August 16, 2013

August Schellenberg dies

'Free Willy' Star Dead at 77August Schellenberg--who played Jesse's Native American mentor in "Free Willy"--has died Thursday in Texas after a long battle with cancer ... TMZ has learned.

Schellenberg's family tells TMZ ... August died peacefully surrounded by loved ones.

77-year-old Schellenberg had a long and storied career in Hollywood--often playing Native American characters.

In fact, he was nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his role as Chief Sitting Bull in "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."

Métis actor August Schellenberg dies at 77

Appeared in Black Robe, Free Willy and CBC's North of 60Métis actor August Schellenberg died Thursday night in his home at Dallas, Texas. He was 77.

Born in Montreal to Métis and Swiss-German parents, Schellenberg was trained at the National Theatre School of Canada. He lived in Toronto from 1967 until 1995, and later moved to Dallas.

His extensive list of appearances in theatre, film and television, include Black Robe, Free Willy and CBC's North of 60.

In 2012, Schellenberg played the titular role in an all-First Nations version of Shakespeare’s King Lear at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre.
August Schellenberg dead at 77

By Mark BlackburnMetis actor August Schellenberg has died. Schellenberg was born in Montreal in 1936 to a Swiss German father and Mohawk mother. The actor started his career with the National Theatre School in Toronto and went on to star in scores of theatrical productions across the country including both the Shaw and Stratford festivals.

Schellenberg’s movie career also spanned 4 decades with his first film, Rip Off, premiering in 1971. He went on to perform in more than a dozen movies working alongside Kevin Spacey, Charles Bronson, Adam Beach Colin Farrell and Christian Bale.

The 77-year-old grandfather also starred in the 1991 move The Black Robe with Tantoo Cardinal.

The flags at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre are flying at half mast. Schellenberg was one of the performers in the NAC’s first theatrical production in 1969. According to a release from the NAC, Schellenberg had dreamed of an all aboriginal cast of King Lear long before the NAC opened its doors. In 2012, that dream became a reality when Schellenberg starred in that role surrounded by First Nations, Metis and Inuit actors.
Comment:  For more on August Schellenberg, see Review of Iron Will and Schellenberg's King Lear Reviewed.


Anonymous said...

Very odd.... Just sent a note to Josh earlier today. Why hasn't ICTMN picked this up yet?

After all, Schellenberg did receive an Emmy nom for Bury My Heart--one of the few Natives to have done so.


Rob said...

That thought crossed my mind too. I don't know the answer.

The only thing that comes to mind is the Métis designation evident in one article. Maybe ICTMN doesn't consider him a full-fledged Native?

Or maybe they're just too busy and haven't gotten around to it. Who knows?