Samuel Shepard Rogers Fort Sheridan, Illinois, United States of America (5 November 1943) known as Sam Shepard, is considered one of the most important contemporary playwrights of United States. It is a prominent character in the American scene since the appearance of his first works in the 1960s, and considered by critics as heir of the great American authors. Shepard is also a writer, screenwriter, actor and musician. He has attained fame among the general public for his facet as a screenwriter and actor with well-known as Paris, Texas, Steel Magnolias, the Pelican, Black Hawk Down films.


Samuel Shepard Rogers IV was born in 1943 in Fort Sheridan, Illinois, where he had strong family ties and was the eldest of three children. His father was a member of the air force of the United States and subsequently devoted to the teaching of the Spanish. His mother was born in Chicago.

Later the family moved to California, where is dedícó sheep breeding and cultivation of avocados on his farm in Duarte, near of Pasadena. During his childhood in this farm Shepard lived many experiences which then marked his work. Shepard youth was marked by the collapse of his father in alcoholism and the consequent deterioration family. During his tenure in the high school began writing poetry and acting, while working as a waiter block on a horse ranch. At the same time read the works of Samuel Beckett waiting for Godot, which made a great impression. He also worked occasionally as a collector of oranges and esquilador.

Thinking about doing veterinarian Shepard began studying agriculture at Mount Antonio Junior College, but a year later he joined a group of theatre called Bishop’s Company Repertory Players. It was touring with the Group during the years 1962-1963.

With 19 years settled in New York, where he began to use the name of Sam Shepard. While continuing her theatrical career he worked as a waiter. His debut as an author came on 16 October 1964, with the joint release of Cowboys and Rock Garden in the Theatre Genesis. The premiere received critical acclaim and from hence Shepard was gaining reputation with a series of works produced by Off-Off-Broadway theatres. In 1966 he received a scholarship from the University of Minnesota and the same year won three Obie Awards, for his Chicago, Icarus’s Mother and Red Cross, which was unprecedented. These awards significantly boosted career when the mainstream critical remained cautious before his work. After receiving a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Shepard became a full-time writer.

9 November 1969 Shepard married actress O-Lan Jones, which divorced in 1984 and had his first son, Jesse Mojo Shepard. In 1971 she had a relationship with star rock and poetess Patti Smith and together they wrote the play Cowboy Mouth.

In 1971 Shepard moved with his family to England, where he lived until 1974. When he turned 30 years already had written 30 staged works.

Returning to the United States settled in San Francisco and worked as a resident author (English: playwright-in-residence) Magic Theatre of the city for ten years. It was during this time in San Francisco when wrote works that consolidated its prestige: curse of the Starving Class (1976), Buried Child (1979), a story of incest and murder with which he won a Pulitzer Prize), and the real West (1980).

In 1978 Shepard began his career as a film actor and that same year began his collaboration with Joseph Chaikin, which would have as a result several plays.

In 1982 he met actress Jessica Lange during the filming of Frances, where both involved, and in 1983 they began to live together.

In the 1980s Shepard continued his theatrical career with numerous awards. His career as an actor and screenwriter began to take off. His most popular and acclaimed, film Paris, Texas, won the Palme d’Or of the Cannes International Film Festival in 1984. The screenplay was commissioned by the director Wim Wenders and was inspired by the book Crónicas Motel Shepard.

In the 1990s Shepard continued writing Theatre, but at a slower pace than in previous decades. While his career as a film actor continued to flourish.

Sam Shepard lives with Jessica Lange and his two sons, Hannah Jane Shepard and Samuel Walker Shepard on a ranch outside of Stillwater, Minnesota.


The most important facet of Sam Shepard is playwright. It has also been director and sporadically appeared as an actor. It is one of the most influential contemporary American playwrights and his works are frequently represented on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in all major North American theaters. It is also widely studied and represented in Europe, particularly in France, Germany and Great Britain.

Product of the counterculture of the 1960s, Shepard combines wild humour, satire, myth and a distinctive language to create a subversive vision and pop United States.

Shepard works are difficult to categorize. They are characterized by their openness, his oblique arguments, the frequent occurrence of the absurd, and perfectly capture the style and the sensitivity of the United States West. In general are a mixture of Western images, pop art, science fiction, the rock and roll and other elements of popular culture. It is also common that pose complex family issues. Shepard addresses the problems of modern society, individual alienation and the destructive effects of family relations.

Shepard characters tend to be losers. They have renounced their dreams and their lives have no sense of continuity, so are stumbling one-sided trapped between an idolized past and a present mechanic to another. Works express a sense of loss, nostalgia for the rural world and the popular myths destroyed by pragmatism, money and power. The connection between myth, land, community and sense of life has been broken in the modern world. Everything that we have in the own Shepard, words are ‘ideas that say nothing at all to our I interior’.

