Samuel Shepard Rogers III, known professionally as Sam Shepard, was an American playwright, actor, author, screenwriter, and director. His body of work spanned over half a century. He was the author of 44 plays as well as several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs. Shepard received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child. Shepard received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as a master American dramatist in 2009.