Belfast Telegraph

Matthew McConaughey in disbelief after learning of Sam Shepard's death

Broadway lights will be dimmed on Wednesday in honour of the late actor.

Matthew McConaughey was left in shock at the premiere of his new movie on Monday (31Jul17) after learning his Mud co-star Sam Shepard had passed away.

Shepard died last week (ends28Jul17), but his passing was only revealed on Monday, hours before Matthew hit the red carpet for the launch of The Dark Tower in New York City.

The Oscar winner had no idea about the tragic loss until he was asked for his reaction at the event, with the star clearly in disbelief.

"Sam Shepard moved on?" he responded to The Associated Press reporter after learning of the sad news. "Look, I'm not going to trivialise that situation, I just heard about it for the first time. But I always told (director) Jeff Nichols this, I said the whole trailer for Mud could be Sam Shepard sitting in that green chair telling the boy about who Mud is. It'd be about a two-and-a-half minute trailer, but it would have been really bada**."

"He moved on today?" the stunned star continued. "Well, we lost one of the great ones. Great writer, great mind. See you in the next one, Sam."

Sam died at his home in Kentucky on Thursday (27Jul17) after reportedly suffering from complications relating to neurological disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease or motor neurone disease.

Rob Lowe, Ed Harris, and Gary Sinise were among the first celebrities to pay tribute to Shepard online, and the late actor and playwright will also be honoured on Broadway on Wednesday (02Aug17), when the theatre district's marquee lights will be dimmed for one minute.

"Sam Shepard was a prolific storyteller who created provocative, thoughtful, and exciting work for Broadway, off-Broadway, and film. His original voice was a definite draw for audiences and had an undeniable influence on other artists," President of the Broadway League Charlotte St. Martin says. "He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and colleagues."

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