Maximilian Schell - Actor's biography

Maximilian Schell (Vienna, Austria, December 8, 1930 - Innsbruck, Austria, February 1, 2014)

Film, television and theatre actor, film and theatre director, screenwriter and film producer whose acting career spread over seven centuries. Born in Austria, but grew up in Switzerland where his family fled before the Nazis in 1938. He studied philosophy and art history in Zurich, Basel and Munich, but in the end he followed his mother's footsteps (she was an Austrian actress, and his older brother and sister were also in acting) and had his theatre debut in 1952. Three years later, his first appearance on film was in Children, Mother and a General (1955). His first larger role was in Ripening Youth (1955), and his role in The Girl from Flanders (1956) earned him the best actor nomination at German Film Awards in 1956. His Broadway debut was in 1958, and his first Hollywood job was a smaller role alongside Marlon Brando in The Young Lions (1958) by Edward Dmytryk. Apart from film, he often played in television shows and films. He used his first big opportunity well, winning a Golden Globe and an Oscar for best actor in the historical drama Judgement at Nuremberg (1961) by Stanley Kramer in 1962. Starring alongside Sophia Loren in a historical drama The Condemned of Altona (1962) by Vittorio De Sica, and then with Peter Ustinov and Melina Mercouri in crime film Topkapi (1964) by Jules Dassin. He worked on The Deadly Affair (1966) with director Sidney Lumet. He produced the film The Castle (1968) by director Rudolf Noelte where he played the lead role. His directorial debut First Love (1970) was also a success, where he starred as an actor and co-writer. However, it was his following film, which he directed and co-wrote, The Pedestrian (1973) that was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and received a Golden Globe in the same category in 1974. As an actor he appeared in the film The Odessa File (1974) by director Ronald Neame together with Jon Voight and his sister, a successful actress Maria Schell. The home audience had a chance to see him in Assassination in Sarajevo (1975) by Veljko Bulajić, filmed in international co-production. He starred in the highly successful war film Cross of Iron (1977) by Sam Peckinpah, and for roles in dramas The Man in the Glass Booth (1975) by Arthur Hiller and Julia (1977) by Fred Zinnemann he was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of lead and supporting roles. In the seventies he also played in a bad, but very popular science fiction film The Black Hole (1979) by Gary Nelson. That same year, he directed the drama Tales from the Vienna Woods (1979). From the seventies we should mention his roles in the films The Chosen (1981) by Jeremy Kagan and The Rose Garden (1989) by Fons Rademakers, as well as the leading role in the television mini-series Peter the Great (1986). In 1984 he filmed a remarkable and unusual documentary Marlene, about the famous actress Marlene Dietrich. In the nineties he films more for television. He received a Golden Globe in 1993 for the supporting role playing Lenin in the television film Stalin (1992). Among noted cinema films he starred in are comedy The Freshman (1990) by Andrew Bergman, crime drama Little Odessa (1994) by James Gray, drama Telling Lies in America (1997) by Guy Ferland and Left Luggage (1998) by Jeroen Krabbe. Not so good, but profitable films played in are the action films Vampires (1998) by John Carpenter and Deep Impact (1998) by Mimi Leder. After the 2000, at the age of seventy he continued to actively pursue acting, but mostly in television and relatively unnoticed cinema films. Among his last roles are those in Fisimatenten (2000) and The Brothers Bloom (2008). He received the Golden Arena for the best foreign director in Pula in 2002, for the documentary My Sister Maria (2002) about his older sister Maria. In addition to working in film and theatre, he was a successful concert pianist and conductor, and performed with the Vienna and Austrian orchestras, and with Claudio Abbado and Leonard Bernstein.

