A part-time director, his compelling documentary Marlene (1984) was nominated for an Oscar in 1985 and his last film My Sister Maria (2002) [My Sister Maria] chronicled the life, career and eventual diminished capacity of his noted actress sister Maria Schell.
Appeared in the Old Vic's early 2006 production of the Arthur Miller play "Resurrection Blues", which was directed by Robert Altman in his London theatrical debut, The play was widely panned by critics, partly due to the divergent acting styles of the eclectic cast assembled by Altman, which included the urbane Englishman James Fox playing the intellectual cousin of Schell's Germanic dictator.
Father of Nastassja Schell (born in 1989).
Godfather of actress Angelina Jolie
He collapsed at The Baltic Pearl Film festival in Latvia and has been diagnosed as suffering from acute pancreatitis which is related to his diabetes. (August 2000) Received "Actor of the Millennium" award at the The Baltic Pearl Film festival in Latvia. [August 2000]
He was the first actor to win an Oscar (for Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)) for a role he originally performed on television (in a 1959 episode of "Playhouse 90" (1956)). The only other actor to accomplish that feat was Cliff Robertson, who won an Oscar for Charly (1968) after first playing the role in "The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon" on "The United States Steel Hour" (1953).
In 1990, he refused to receive the Honorary German Film Award because he felt too young to be awarded with an award for lifetime achievement.
In later life he began directing operatic productions. His first foray in the musical medium was a Swiss production of Verdi's "La Traviata." This passion was triggered when he was performing in the play "Jedermann" (or "Everyman") in Salzburg, Austria from 1978-1982, and he came into contact with several musical conductors including Leonard Bernstein, James Levine and Claudio Abbado.
Maximilian Schell is the godfather of actress Angelina Jolie, daughter of Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand.
Son of actress Margarete Schell Noé.