Premiering his early works, the lack of a conventional structure and language of their long monologues offended more traditionalist critics. Some pointed out in his large works influenced by Samuel Beckett and other European playwrights. Others hailed it as ‘clearly American’ and ‘genuinely original’.

1980 Shepard was represented at the United States author after Tennessee Williams.

The impact and importance of the work of Shepard can be checked by the numerous books and articles written about her, as well as by the hundreds of his works, productions both United States and the rest of the world.


Some of his most outstanding works are Buried Child, curse of the Starving Class, True West, and A Lie of the Mind.

This is a relationship of his works, which indicates the title, usually in English, although some original titles are in Spanish. Works published in Spanish is also the title of the Spanish Edition. Date corresponds to the first representation.


* 1964: Cowboys (unreleased).

* 1964: The Rock Garden (the final scene was later included in Oh!) (Calcutta!).

* 1965: (Unreleased) Dog.

* 1965: Chicago.

* 1965: 4-H Club.

* 1965: Up to Thursday (unreleased).

* 1965: Icarus’s Mother.

* 1965: (Unreleased) Rocking Chair.

* 1966: Fourteen Hundred Thousand.

* 1966: Network Cross.

* 1967: Melodrama Play.

* 1967: The tourist.

* 1967: Cowboys # 2.

* 1967: Forensic and the Navigators.

* 1969: The Unseen Hand.

* 1969: The Holy Ghostly.


* 1970: Operation Sidewinder.

* 1970: Shaved Splits.

* 1971: Mad Dog Blues.

* 1971: Back Bog Beast Bait.

* 1971: Cowboy Mouth (in collaboration with Patti Smith).

* 1972: The Tooth of Crime.

* 1973: Nightwalk.

* 1973: (Unreleased) Blue Bitch.

* 1974: Little Ocean (unreleased).

* 1974: Geography of Horse dreamer.

* 1975: Action.

* 1975: Killer’s Head.

* 1976: Sad Lament of Pecos Bill on the Eve of Killing His Wife.

* 1976: Angel City.

* 1976: Suicide in B Flat.

* 1977: Inacoma (unreleased).

* 1977: Curse of the Starving Class.

* 1978: Buried Child.

* 1978: Seduced.

* 1978: Tongues (in collaboration with Joseph Chaikin).

* 1979: Jacaranda (unreleased).

* 1979: Savage/Love (in collaboration with Joseph Chaikin).


* 1980: True West – the true West.

* 1980: Jackson’s dance.

* 1980: Superstitions (unreleased).

* 1983: Fool for Love-locos of love.

* 1985: A Lie of the Mind.

* 1987: The War in Heaven.


* 1991: States of Shock – shock States.

* 1994: Friendly.

* 1996: When the World was Green.

* 1998: Eyes for Consuela (based on a story of Octavio Paz).


* 2000: The Late Henry Moss.

* 2001: Black Hawk Down.

* 2004: The God of Hell

* 2004: The daily notebook.

* 2005: stealth invisible threat.

Works published in Spanish

These are references to works published in Spanish:

* Shepard, Sam (1985). MK editions and publications. Ed. the true West. ISBN 84-7389-043-4.

* Shepard, Sam (1998). Editorial Anagrama, S.A. Ed. States of shock; To the North; Silent tongue. ISBN 84-339-2372-2.

* Shepard, Sam (1998). Editorial Anagrama, S.A. Ed. Locos of love.

Awards and recognitions

* 1979: His work Buried Child receives a Pulitzer Prize.

* 1983: The true West work is nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

* 1984: His love locos work is nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

* 1986: Is elected member of the American Academy of Arts and letters (English: The American Academy of Arts and Letters).

* 1986: Its A Lie of the Mind work receives the New York Theatre Critics Circle Award (English: New York Drama Critics Circle Award).

* 1986: His work A lie of the Mind received a Drama Desk Award.

* 1992: Received the Medal of gold of the Academy of Arts and letters (English: American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal) in his specialty of dramaturgy.

* 1994: Shepard is included in the Theatre Hall of Fame.

* 1996: Nominated for a Tony Award for Buried Child.

* 2000: Nominated for a Tony Award for True West.

* Eleven of his works have won an Obie Award.

Narrative and poetry

Sam Shepard has written some books usually treated in the same topics and portray the same universe as his plays.

This is a relationship books published, where it indicates the date of the first English Edition, the original English title, the title of the Spanish Edition and a brief description of the content.

* 1973: Hawk Moon – Crescent Hawk is a collection of short stories, poems and monologues.