Acting filmography:

Les brigands (2014) (in post-production)

T.M.A. (2009)

Flores negras (2009)

The Brothers Bloom (2008)

Die Rosenkönigin (2007) (TV)

Giganten (2007) (TV series, 1 episode)

Der Fürst und das Mädchen (2003-2007) (TV series, 35 episodes)

The Shell Seekers (2006) (TV)

Das Haus der schlafenden Schönen (2006)

Die Alpenklinik (2006) (TV)

Die Liebe eines Priesters (2005) (TV)

The Return of the Dancing Master (2004) (TV)

Alles Glück dieser Erde (2003) (TV)

Coast to Coast (2003) (TV)

Der Bestseller - Mord auf italienisch (2002) (TV)

Liebe, Lügen, Leidenschaften (2002) (TV series, 1 episode)

Festival in Cannes (2001)

The Song of the Lark (2001) (TV)

Fisimatenten (2000)

I Love You, Baby (2000)

Joan of Arc (1999) (TV)

Wer liebt, dem wachsen Flügel... (1999)

Deep Impact (1998)

Vampires (1998)

Left Luggage (1998)

The Eighteenth Angel (1998)

Telling Lies in America (1997)

Biography (1997) (TV series, 1 episode)

Through Roses (1997)

The Song of the Lark (1997)

The Thorn Birds: The Missing Years (1996) (TV)

The Vampire Wars (1996)

Little Odessa (1994)

Abraham (1993) (TV)

Candles in the Dark (1993) (TV)

Justiz (1993)

A Far Off Place (1993)

Stalin (1992) (TV)

Miss Rose White (1992) (TV)

Young Catherine (1991) (TV)

Wiseguy (1990) (TV series, 6 episodes)

The Freshman (1990)

The Rose Garden (1989)

An American Place (1988)

Peter the Great (1986) (TV series, 4 episodes)

Laughter in the Dark (1986)

The Assisi Underground (1985)

Morning in Alabama (1984)

Les îles (1983)

The Phantom of the Opera (1983) (TV)

The Chosen (1981)

The Diary of Anne Frank (1980) (TV)

Arch of Triumph (1980)

The Black Hole (1979)

Amo non amo (1979)

Avalanche Express (1979)

Tales from the Vienna Woods (1979) (uncredited)

Players (1979)

Julia (1977)

A Bridge Too Far (1977)

Cross of Iron (1977)

St. Ives (1976)

Assassination in Sarajevo (1975)

Der Richter und sein Henker (1975) (voice, uncredited)

The Man in the Glass Booth (1975)

The Odessa File (1974)

The Rehearsal (1974)

The Pedestrian (1973)

Pope Joan (1972)

Paulina 1880 (1972)

First Love (1970)

Simón Bolívar (1969)

Krakatoa: East of Java (1969)

Heidi (1968) (TV)

The Castle (1968)

Counterpoint (1967)

The Desperate Ones (1967)

Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (1967) (TV series, 1 episode)

Die venezianischen Zwillinge (1966) (TV)

The Deadly Affair (1966)

Return from the Ashes (1965)

Der seidene Schuh (1965) (TV series, 4 episodes)

Topkapi (1964)

Letters of Mozart - Briefe Mozarts (1964)

The Reluctant Saint (1962)

The Condemned of Altona (1962)

Five Finger Exercise (1962)

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Family Classics: The Three Musketeers (1960) (TV)

Alcoa Theatre (1960) (TV series, 1 episode)

Sunday Showcase (1960) (TV series, 1 episode)

Buick-Electra Playhouse (1960) (TV series, 1 episode)

The Fifth Column (1960) (TV)

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (1960) (TV)

Eine Dummheit macht auch der Gescheiteste (1959) (TV)

Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (1959) (TV series, 1 episode)

Playhouse 90 (1959) (TV series, 2 episodes)

Die sechste Frau (1959) (TV)

Die Bernauerin (1958) (TV)

Kinder der Berge (1958)

The Young Lions (1958)

Der Meisterdieb (1958) (TV)

The Last Ones shall be First (1957)

Taxichauffeur Bänz (1957)

Ein Herz kehrt heim (1956)

Die Ehe des Dr. med. Danwitz (1956)

The Girl from Flandres (1956)

Ripening Youth (1955)

Der 20. Juli (1955)

Children, Mother and a General (1955)