Published on September 5, 2012 by Carol
August Schellenberg (July 25, 1936 – August 15, 2013) was a Canadian-born Métis actor. His ethnicity is Mohawk and Swiss-German. He was trained at the National Theatre School of Canada.
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His first film was Rip-Off in 1971. In 1981, he did voices for the animated film Heavy Metal. During the late 90′s he had major roles in Black Robe (as Chomina), Free Willy and its sequels (as Randolph Johnson), Iron Will (Ned Dodd), and TV film Crazy Horse (Sitting Bull). He went on to star as Chief Powhatan in Terrence Malick’s 2005 film The New World, alongside Colin Farrell, Q’orianka Kilcher, and Christian Bale. He also had roles in Disney’s Eight Below and the doco within a film The Green Chain (2007). In 2011, he appeared in two episodes of the television series Stargate Universe as Yaozu.
His most notable television guest appearance was on CBC’s North of 60 as Ben Montour.
He has been quoted as saying that his favorite role was that of Sitting Bull in the film Crazy Horse, a character he reprised in the film version of the Dee Brown bestseller Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, for which he received an Emmy nomination.
Schellenberg has been nominated for three Genie Awards and has won one (for Black Robe). Also nominated for two Gemini Awards, Schellenberg won one (for the television movie The Prodigal).
In 2012, he performed the title role in an all-aboriginal production of William Shakespeare’s King Lear at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, alongside a cast that also included Billy Merasty as Gloucester, Tantoo Cardinal as Regan, Jani Lauzon in a dual role as Cordelia and the Fool, and Craig Lauzon as Kent
According to his official website, Schellenberg was born and lived in Montreal, Quebec until moving to Toronto, Ontario in 1967. He established himself in Toronto until 1995. He now lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife, actress Joan Karasevich. He is father of three daughters with Karasevich.
In the past, Schellenberg taught acting seminars at Toronto’s Centre for Indigenous Theatre and York University. He conducts motivational workshops in schools and for cultural and community organizations across North America.