Movie star Maximilian Schell dies at the age of 83
Austrian actor enjoyed international success
When casting directors wanted someone tall, dark and handsome - with more than just a little dash of the Nazi lurking behind him, actor Maximilian Schell was the actor of choice. Winning an Oscar for Judgment at Nuremberg in 1961, Schell has died at the age of 83.
Actor Maximilian Schell was probably best known to generations of kids of the "Star Wars" generation as the mad scientist in "The Black Hole" from Walt Disney in 1979.
Schell was certainly among the most famous German-speaking actors to have gained international renown. Still in demand, he had been filming in Austria when he fell ill last Saturday. The actor's wife, German opera singer Iva Mihanovic -- 47 years his junior was reportedly at his bedside when he died.
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Born in Vienna in 1930, Schell was one of four children of a Swiss author and an Austrian actress. His parents immigrated to Switzerland eight years later when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany.
Schell began his Hollywood career in the late 1950s when he starred alongside Marlon Brando in the World War II film "The Young Lions." He won an Oscar for best actor for his role as the defense lawyer of a Nazi war criminal. That film's cast also included Marlene Dietrich, Burt Lancaster and Spencer Tracy.
Other roles in major U.S. film productions included a museum treasure thief in "Topkapi" (1964) and a mad scientist in sci-fi film The Black Hole (1979), to a Russian KGB colonel in "Candles in the Dark" (1998).
His role as communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin in the U.S. TV series "Stalin" earned him a Golden Globe in the early 1990s.
Schell also directed several movies, including his 1984 Oscar-nominated documentary "Marlene," about Marlene Dietrich.
Schell's late sister Maria, who died in 2005, was also a renowned actress.
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