Sam Shepard, noted playwright and actor, is dead at age 73


Sam Shepard, noted playwright and actor, is dead at age 73

NEW YORK

Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Oscar-nominated actor and celebrated author whose plays chronicled the explosive fault lines of family and masculinity in the American West, has died. He was 73.

A family spokesperson said Monday that Shepard died Thursday at his home in Kentucky from complications related to Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

The taciturn Shepard, who grew up on a California ranch, was a man of few words who nevertheless produced 44 plays and numerous books, memoirs and short stories. His 1979 play “Buried Child” won the Pulitzer for drama.

His Western drawl and laconic presence made him a reluctant movie star, too. He appeared in dozens of films, and was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in 1983’s astronaut drama “The Right Stuff.”

HBO programming stolen in cyberattack

NEW YORK

HBO has had some of its programming stolen in what is being described as a cyber incident.

The company says that it is working with law enforcement and cybersecurity firms.

HBO CEO Richard Pepler says in an email to the network’s employees that “proprietary information” was stolen in the hack. Spokesman Jeff Cusson would not comment on which specific TV episodes, movies or other video the hackers made off with.

Hacking Hollywood can have significant repercussions. Sony struggled in the aftermath of its huge hack in 2014, which leaked employee emails as well as films.

In April, a hacker claimed to have released episodes of Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” before their release by the streaming site.

Judge to rule by end of August if Palin lawsuit proceeds

NEW YORK

A judge says he’ll rule by the end of August whether former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against The New York Times can proceed.

Federal Judge Jed Rakoff announced his plans after hearing oral arguments Monday. The Times has asked for dismissal of the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.

The judge has barred collection of evidence until he rules.

Palin sued the Times in June, citing a Times editorial about gun control published after Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise was shot in Washington.

The Times published a series of corrections and apologized after readers complained about the editorial. Some readers complained the newspaper falsely suggested a connection between information published by Palin’s political action committee and a mass shooting that severely wounded then-Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords in 2011.

Associated Press

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