Austrian actor Maximilian Schell died overnight at a hospital in Innsbruck following a sudden illness.

The 83-year-old won an Oscar in 1961 for playing a defence attorney in Judgment at Nuremberg, a fictionalized account of the Nuremberg War Trials.

Schell was born in Vienna and raised in Switzerland after his family left the country during Adolf Hitler's rise to power. He acted on stage and screen in Europe before moving to Hollywood in 1958.

Schell's first Hollywood film was the World War II drama The Young Lions, which also starred Marlon Brando, Dean Martin and Montgomery Clift.

He followed that with Judgment at Nuremberg, in which he played attorney Hans Rolfe, who defended four Nazis on trial, and won the Best Actor Academy Award in 1961.

Schell later moved into producing and directing and received Best Foreign Film Oscar nominations for his films First Love in 1970 and The Pedestrian in 1973.

He also directed the 1984 Marlene Dietrich documentary Marlene, which was nominated for Best Documentary.

Schell also received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for The Man in the Glass Booth (1975) and a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Julia (1977).

In the 1990's, Schell had roles in films including Telling Lies in America and Deep Impact. He portrayed Vladimir Lenin in the 1992 HBO miniseries Stalin and received a Golden Globe nomination for the role.

Schell's older sister Maria, who died in 2005, was also an international film star. He is survived by his wife Iva Mihanovic, and his daughter, Nastassja, from his first marriage to Natalya Andreychenko (1985-2005).