Actor/musician Maximilian Schell passed away of a sudden illness yesterday. He was 84.
Born in Austria, his family fled to Switzerland in 1938 to escape the Nazis. Schell was, of course, best known for his portrayal of a German defense lawyer in the 1961 film Judgment at Nuremburg. This performance would earn Schell an Academy Award for Best Actor.
Schell would earn another Best Actor nomination for The Man in the Glass Booth but lost to Jack Nicholson who won for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Two years later, Schell received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Julia, but would lose to his co-star Jason Robards. Schell would also receive an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film for The Pedestrian which he directed. He would also direct a documentary on the life of Marlene Dietrich. Some of Schell’s other films include The Odessa File, The Black Hole and The Chosen.
In addition to film, Schell was also an accomplished pianist who collaborated with Leonard Bernstein. Here are Schell and Bernstein discussing Beethoven’s 6th and 7th Symphonies.