Oscar-winning actor Maximilian Schell dies

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Media captionMariko Oi takes a look back at Maximilian Schell's career

Austrian actor Maximilian Schell, who won an Oscar for his role in the 1961 film Judgment at Nuremberg, has died at the age of 83.

He died overnight at a clinic in the Austrian city of Innsbruck after "a sudden and serious illness", his agent said.

Schell had been treated for pneumonia earlier this week.

He was one of the most famous German-speaking actors to have gained international renown.

The actor's wife was reportedly at his bedside when he died.

Schell had been in filming in Austria when he fell ill last Saturday.

He was taken to hospital and treated for a lung infection, but discharged on Tuesday.

Colourful career

Born in the Austrian capital, Vienna, in 1930, Schell was one of four children of a Swiss author and an Austrian actress.

His parents emigrated to Switzerland eight years later when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Maximilian Schell is seen standing in front of poster showing his actress sister, Maria
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In 2013, Schell married German opera singer Iva Mihanovic who was 47 years his junior

A stage actor, Schell began his Hollywood career in the late 1950s when he starred alongside Marlon Brando in World War II film The Young Lions.

In 1961, he was awarded an Oscar for best actor for his role as the defence lawyer of a Nazi war criminal.

The cast of Judgment at Nuremberg also included Marlene Dietrich, Burt Lancaster and Spencer Tracy.

Over the next three decades, Schell appeared in numerous big US productions.

His diverse characters ranged from a museum treasure thief in Topkapi (1964) and a mad scientist in sci-fi film The Black Hole (1979), to a Russian KGB colonel in Candles in the Dark (1998).

Schell featured in a large number of international TV productions. His part as communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin in the US series Stalin earned him a Golden Globe in the early 1990s.

Schell also directed several movies, including his 1984 Oscar-nominated documentary Marlene, about Marlene Dietrich.

Schell's late sister Maria, who died in 2005, was also a renowned actress.

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