Playwright, author and actor Sam Shepard has died aged 73.

American playwright, actor, author, screenwriter and director Sam Shepard has died, aged 73.

His family released a statement yesterday, confirming the legendary author died on Thursday in his Kentucky home. He had been suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

For more than half a century Shepard worked behind the scenes and on camera, bringing us joy and tears with beautiful stories of love and family and history.

Sam Shepard attends on January 18, 2014, in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Getty Images)

In 1979, Shepard won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Buried Child, about a family struggling with the harsh reality that was the "Great American Dream" during the 1970s rural economic slowdown.

In 1983, he was an Academy Award nominee for The Right Stuff, in which he played Chuck Yeager, a war-hero pilot and space explorer.

He is also widely known for his role as Noah's father, Frank Calhoun, in the 2004 film The Notebook. Cue: heart broken.

Cue: heartbroken.

Throughout his life, Shepard produced 44 plays, a number of books and appeared in dozens of movies.

Tributes are flowing in on social media for the late, and much beloved, actor.