Maximilian Schell: Oscar-Winning Actor Dies At 83

Sat, February 1, 2014 1:49pm EDT by 4 Comments
Maximilian Schell Dead
Sean Gallup/Entertainment/Getty Images

So sad. The iconic ‘Judgment at Nuremburg’ actor who rubbed shoulders with Jane Fonda and Marlon Brando died on Jan. 31 in Innsbruck, Austria after a sudden and serious illness.

On Jan. 31, we said goodbye to yet another iconic actor. Maximilian Schell, who won an Academy Award in 1961 for his performance in Judgment at Nuremburg, died in a hospital in Innsbruck, Austria after coming down with a sudden illness. He was 83 years old.

Maximilian Schell Dies At 83

The actor’s sad death was confirmed by his agent, Patricia Baumbauer, according to the Associated Press. Maximilian leaves an illustrious life behind him, and not just because of his acting achievements.

The son of a Swiss playwright and an Austrian stage actress, Maximilian grew up in Vienna and lived there until his family was forced to flee when Hitler’s German army wrestled control of the country. After that, he followed in his sister Maria and brother Carl‘s footsteps becoming an actor. He starred in a number of German films before making the transition to Hollywood.

He then quickly made his mark on the industry — Judgment at Nuremburg, for which he won an Oscar, was only his second Hollywood role. In the movie, Maximilian played Hans Rolfe, the man tasked with defending four Nazi judges who had sentenced innocent victims to death.

Maximilian later tried his hand at directing. He directed, produced, and starred in First Love, an Igor Turgenev adaptation which earned an Academy Award nomination for best foreign film. His 1970 movie, The Pedestrian, also earned a nomination. And the documentary he directed in 1984, Marlene, was Oscar-nominated for best documentary.

Later in life, Maximilian transitioned back to acting, making appearances in movies like The Freshman and Deep Impact. Then in 1992, he won a Golden Globe for his supporting role as Lenin alongside Robert Duvall in the HBO miniseries Stalin.

What an incredible life he lived. Our thoughts go out to Maximilian’s friends and family during this difficult time.

— Andrew Gruttadaro

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