Date of Birth: November 5th 1943
American artist who has worked as an award-winning playwright, writer and actor. His many written works are known for being frank and often absurd, as well as for having an authentic sense of the style and sensibility of the gritty modern American west. He is an actor of the stage and motion pictures; a director of stage and film; author of several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs; and a musician.
When Shepard first arrived in New York, he roomed with Charlie Mingus, Jr., a friend of his from high school and son of the famous jazz musician. Then he lived with actress Joyce Aaron. He later married actress O-Lan Jones (born O-Lan Johnson, alias O-Lan Johnson Dark, alias O-Lan Barna) from 1969 to 1984, with whom he has one son, Jesse Mojo Shepard (born 1970). After the end of his relationship with the singer and musician Patti Smith, Shepard met Oscar-winning actress Jessica Lange on the set of a movie they both starred in, Frances. He moved in with her in 1983, and they have been together ever since. They have two children, Hannah Jane (born 1985) and Samuel Walker Shepard (born 1987). In 2005 Jesse Shepard wrote a book of short stories which was published in San Francisco, and his father appeared together with him at a reading to introduce the book.
For his portrayal of test pilot Chuck Yeager in the film The Right Stuff, Shepard was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1983.
In 1986, Shepard was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy in 1992.
In 1994 he was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame. Of his more than forty-five plays, eleven of them have won Obie Awards. He was nominated for two Tony Awards for Buried Child in 1996, and for True West in 2000.