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Maximilian Schell, Oscar-Winning Austrian Actor, Dies At 83

Maximilian Schell, in a photo taken in 2009. Schell, who died Saturday at the age of 83, won an best actor Oscar for his role as a defense attorney in the 1961 film Judgment at Nuremberg. i i

hide captionMaximilian Schell, in a photo taken in 2009. Schell, who died Saturday at the age of 83, won an best actor Oscar for his role as a defense attorney in the 1961 film Judgment at Nuremberg.

Volker Hartmann/dapd
Maximilian Schell, in a photo taken in 2009. Schell, who died Saturday at the age of 83, won an best actor Oscar for his role as a defense attorney in the 1961 film Judgment at Nuremberg.

Maximilian Schell, in a photo taken in 2009. Schell, who died Saturday at the age of 83, won an best actor Oscar for his role as a defense attorney in the 1961 film Judgment at Nuremberg.

Volker Hartmann/dapd

Maximilian Schell, who won a best actor Oscar for his role in the 1961 film Judgment at Nuremberg, has died in his native Austria after what doctors describe as a sudden illness. He was 83.

He was also nominated for best actor for the 1975 The Man in the Glass Booth and for best supporting actor in Julia in 1977, The Associated Press says.

But the Vienna-born actor's most famous role was as Hans Rolfe, a defense attorney representing accused Nazi war criminals at the post-World War II Nuremberg trials. In it, Rolfe delivers a courtroom monologue condemning those who acquiesced or promoted Hitler's rise to power. You can see a clip here.

Kerry Skyring, reporting for NPR from Vienna, reports:

"Handsome and charismatic, the son of a Swiss playwright and an Austrian stage actress, he was raised in Switzerland after Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany."

"Schell ... went on to become a film producer and director. His recent appearances include the films The Freshman and Telling Lies in America.

"He died in the Austrian city of Innsbruck."

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