Do you still remember the movie 1989 film “Steel Magnolias?” It’s another movie where Dolly Parton made movie magic as she played a hairdresser named Truvy Jones. Truvy was married to Spud, a quiet, moody man portrayed by actor and playwright Sam Shepard. Given their roles, they played their role as a southern couple quite convincingly. They were having financial troubles and the loss of a dear friend is the main conflict of the film. People who have seen the movie say that this is her biggest performance ever along with her leading man, Sam, who played a big part of this success with her. Here is a movie clip from the movie where you can see both of them.[like_button]
Last July 27, “The New York Times” reported that Sam Shepard passed away at the age 73 due to complications from ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease at his home in Kentucky.
In an interview with Rare Country, Dolly remembered her “Steel Magolias” leading man. She says, “I was so sorry to hear of Sam’s passing. What a nice man and what a great actor. I was honored to have him play my husband in ‘Steel Magnolias.’ Rest in peace, my friend.”
Sam Shepard also played in numerous motion pictures, including his Oscar-nominated performance in 1983 in “The Right Stuff.” As a celebrated playwright, he received a Pulitzer Prize for drama in “Buried Child.”
In plays like “True West” (1980), “Fool for Love” (1983) and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Buried Child” (1978), he dismantled the classic iconography of cowboys and homesteaders, of American dreams and white picket fences, and reworked the landscape of deserts and farmlands into his own shimmering expanse of surreal estate.
Sam Shepard’s connection to country doesn’t stop with “Street Magnolias.” He was also a narrator in 2006’s animated adaptation of “Charlotte’s Web,” which also featured Reba McEntire as the voice of “Betsy the Cow.”
The most recent role he played was the patriarch of the Rayburn family on the Netflix series “Bloodline” with Kyle Chandler and Sissy Spacek.
Speaking of how he creates his characters, Mr. Shepard once perfectly summed up the artful ambiguity that pervades his work and is a principal reason it seems likely to endure: “There are these territories inside all of us, like a child or a father or the whole man,” he said, “and that’s what interests me more than anything: where those territories lie.
“I mean, you have these assumptions about somebody and all of a sudden this other thing appears. Where is that coming from?
“That’s the mystery. That’s what’s so fascinating.”
You and your work will definitely be missed Sam.