Fast Facts

  • Fell in love with horses and farming while growing up in California, where one of his first jobs was working with horses at the Santa Anita Racetrack.
  • Has authored more than 40 plays, including Buried Child, winner of the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the Tony-nominated True West. 
  • Played drums in the late-'60s folk band the Holy Modal Rounders, which were featured on the soundtrack of Easy Rider.
  • Had a relationship with musician Patti Smith in the early 1970s; reunited with her for a poetry reading four decades later in New York.
  • Collaborated with Bob Dylan on several works, including the 11-minute song "Brownsville Girl" on Dylan's album Knocked Out Loaded.
  • Ironically suffered from a fear of flying (which he has since overcome) at the time of his Oscar-nominated performance as pilot Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff (1983).
  • Spent time writing and sharing ideas at the Santa Fe Institute, where a meeting with former CIA operative Valerie Plame helped him prepare for roles in Fair Game (2010) and Safe House (2012).


  • 1999, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
  • 2000, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 1996, Tony — Play: Nominee
  • 1984, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Adapted Screenplay: Nominee
  • 2007, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Nominee
  • 2013, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2014, Independent Spirit Awards — Robert Altman Award: Winner
  • 1983, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2000, Tony — Play: Nominee


  • Jane Elaine Rogers — Mother
  • Hannah Jane Shepard — Daughter
  • Sandy Rogers — Sister
  • O-Lan Jones — Ex-wife
  • Jessica Lange — Ex-significant Other
  • Jesse Shepard — Son
  • Patti Smith — Ex-significant Other
  • Sam Shepard Rogers Jr. — Father
  • Roxanne Rogers — Sister
  • Samuel Walker Shepard — Son


  • Attended Mount San Antonio College, Walnut, CA

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  • Birth Name: Samuel Shepard Rogers IV
  • Birth Place: Fort Sheridan, IL
  • Birthday: November 5, 1943, Scorpio
  • Profession: Actor, Playwright, Director, Writer
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