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Maximilian Schell turns 70

Film actor Maximilian Schell is also a distinguished musician

(Keystone Archive)

The Swiss film actor, director and musician, Maximilian Schell, has celebrated his 70th birthday. He won an Oscar in 1961 for his role as a defence lawyer in "Judgment at Nuremberg".

Born in Vienna, Schell was raised in Switzerland after his Swiss father and Austrian mother fled here to escape the effects of the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938.

He made his professional stage debut in 1952 and three years later appeared in his first film, "Kinder, Mutter und ein General".

Shortly afterwards, the English-language theatre beckoned. He acted on the Broadway stage and then in Hollywood, playing a German officer who befriends fellow soldier Marlon Brando in "The Young Lions" (1958).

The 1961 academy award was followed by Oscar nominations in 1975 and 1977 for his work in "The Man in the Glass Booth" and "Julia". Schell was also nominated for Oscars in later films as director and screenplay writer.

Other film credits include "The Freshman" (1990), "Deep Impact" and "Vampires" (both 1998).

Schell has not confined his talents to stage, screen and television. He has also distinguished himself as a concert pianist and conductor, and performed with the Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna Symphony orchestras.

His sister is the actress Maria Schell, with whom he co-starred in "The Odessa File" (1974).

by Richard Dawson

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