Shepard began his acting career in earnest when he was cast as the handsome land baron in Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven (1978), opposite Richard Gere and Brooke Adams . This led to other important film roles, including that of Cal, Ellen Burstyn 's love interest, in the film "Resurrection" (1980), and most notably his portrayal of Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff (1983). The latter performance earned Shepard an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. By 1986, his play Fool for Love was getting a film adaptation directed by Robert Altman , in which Shepard played the lead role; his play A Lie of the Mind was being performed Off-Broadway with an all-star cast (including Harvey Keitel and Geraldine Page ); and Shepard was subsequently working steadily as a film actor - all of these achievements put him on the cover of Newsweek.
As an actor, his breakout film role was in Terrence Malick’s 1978 film “Days of Heaven,” in which he starred opposite Richard Gere and Brooke Adams. Along with his Oscar-nominated turn in “Right Stuff,” he also appeared in movies including “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” “Crimes of the Heart,” “Steel Magnolias, “Black Hawk Down” and “August: Osage County.” He also recently acted in the first two seasons of Netflix series “Bloodline.”