Actor Sam Shepard charged with drunken driving

Sat Jan 3, 2009 8:21pm EST
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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Actor and playwright Sam Shepard was arrested early on Saturday in central Illinois and charged with speeding and drunken driving, police said.

Shepard, 65, told police in Normal, Illinois, he was passing through town and stopped at a tavern before heading to his hotel.

His blood alcohol was twice the legal limit and he was going 16 mph over the 30 mph speed limit while passing through town, the Bloomington, Illinois, Pantagraph reported.

He told police he was traveling to his home in Kentucky, according to the newspaper.

His long-time partner is actress Jessica Lange, with whom he has two children.

Shepard received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of test pilot Chuck Yeager in the film "The Right Stuff." He also appeared in "The Notebook," "Blackhawk Down" and other films. His plays include "Buried Child," for which he won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for drama, "True West" and "A Lie of the Mind."

(Reporting by Andrew Stern)

<p>Sam Shepard attends a news conference for German director Wim Wenders' in-competition film "Don't Come Knocking" at the 58th Cannes Film Festival May 19, 2005. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler</p>