August Schellenberg: 'Free Willy' actor
Wednesday 28 August 2013
The actor August Schellenberg, who died of lung cancer on 15 August at the age of 77, starred in the Free Willy films and appeared in numerous television roles. Born in Montreal, Schellenberg – half-Mohawk and half-Swiss – played Randolph Johnson, a whale trainer in all three Free Willy films. In 2007 he was nominated for an Emmy as a supporting actor for his role as Chief Sitting Bull in the HBO series Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
Schellenberg's big-screen work also included the 2005 film The New World, with Christian Bale and Colin Farrell. One of his last notable works was in 2012, when he played the lead in an all-Canadian King Lear at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. He held acting workshops in Toronto at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and at York University. He was also a former boxer, took part in celebrity charity sporting events and worked as a motivational speaker in Canada and the US.
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