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You are here News Of Special Interest Oscar-winning actor Maximilian Schell dies at 83

Oscar-winning actor Maximilian Schell dies at 83

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Maximilian SchellAustrian-born actor Maximilian Schell, a fugitive from Adolf Hitler who became a Hollywood favorite and won an Oscar for his role as a defense attorney in "Judgment at Nuremberg," has died. He was 83.

Schell's agent, Patricia Baumbauer, said Saturday he died overnight at a hospital in Innsbruck following a "sudden and serious illness," the Austria Press Agency reported.

It was only his second Hollywood role, as defense attorney Hans Rolfe in Stanley Kramer's classic "Judgment at Nuremberg," that earned him wide international acclaim. Schell's impassioned but unsuccessful defense of four Nazi judges on trial for sentencing innocent victims to death won him the 1961 Academy Award for best actor. Schell had first played Rolfe in a 1959 episode of the television program "Playhouse 90."

Despite being type-cast for numerous Nazi-era films, Schell's acting performances in the mid-1970s also won him renewed popular acclaim, earning him a best actor Oscar nomination for "The Man in the Glass Booth" and a supporting actor nomination for his performance alongside Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave and Jason Robards in "Julia."

The son of Swiss playwright Hermann Ferdinand Schell and Austrian stage actress Noe von Nordberg, Schell was born in Vienna on Dec. 8, 1930 and raised in Switzerland after his family fled Germany's annexation of his homeland.

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