Maximilian Schell Dies at 83

Maximilian Schell Dies at 83
Maximilian Schell
Bob Riha Jr/WireImage

updated 02/01/2014 at 09:00 AM EST

originally published 02/01/2014 09:50AM

Austrian actor Maximilian Schell, who won the Academy Award for best actor in 1961 for his portrayal of a defense attorney in the drama Judgment at Nuremberg, has died. He was 83.

He death was announced Saturday by his agent, Patricia Baumbauer, who said that Schell died overnight at a hospital in Innsbruck following a "sudden and serious illness," the Associated Press reported, citing the Austria Press Agency.

The Vienna-born Schell was later honored with further Oscar nominations – in the best actor category for The Man in the Glass Booth in 1975, and for best supporting actor in Julia in 1977.

Born to a Swiss writer and an Austrian actress who ran an acting school, Schell was the younger brother of Maria Schell, an icon of the German-speaking film world, who died in 2005.



He and his family had fled Vienna as Austria was annexed by Hitler's Nazi forces in 1938. They later moved to Zurich where Schell was raised surrounded by theater, writing his first play when he was just 10.

He came to the U.S. in 1955 to work on the Broadway play Interlock and his first film, The Young Lions, debuted in 1958. His 1961 Oscar win marked the first for a German-speaking actor since World War II. He later acted as writer, producer and director on several film projects, according to IMDB.com.

He was also Angelina Jolie's godfather and once said of her in an interview: "When Angelina Jolie was a kid I had her in my arms, but nowadays she probably don't even know who I am."

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