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Maria Schell

Maria Schell
Maria Schell in Le notti bianche (1957)
Born Maria Margarethe Anna Schell
(1926-01-15)15 January 1926
Vienna, Austria
Died 26 April 2005(2005-04-26) (aged 79)
Preitenegg, Carinthia, Austria
Occupation Actress, producer
Years active 1942–1996
Spouse(s) Horst Hächler (1957–1965; divorced; 1 child)
Veit Relin (1966–1988; divorced; 1 child)

Maria Margarethe Anna Schell (15 January 1926 – 26 April 2005) was an Austrian/Swiss actress, who won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival in 1956 for Gervaise.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Family 3
  • Death 4
  • Autobiographical works 5
  • Selected filmography 6
  • Further reading 7
  • Decorations and awards 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Early life

Schell was born in Vienna, Austria, the daughter 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.[1][2] Her parents were Roman Catholics.[2] She was the older sister of actor Maximilian Schell and lesser-known actors Carl Schell and Immy (Immaculata) Schell.


She starred in such films as Dr. Holl (1951), So Little Time (1952), The Heart of the Matter (1953), Gervaise (1956), Le notti bianche (1957), Rose Bernd (1957), The Brothers Karamazov (1958) playing the role of Grushenka, The Hanging Tree (1959), Cimarron (1960), and Superman (1978). She played Mother Maria in the sequel to Lilies of the Field called Christmas Lilies of the Field. She starred opposite such actors as Yul Brynner, Marcello Mastroianni, Suzy Delair, Gary Cooper and Marlon Brando. She had three guest appearances in the television series Der Kommissar and two in Derrick, in the episodes "Yellow He" (1977) and "Klavierkonzert" (1978). Her final public appearance was at the premiere of her brother Maximilian's documentary film, My Sister Maria (2002). She starred in the 1976 Broadway play Poor Murderer.


Schell was married twice, first to Horst Hächler and second to Veit Relin. Her daughter by her second marriage, actress Marie Theres Relin (born 1966), who was married to Bavarian playwright Franz Xaver Kroetz and has three children, made a media and Internet appearance as a spokeswoman for housewives (If Pigs Could Fly. Die Hausfrauenrevolution, 2004).


Maria Schell lived reclusively in ill health in Carinthia in the Austrian Alps until her death from pneumonia in Preitenegg on 26 April 2005, aged 79. Upon her death, her brother Maximilian Schell released a statement, saying in part: "Towards the end of her life, she suffered silently and I never heard her complain. I admire her for that. Her death might have been for her a salvation. But not for me. She is irreplaceable."

Autobiographical works

  • 1985: Die Kostbarkeit des Augenblicks. Gedanken, Erinnerungen. Langen Müller, München, ISBN 3-7844-2072-9.
  • 1998: „... und wenn’s a Katz is!“ Mein Weg durchs Leben. Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach, ISBN 3-404-12784-6.

Selected filmography

Further reading

  • Mato Weiland: Maria Schell. Die autorisierte Maria Schell-Story. Massimo-Verlag, Wien 1959 ÖNB
  • Herbert Spaich: Maria Schell – ihre Filme – ihr Leben. [Heyne-Bücher, 32] Heyne-Filmbibliothek, 99, München 1986, ISBN 3-453-86101-9
  • Hermann Josef Huber: Heitere Starparade. 300 Anekdoten von Hans Albers bis Maria Schell. Herder Taschenbuch Verl., Freiburg/Br., Basel, Wien 1989 UBS
  • Maximilian Schell, Gero von Boehm, Thomas Montasser: Meine Schwester Maria. Europa-Verlag, Hamburg 2004, ISBN 3-203-82037-4
  • Maja Keppler (Red.), Deutsches Filmmuseum [Frankfurt, Main] (Hrsg.): Maria Schell, [eine Ausstellung des deutschen Filmmuseums 31. Januar bis 17. Juni 2007 Frankfurt am Main, Juli bis Oktober 2007 auf dem Schloss Wolfsberg, Kärnten (Österreich)]. Schriftenreihe des Deutschen Filmmuseums: Kinematograph, 22, Frankfurt am Main 2006, ISBN 3-89487-551-8
  • "The Hanging Tree" 1959; with Gary Cooper, Karl Malden, George C. Scott[4]

Decorations and awards


  1. ^ Maximillian Schell Film Reference biography
  2. ^ a b Ross, Lillian and Helen. The Player: A Profile of an Art, Simon & Schuster (1961) pp. 231-239
  3. ^ The Last Bridge
  4. ^ TCM
  5. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 1495. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 

External links

  • Maria Schell at the Internet Movie Database
  • Maria Schell at Find a Grave
  • Obituary: Maria Schell (1926-2005)
  • Photographs and literature
  • Maria Schell Estate at Deutsches Filminstitut, Frankfurt am Main
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