play "Buried Child".

Interview with ex-partner Lange published hours before death

Shepard's ex-partner Jessica Lange did an interview with Aarp The Magazine which was published just hours before the actor's death according to US Weekly. In the interview, Lange spoke about her relationship with the star, saying he had a great sense of humor but also a dark side.

Lange and Shepard met while working on the film "Frances" in 1982 and subsequently dated for over 30 years. The couple had two children together and Lange told AARP The Magazine that raising children was fun and something that she really cherishes. The two went their separate ways in 2009. Shepard previously told The Guardian in 2010 that himself and Lange were an "incredible match" and describing the actress as "astounding".