By Ale Russian
July 31, 2017 at 02:49 PM EDT

Jessica Lange unwittingly paid tribute to her ex Sam Shepard on the day the world learned of his death.

The actress, 68, appears on the August/September cover of AARP The Magazine where she looks back on her illustrious career and colorful life.

And when asked about her partner of almost three decades, Lange alluded to their hardships amidst their great love for each other.

“I wouldn’t call Sammy easygoing and funny, but everybody has their dark side, and he always does it with a sense of humor,” she said of the late star.

Shepard’s theater representative confirmed to PEOPLE that Shepard passed away at his home in Kentucky on Thursday, July 27, from complications from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The actor’s battle with ALS was not publicly known. He was with his family at the time of his death.

The two started dating in 1982 before splitting in 2009. They had two kids, Hannah, 31, and Samuel, 30, and lived in Lange’s Minnesota hometown while the kids grew up.

Shepard is survived by his two sisters, Sandy and Roxanne Rogers, and his three children: Jesse Mojo, 47, from his marriage to O-Lan Jones, as well as Hannah and Samuel.

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