* 1977: Rolling Thunder Logbook – Rolling Thunder: with Bob Dylan on the road is the Rolling Thunder Revue journal: a tour of Bob Dylan and a heterogeneous group mixture of happening, music and poetry in which he participated Shepard in 1975.

* 1982: Motel Chronicles-Chronicles Motel contains autobiographical fragments, stories and poems full of roads, cars, solitude and adventure. Shepard remembers his childhood and his experiences as a rancher, waiter, rock musician and actor.

* 1997: Cruising Paradise – crossing paradise consists of 40 short stories written between 1989 and 1995 to explore the themes of loneliness and loss in distressed and angry, paragraphs United States and Mexico places men.

* 2002: Great Dream of Heaven – the great dream of paradise is a collection of 18 short stories that Shepard explores the rough North American West.

All these works are edited is Spanish:

* Shepard, Sam (1985). Editorial Anagrama, S.A. Ed. Motel Chronicles. ISBN 84-339-2011-1

* Shepard, Sam (1995). Editorial Anagrama, S.A. Ed. Crescent Hawk. ISBN 978-84-339-1289-3.

* Shepard, Sam (1997). Editorial Anagrama, S.A. Ed. crossing paradise. ISBN 84-339-0854-5.

* Shepard, Sam (2004). Editorial Anagrama, S.A. Ed. great dream of paradise. ISBN 84-339-7040-0.

* Shepard, Sam (2006). Editorial Anagrama, S.A. Ed. Rolling Thunder: with Bob Dylan on the road. ISBN


Shepard began his film career as a screenwriter in the 1960s with the film Me and My Brother. Alongside Franco Rossetti, Tonino Guerra, Michelangelo Antonioni, Clare Peploe wrote the screenplay of Zabriskie Point. However, soon tired of the excesses of Antonioni.

In 1978 he began his career as actor of film Renaldo and Clara, Bob Dylan. That same year participated in Days of heaven by Terence Malick and in 1983 he nominated to a Oscar for the best supporting actor for his performance as the pilot Chuck Yeager in chosen for the glory of Philip Kaufman. These successes, together with popular thrust of cinema, made that from the 1980s Shepard was best known among the public at large as actor as a playwright. In 1988 he debuted as filmmaker with far North.

Below is his filmography. The year is the premiere. Titles are listed when there are known Spanish or in their original language (usually English) otherwise. The data is extracted (IMDB 2006)

[Edit] Chosen as an actor filmography

Shepard has participated in more than 40 films as actor. Some of the more prominent or significant are:

* 1978: Renaldo and Clara.

* 1978: Days of heaven.

* 1982: Frances.

* 1983 – Chosen for the glory.

* 1985: Fool for Love (crazy love) based on his play of the same name, then translated as “Locos of love”.

* 1986: Crimes of the heart.

* 1989: Steel magnolias.

* 1992: Heart Thunder.

* 1993: The Pelican report.

* 1994: Tensa expects.

* 1999: purgatory: the road to hell.

* 1999: While it snows on the Cedars.

* 2000: Hamlet.

* 2000: All the Pretty Horses.

* 2001: Oath.

* 2001: Operation Swordfish.

* 2001: Black Hawk down.

* 2004: The daily notebook.

* 2005: Invisible threat – Stealth.

* 2006: Bandidas.

* 2007: The assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

* 2007: Thug

Screenwriter filmography

* 1969: Me and My Brother.

* 1970: Zabriskie Point.

* 1972: Oh! Calcutta!.

* 1978: Renaldo and Clara.

* 1981: Savage/Love.

* 1982: Tongues

* 1984: Paris, Texas.

* 1985: Mad love.

* 1988: Far North.

* 1994: Silent tongue.

* 2005: Knocking on the doors of heaven.

The curse of the Starving Class and circle of deceit films are based on Shepard plays.

Filmography as director

* 1988: Far North.

* 1994: Silent tongue.


Shepard has always had a keen interest in music. Some of his plays are musical or contain significant portions of music. Example Cowboy Mouth is a rock opera and The tooth of crime is described as a musical fantasy.

As a teenager Shepard already played drums in his high school groups. At the end of the 1960s was the band’s drummer Lothar and the Hand People and of The Holy Modal Rounders, 1967.

Shepard co-wrote with Bob Dylan (who had previously worked in the film Renaldo and Clara) Brownsville Girl song appeared in Dylan Knocked Out loaded’s album and other subsequent compilations. The song, lasting eleven minutes, is regarded by many as one of the summits of Dylan’s career.

God’s In The Kitchen song is part of the soundtrack of the movie calling the gates of heaven by Wim Wenders.