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Tributes are paid to actor Maximilian Schell

Tributes are paid to actor Maximilian Schell

TRIBUTES have been paid to the actor Maximilian Schell who has passed away at the age of 83.

The Austrian-born actor will be best remembered for his Oscar-winning performance in the 1961 film Judgement At Nuremberg (see below) in which he played the role of a lawyer who was defending a Nazi.

After starting out on the stage, the young Schell had appeared in a handful of European films before heading for Hollywood where he landed a role, apparently by mistake, in the 1958 movie The Young Lions opposite Marlon Brando. It was claimed that the producers had wanted to hire his sister, the actress Maria Schell, but had ended up offering Maximilian a role following a glitch in communications.

His performance as the friend of the German soldier played by Brando paved the way for the part in Judgement At Nuremberg which won him the Academy Award for best actor.

He went on to forge a successful career in Hollywood, picking-up Oscar nominations for best actor in two more movies — The Man In The Glass Booth (1975) and Julia (1977). His many movie credits over the years included Topkapi (1962), Cross Of Iron (1977) and Deep Impact (1998).

Mr. Schell also enjoyed success on the small screen, including a Golden Globe-winning performance on the TV mini series Stalin (1992). 

He also directed several movies including The Pedestrian (1974) which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, while a documentary, Marlene (1984), about the life of Marlene Dietrich, was nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar.

In recent years he had been dividing his time between work in European-based TV and film productions and work in the U.S. 

Mr. Schell had been filming in Austria when he became ill and was treated in hospital for a lung infection. He was later discharged but fell ill again several days later and passed away at a clinic in Innsbruck.

To view an excerpt from Judgement At Nuremberg, featuring Maximilian Schell, click here.

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