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David Jones

David Jones is an Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a freelance film and television director. His recent work includes the film version of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, Shakespeare’s Pericles for BBC Television, and the Haymarket Theatre revival of Old Times.

Sam, Sam, Mythological Man

David Jones, 2 May 1985

The British media finally caught up with the existence of Sam Shepard some eighteen months ago. He had, after all, just been nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Chuck Yeager in the film about the first American astronauts, The Right Stuff. And news of his romance with Jessica Lange, whom he was then partnering in Country, had just broken. Arthur Miller’s marriage to Marilyn Monroe had caught the headlines in the past, but to get the girl and join the top league of male box-office stars at the same time was a new story. There was much dissection of Shepard’s life-style, the subtleties of his sexual attractiveness, his resemblance to Gary Cooper: but only the occasional small paragraph to indicate that the man under discussion was America’s most innovative young dramatist since the late Sixties, had won the Pulitzer Prize in 1978 and certainly hadn’t said goodbye to writing yet.

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