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Jessica Lange Spoke About Longtime Partner Sam Shepard and Their Children Shortly Before His Death

Jessica Lange spoke about her longtime partner Sam Shepard and their children, Hannah and Samuel, in an interview published just hours before the news of his death.

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“I wouldn’t call Sammy easygoing and funny, but everybody has their dark side, and he always does it with a sense of humor,” the Feud: Bette and Joan actress, 68, told AARP The Magazine of the famed playwright, whom she dated from 1982 to 2009.

Jessica Lange Spoke About Longtime Partner Sam Shepard and Their Children Shortly Before His Death
Sam Shepard and Jessica Lange attend ‘The Film Society of Lincoln Center honors Jessica Lange’ at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City on April 17, 2006. Dave Allocca/Starpix/Shutterstock

Shepard died at the age of 73 at his home in Kentucky on Thursday, July 27, a family spokesperson confirmed to Us Weekly. He died of complications from ALS.

During her interview with AARP, Lange opened up about being a mother to Hannah, 31, Samuel, 30, and Shura, the latter of whom she shares with ex Mikhail Baryshnikov. “Having children gives you a perspective you didn’t have before. You are no longer the center of the universe,” she said.

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“[Motherhood] opened my heart, made me a different person,” the American Horror Story alum continued. “Every move you make is with someone else in mind. I loved being a mother more than anything else in the world, and being a grandmother is even more fun. There’s the chance to do it again. It’s in the perfect order of nature: You raise your children, and then the next generation comes along. They are the redemptive force in nature. Plus, it’s easier!”

Lange and Shepard began dating after meeting on the set of their 1982 film Frances. After they went their separate ways in 2009, the Pulitzer Prize winner (who also shared son Jesse, 47, with ex-wife O-Lan Jones) reflected on their “tumultuous” nearly three-decade relationship.

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“I mean, we have long periods of relative calm,” Shepard told The Guardian in 2010. “We’re definitely an incredible match. But, you know, not without fireworks … although at this point, you know, she’s the only woman I could live with. Who could live with me! What other woman would put up with me? … I’d never met anybody like her. She was astounding. One of the great things about her, aside from her natural beauty, which was remarkable, was her humbleness.”

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