Oscar-winning actor Maximilian Schell dies at 83

Story highlights

  • Maximilian Schell won Academy Award for role in "Judgment at Nuremberg"
  • He was one of the most successful German-speaking actors in English-language films
  • Shell's portrayal of defense attorney at Nuremberg brought him international acclaim

Austrian-born actor Maximilian Schell, winner of an Academy Award for his portrayal of a defense lawyer in "Judgment at Nuremberg," has died, his agent, Patricia Baumbauer, said Saturday. He was 83.

Schell died at an hospital in Innsbruck, Austria, with his wife, Iva, at his side, Baumbauer told CNN.

"He was suffering from a long illness," Baumbauer said. "My mother was Schell's agent for over 50 years, and when she died four years ago, he remained with the agency. He was like a father to me and knew me my entire life."

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Schell, one of the most successful German-speaking actors in English-language films, made his Hollywood debut in 1958 in the World War II film "The Young Lions," according to IMDb.

In his second Hollywood role, as defense attorney Hans Rolfe in Stanley Kramer's classic "Judgment at Nuremberg," he won the 1961 Academy Award for Best Actor and beat out co-star Spencer Tracy for the Oscar, according to IMDb. He also earned a Golden Globe and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for the role, which brought him international acclaim.

Schell's acting eventually won him two more Oscar nominations -- in 1976 for Best Actor for "The Man in the Glass Booth" and in 1978 for Best Supporting Actor for "Julia," according to IMDb.

    As a director, Schell's 1984 documentary on Marlene Dietrich, "Marlene" was nominated for a best documentary Oscar and praised as a masterpiece of the nonfiction genre, according to IMDb. Dietrich allowed herself to be recorded but refused to be filmed, bringing out the most in Schell's talent to penetrate images and uncover reality.

    Schell was born in Vienna on December 8, 1930, and raised in Zurich, Switzerland.

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