The right stuff

Well, now Sam Shepard has died.

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I thought this article was more on point than some. The Times called him “a true renaissance man. As a playwright, he was the toast of Broadway and a Pulitzer Prize recipient. And he had no trouble making the transition to screens small and large, winning over audiences as an actor and earning respect within the industry as a skilled pen-for-hire. His body of work, rich and varied as it is, reveals a man with infinite empathy and intellectual curiosity.”

“Infinite empathy”? He never struck me that way. To me, Sam was one of those smart, good-looking, very wasp-y guys who was just really cool without trying to be. He did what he wanted. He frequently did not have the lead part in movies and he was fine with that. He supported himself that way so he could do the stuff he cared about.

He was friends with Patti Smith.

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I always liked him. He had a small part in Raggedy Man (1981) but you sure noticed him.

raggedy-man.jpgOther favorites: Resurrection (1980),

resurrection11x.jpgThe Right Stuff (1983),

rs10x.jpgBlack Hawk Down (2001),

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And, of course, he was Dolly’s husband in Steel Magnolias (1989).

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He had the right stuff. Yes, he did.