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Maximilian Schell, Oscar-winning actor, dead at 83

Maximilian Schell in 'Judgement at Nuremberg' in 1961

Maximilian Schell, an Austrian-born actor who received an Oscar for his performance as a defense attorney in “Judgment at Nuremberg,” died at the age of 83, according to a Huffington Post report on Saturday. He passed away overnight on Friday at an Innsbruck hospital after coming down with a sudden and serious illness – which was not detailed.

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Schell became widely known and critically acclaimed from his second Hollywood job, playing Hans Rolfe – a defense attorney – in the Stanley Kramer classic motion picture “Judgment at Nuremberg. The internationally acclaimed actor first played the role of Rolfe on television in the 1959 episode of “Playhouse 90.” When he played Rolfe on the big screen, it earned Schell the Oscar in 1961.

In later years, the actor continued his popularity among movie-goers with his performance in “The Man in the Glass Booth” and “Julia” – in which he played a supporting role to Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, and Jason Robards in the Oscar-nominated film. Schell was nominated for Oscar’s Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in “The Man in the Glass Booth” and he received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance in “Julia.”

As a director, Schell’s most-acclaimed work was “Marlene,” which was the documentary about Marlene Dietrich which was released in 1984. It was nominated for Oscar’s Best Documentary of the year.

Additionally, Schell was an accomplished concert pianist and conductor who performed with Leonard Bernstein and with Vienna and Berlin orchestras.

Schell was born on Dec. 8, 1930 to Swiss playwright Hermann Ferdinand Schell and Austrian stage actress Noe von Nordberg. He was brought up in Switzerland. His older sister Maria and brother Carl were also actors.

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