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1. Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and actor, passed away Thursday, July 27. He was 73. According to the actor's spokesperson, Shepard died at his home in Kentucky from complications of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. 

Throughout his decades-long career in music, film, and theater, the Oscar-nominated actor appeared in films like The Right Stuff, Days of Heaven, August: Osage County, Black Hawk Down, and Steel Magnolias. He also played Ryan Gosling's father in the big-screen adaptation of The Notebook. Most recently, he played patriarch Robert Rayburn in Netflix's Bloodline. 

Aside from acting, Shepard was a prolific writer. He is credited with writing more than 40 plays. In 1979, he won a Pulitzer for his play Buried Child, about the fragmentation of the American nuclear family.

 

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