OSCAR WINNER MAXIMILIAN SCHELL DEAD

Published on: January 31, 2014
Photography by: Keystone Gamma Getty "Judgement at Nuremberg"/Bettman Archive Corbis
OSCAR WINNER MAXIMILIAN SCHELL DEAD
OSCAR WINNER MAXIMILIAN SCHELL DEAD

MAXIMILIAN SCHELL who won world wide acclaim and an Oscar for his perf in JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG has passed at 83.

The Austrian New Agency reported that Schell's agent, Patricia Baumbauer, said Saturday he died overnight at a hospital in Innsbruck following a "sudden and serious illness."

Schell also received Oscar nominations for "The Man in The Glass Booth" (1975), and "Julia" (1977).

Schell was born in Vienna on Dec. 8, 1930 and raised in Switzerland after his family fled Germany's seized Austria. Schell followed in the footsteps of his older sister actress Maria Schell and first trod the boards in 1952.

His Hollywood debut was in Edward Dmytryk's "The Young Lions," a World War II drama starring Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and Dean Martin.

AS defense attorney Hans Rolfe in Stanley Kramer's classic "Judgment at Nuremberg" Schell made his mark for his impassioned but unsuccessful defense of four Nazi judges on trial for sentencing innocent victims to death during WW2 won him the 1961 Academy Award for best actor.

Yet, Schell had first played Rolfe in a 1959 episode of the live TV omnibus "Playhouse 90."

Schell’s Euro background made him an ideal player for a number of movies about World War II. He co-starred in a number of them, including "Counterpoint" dueling with Charlton Heston, “A Bridge Too Far" and Sam Peckinpah's "Cross of Iron".

He co-starred with sister Maria Schell in the Richard Ludlum thriller "The Odessa File".

Schell imbued his own unique brand of stylish menace in the J. Lee Thompson crime caper "St. Ives" (1976), which starred Charles Bronson.

Schell also directed an engrossing documentary on screen icon Marlene Dietrich who refused to be photographed -- nonetheless Schell created a mesmerizing portrait of her, using audio interviews, film clips and stills.

In 1992, Max received a Golden Globe for his supporting role as Lenin alongside Robert Duvall in the 1992 HBO miniseries "Stalin".

Not content to conquer the world of theatre and film Schell was also a highly successful concert pianist and conductor, performing with Leonard Bernstein and with orchestras in Berlin and Vienna.

Auf Wiedersehen, Max.