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Actor Maximilian Schell dies

Maximilian Schell dies aged 83

By Maddy French

One of Austria's most famous actors, Maximilian Schell, died in hospital early Saturday morning. He was 83-years-old.

Schell became an international star in 1962 after he won an Oscar for his performance in Judgement at Nuremberg, the first German-language actor to win in the post-war era.

Born in Vienna in 1930 Schell moved to Switzerland with his parents and siblings in 1938 after Hitler announced his plan for Anschluss and Austria became part of Nazi Germany.

His career began in the 1950s in Switzerland and Germany as he became involved in acting, writing and directing for the theatre.

He became a Hollywood name having performed alongside Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift in the 1958 film The Young Lions. Reportedly he was hired by accident for the film, with producers initially wanting his sister Maria Schell, also a successful actress, but hiring Maximillan by mistake after wires got crossed.

Since the 1960s he performed in many Hollywood films, becoming one of the most successful non-anglophone in the American film industry and switching easily between directing and acting roles.

He passed away at Innsbruck Hospital following complications related to "a serious and sudden illness", according to his agent Patricia Baumbauer. He had been in hospital for pneumonia earlier that week after he had reportedly collapsed on set of a TV production.

His wife, Iva, was by his bedside as he passed away. Schell had one daughter with his first wife, actress Natalia Andreichenko. Daughter Nastassia, born 1989, also later became an actress.

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