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Maximilian Schell (8 December 1930 – 1 February 2014) was an Austrian-Swiss actor who won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Judgment at Nuremberg in 1961. He was also a writer, director and producer of several films.
Schell was born in Vienna, Austria, the son of Margarethe (née Noe von Nordberg), an actress who ran an acting school, and Hermann Ferdinand Schell, a Swiss poet, novelist, playwright, and owner of a pharmacy. His parents were Roman Catholic.
His father was never enthusiastic about young Maximilian becoming an actor like his mother, feeling that it could not lead to "real happiness." However, Schell was surrounded by acting in his early youth:
I grew up in a theatre atmosphere and took it for granted. I remember the theatre, as a child, the way most people remember their mother's cooking. Acting was all around me, and so was poetry. I made my debut in the theatre at the age of three, in Vienna
The Schell family was forced to flee Vienna in 1938 to get "away from Hitler" after the Anschluss, when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany. They resettled in Zurich, Switzerland.
In Zurich, he "grew up reading the classics," and when he was ten, wrote his first play. Schell recalls that as a child, growing up surrounded by the theatre, he took acting for granted and didn't want to become an actor at first: "What I wanted was to become a painter, a musician, or a playwright," like his father.
He later attended the University of Zurich for a year, where he also played soccer and was on the rowing team, along with writing for newspapers as a part-time journalist for income. Following the end of World War II, he moved to Germany where he enrolled in the University of Munich and studied philosophy and art history. During breaks, he would sometimes return home to Zurich or stay at his family's farm in the country so he could write in seclusion:
My father and my uncle hunt deer there, but I do not like to hunt. I like to walk through the forest by myself. In 1948 and 1949, when I wrote part of my first novel, which I have never shown to anyone, I isolated myself in one of the hunting cabins for three months, without a telephone, without electricity, with heat only from a large open fireplace.
He then returned to Zurich, where he served in the Swiss Army for a year, after which he re-entered the University of Zurich for another year, and later, the University of Basel for six months. During that period, he acted professionally in small parts, in both classical and modern plays, and decided that he would from then on devote his life to acting rather than pursue academic studies:
I then decided, either you are a scientist or an artist. . . . To me it is much more important . . . to admire and feel and be stimulated and inspired. . . Art comes out of chaos, not out of a mechanical analyzing. So as soon as I made up my mind, there was no sense any more in continuing to study and in getting a degree. It is like an award; it does not mean anything in itself. . . . A university degree is just a title. I don't think an artist should have a title. It was time for me to concentrate on acting.
He began acting at the Basel Theatre.
Schell's late elder sister, Maria Schell, was also an actress, as are their two other siblings, Carl and Immy (Immaculata) Schell.
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Zurich University, Basel University, Munich University
Actor/Actress, Writer, Director
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Hermann Ferdinand Schell
Margarethe Noe von Nordberg
Maria Schell, Immy Schell
Odon von Horvath, Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald , Anni und Josef Albers: eine Retrospektive 
Maximilian Schell (8 December 1930 – 1 February 2014) was an Austrian and Swiss film and stage actor, who also wrote, directed and produced some of his own films. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 1961 American film Judgment at Nuremberg, his second acting role in Hollywood. His parents were involved in the arts and he grew up surrounded by acting and literature. While he was a child, his family fled Vienna in 1938 when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany, and they settled in Zurich, Switzerland. After World War II ended, Schell took up acting or directing full-time. He appeared in numerous German films, often anti-war, before moving on to Hollywood.
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==Maximilian Schell== (8 December 1930 – 1 February 2014) was an Austrian and Swiss film and stage actor, who also wrote, directed and produced some of his own films. He won the [[Academy Award]] for [[Best Actor]] for the 1961 American film [[Judgment at Nuremberg]], his second acting role in Hollywood. His parents were involved in the arts and he grew up surrounded by acting and literature. While he was a child, his family fled Vienna in 1938 when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany, and they settled in Zurich, Switzerland. After World War II ended, Schell took up acting or directing full-time. He appeared in numerous German films, often anti-war, before moving on to Hollywood.
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