Maximilian Schell Net Worth – Austrian-born Swiss actor Maximilian Schell has not only acted in films and on stage, but has also written, directed and produced a number of his own projects. He received an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the 1961 American film Judgment at Nuremberg.
Born in Austria to parents who were interested in the arts, he grew up in the world of literature and acting. During the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany, his family fled to Switzerland and lived in Zurich, where he grew up. Schell began acting and directing full-time after the end of World War II. Before emigrating to Hollywood, he appeared in a number of German anti-war films.
Schell had starring roles in a number of films set during the Nazi era because he was fluent in both German and English. The Man in the Glass Booth (1975; Best Actor) and Julia (1977; Best Supporting Actor) were two of the films for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
However, he was able to portray a wide range of roles, including Venezuelan leader Simón Bolvar, Russian Emperor Peter the Great, and physicist Albert Einstein throughout his career.
As Vladimir Lenin in “Stalin” (1992) he received the Golden Globe for best actor in a supporting role. Schell has appeared on stage in a number of plays and his performance of Hamlet has been hailed as “one of the greatest of all time”. According to the quotes above
Claudio Abbado and Leonard Bernstein worked with Schell on several occasions, as did orchestras in Berlin and Vienna. In 2002 he made a documentary about his famous older sister Maria Schell, who was also a well-known actress.
He was the son of Margarethe (née Noe von Nordberg), an actress who ran a drama school, and Hermann Ferdinand Schell, a Swiss poet, author and drugstore owner. Schell was born in Vienna, Austria. His parents were both Roman Catholics and he was raised in the faith.
Schell’s father therefore had reservations about his son Maximilian’s decision to follow in his mother’s footsteps and become an actor. Schell, on the other hand, grew up in an acting family.
It goes without saying for me that I grew up in a theater environment. Just as most people remember their mother’s kitchen, I have vivid memories of going to the movies as a child. Poems and plays were all around me. At the tender age of three I made my stage debut in Vienna.
After the Anschluss in 1938, Austria was occupied by Nazi Germany, forcing the Schell family to evacuate Vienna. They arrived in Zurich, Switzerland, where they started a new life.
Maximilian Schell net worth: €7.5 million (estimated)
He began writing plays at the age of 10 while growing up in Zurich, where he “grew up on the classics”. “I wanted to be a painter, musician or playwright like my father,” says Schell, who grew up in a theater-loving household.
Schell later attended the University of Zurich, where he also played football and rowing, and worked as a part-time journalist for a newspaper to earn money. After the end of the Second World War he moved to Munich, where he studied philosophy and art history at the University of Munich. Whenever he had free time he went back to Zurich or stayed on the farm where his parents raised him to compose by himself:
My father and uncle hunt deer there, although I’m not a big fan of the sport myself. When I go for a walk in the forest, I prefer to go alone. During the winter of 1948 and 1949 I spent three months in a hunting lodge and wrote part of my first novel, which I never showed anyone else. I had no access to a telephone or electricity, and the only source of heat was a large fireplace.
During a year of service in the Swiss Army in Zurich, Schell attended the University College School in London for a year before returning to Zurich to complete his undergraduate studies at the University of Zurich and the University of Basel for a total of six months.
During this time he worked as a professional actor, playing small roles in both classical and contemporary plays, and made the decision to focus the rest of his career on performance rather than academics:
After that I came to the conclusion that you are either a scientist or an artist. For me admiration, emotion and excitement and inspiration are much more important… Art is not created as a product of a calculated process, but in a chaotic environment.
There was no point in continuing to study and graduating when I made my decision. It’s like receiving a trophy; it has no real meaning on its own… A university degree is nothing more than a piece of paper. Artists don’t need titles in my opinion. It was time to focus on my acting career.
Schell made his film debut in the German anti-war film Children, Mothers, and a General (1955).