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FilmWeek remembers iconic actor/playwright Sam Shepard, French femme fatale Jeanne Moreau

French actress Jeanne Moreau and actor/playwright Sam Shepard.
French actress Jeanne Moreau and actor/playwright Sam Shepard.

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Hollywood lost two more pioneers of their respective fields on Monday.

American playwright and actor Sam Shepard died at his home in Kentucky from complications of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Shepard was known best for his plays like ‘True West,’ Fool For Love,’ and ‘Buried Child,’ which earned him a Pulitzer Prize. iconic role on screen as the fearless fighter pilot Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier, for which he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. He was thought by many to be one of the greatest American playwrights of his generation, painting beautiful pictures of the American West through his use of surrealism and complex characters living on the fringes of society.

Also on Monday, news broke that French actress Jeanne Moreau was found dead at her Paris home. She was 89 years old. Moreau was one of the most notable French actresses of her generation, studying at the Conservatoire de Paris before beginning her career in theatre. She then moved to the silver screen, starring in Louis Malle’s ‘The Lovers’ and ‘Lift to the Scaffold’but is probably best known for her role in Francois Truffaut’s Jules et Jim. She won Best Actress at Cannes in 1960 for ‘Moderato Cantabile’ and also won a BAFTA for best foreign actress. Moreau was known for her gravelly voice, expressive features, and being the face of New Wave, France’s film movement in the mid 20th century. There are some who say that post-war French film cannot be imagined without her contributions.


Tim Cogshell, film critic for KPCC and Alt-Film Guide; he tweets @CinemaInMind

Lael Loewenstein, KPCC film critic

Charles Solomon, film critic for KPCC, Animation Scoop and Animation Magazine