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Maria Schell
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    (January 15, 1926-April 26, 2005)
    Born in Vienna, Austria
    Birth name was Maria Margarethe Anna Schell
    Older sister of Maximilian Schell (1930-2014)
    Appeared in plays in Zurich, Basel; in Vienna (Josefstad Theater); Berlin, Munich (Kammerspiel Theater); at the Salzburg Festival
    Performed in provincial tour productions of 'Pygmalion,' 'Faust,' and 'Hamlet,' throughout 1963
    Acted in 'The Last Bridge,' 'The Angel with the Trumpet,' 'Dr. Holl,' 'So Little Time,' 'The Heart of the Matter,' 'The Brothers Karamazov,' 'The Hanging Tree,' 'Cimarron,' 'Odessa File,' and 'Superman'
    Best known for her performances in 'The Last Bridge' (1954) and 'Gervaise' (1956)
    Subject of the acclaimed documentary 'Meine Schweister Maria (My Sister Maria),' directed by her brother (2002)
    She was a shopaholic.
    Both her marriages resulted in divorce (she produced children in both).
    She replaced Marilyn Monroe in the Grushenka role for The Brothers Karamazov.
    She was honeymooning in Germany when she learned she won the part, and was forced to relocate to Hollywood to begin filming (which did her first marriage no favors).
    Her star eclipsed her brother's at the peak of her career, but by the sixties their roles had been reversed (he won an Oscar the same year she returned to Europe).
    She hit rock bottom filming the International cult classic, '99 Women,' opposite Mercedes McCambridge; it was one of the earliest examples of the 'women-in-prison' subgenre (she considered it to be by far her worst effort).
    She experienced several nervous breakdowns after her second divorce, resulting in at least one suicide attempt.
    Her brother's documentary about her final years proved she devolved into a Norma Desmond-like recluse who spent her time watching her old movies.
    She spoke four different languages.
    Oskar Werner nicknamed her 'Seelchen,' or 'little soul,' for her emotive performances.
    She and her family fled to Switzerland when the Nazis annexed Austria, in 1938.
    Her expressive radiance was compared to Ingrid Bergman's (and was one of the first matinee idols of post-WWII Europe).
    She won the Best Actress Award at Cannes (the Palme d'Or) for her work in 'The Last Bridge' (1954).
    She won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival for 'Gervaise.'
    She was the first actress to win honors at both the Cannes and Venice film festivals.
    She suffered a series of strokes in the 1990s which left her paralyzed.
    She was honored with a commemorative Austrian postage stamp for the 10th anniversary of her death.
    Her brother's documentary on her life received critical acclaim and won the prestigious 'Bambi' award, in 2002 (she also made her last public appearance at the film's premiere).
    Maximilian warmly recalled receiving a letter from her after winning the New York Critics Award for 'Nuremberg' which read: 'Now, when you have my letter in your hand, a beautiful day is coming for you. I will be with you, proud, because I knew such recognition would come one day, leading to something even greater and better. Not only because you are close to me but because I count you among the truly great actors.'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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