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February 02, 2014

Actor Maximilian Schell Dies

by VOA News

Maximilian Schell, the Austrian-born actor who won an Academy Award for his performance in Judgment at Nuremberg, has died.

Schell, who was 83, died Saturday in Innsbruck.

The cast of Judgment at Nuremberg featured Spencer Tracy, Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich and Montgomery Clift, but Schell was singled out for the Oscar for his portrayal of a German defense lawyer.

The 1961 film about the Nazi war crimes trials following World War II first came to life in 1959 as an episode on the American television anthology series, Playhouse 90, in which Schell also starred.

Nazi Germany also affected Schell's personal life. He was born in Vienna, but fled with his parents to Switzerland following Austria's annexation by the Nazis in 1938.

Much of Schell's career was dominated by Nazi-related film roles, including two other Oscar nominations.

He received a best actor nomination for his role as a Nazi war criminal tried in Israel in the 1975 film The Odessa File. He also received a supporting actor nod for his role as an underground fighter against the Nazis for the 1977 film film Julia, starring Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave.

He was an SS captain in The Odessa File, and Nazi officers in the films A Bridge Too Far and Cross of Iron.

He made his American film debut as a Nazi officer in the 1958 film The Young Lions starring Marlon Brando.