Oscar Winner Maximilian Schell Dies At 83

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Bradleigh-Ann Walker
Staff Writer

Austrian actor Maximilian Schell has died at 83 years old, the Huffington Post reports.

According to the Austrian Press Agency, Schell’s agent Patrick Baumbauer said he passed away in the early morning hours of February 1 at an Innbruck hospital after a “sudden and serious illness” overtook him.

Schell was the son of Herman Ferdinand Schell, a Swiss playwright, and Noe von Nordberg, an Austrian stage actress. The third of four children, he was born in Vienna on December 8, 1930, but was raised in Switzerland when his family relocated there after Germany’s annexation of Austria.

He made his stage debut in 1952, and moved to Hollywood in 1958 after acting in several German films.

His first Hollywood film was Edward Dmytryk’s The Young Lions, a World War II drama.

The following role, in Judgment at Nuremberg, earned him international recognition. Schell won the 1961 Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of a defense attorney during the historical Nuremberg trials.

Schell also had some producing and directing experience in the movie industry.

He produced, directed, and starred in a film adaptation entitled First Love, based on Igor Turgenev’s novella. He also produced and directed The Pedestrian, and both movies were nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars on separate occasions.

His 1984 documentary “Marlene”, about actress Marlene Deitrich, was nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar.

Schell was a talented pianist and conductor as well, and performed with numerous German and Austrian orchestras during his lifetime.

He received his first Golden Globe in 1992, where he won for his role as Lenin in the film Stalin alongside Robert Duvall.

His final documentary chronicled the life of his older sister, international movie star Maria Schell, who passed away in 2005.

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