July 31, 2017 12:44 PM


Hollywood is mourning Sam Shepard after his death of complications from ALS. He was 73.

Shepard’s theater representative confirms to PEOPLE that Shepard passed away at his home in Kentucky on Thursday, July 27, from complications from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The actor’s battle with ALS was not publicly known. He was with his family at the time of his death.

As news of his death became public, celebrities and fans alike began mourning the accomplished writer and actor.

“I loved Sam. He has been a huge part of my life, who I am, and he will remain so.  I will let others talk about the importance and beauty of his work in theater and film,” his good friend actor Ed Harris told PEOPLE.

His Steel Magnolias costar Dolly Parton released a statement to PEOPLE remembering the late star. 

“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,” she said.

Fellow playwright Beau Willimon was amongst the first to remember him, tweeting a picture of the late star, saying, “Sam Shepard is one of the greats. These eyes saw so much, and he wrote of what he saw with fearless, timeless honesty. RIP maestro.”

Game of Thrones Star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was one of many to call Shepard a “hero.”

Antonio Banderas took to his Twitter to pay tribute to both Shepard and French Icon Jeanne Moreau, who died Monday at age 89.

Shepard is survived by his two sisters, Sandy and Roxanne Rogers, and his three children: Jesse Mojo, 47, from his marriage to O-Lan Jones, as well as Hannah Jane, 31, and Samuel Walker, 30, from his longtime relationship with Jessica Lange.

“The family requests privacy at this difficult time,” said Chris Boneau, the family’s spokesman.

The representative said funeral arrangements would remain private. Plans for a public memorial have not yet been determined.

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