August Schellenberg Dead: Free Willy Actor Dies After Battle With Cancer

Celebrity News Aug. 16, 2013 AT 1:40PM
August Schellenberg at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, Ca. August Schellenberg died following a long battle with cancer on Thursday, Aug. 15. Credit: Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Hollywood has lost a legend. After a four-decade career on both the small and big screens, August Schellenberg died surrounded by his family and loved ones in Dallas on Thursday, Aug. 15, according to TMZ. He was 77.

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The Canadian Mohawk actor, perhaps best known for his portrayal of Native American mentor Randolph Johnson in the Free Willy trilogy, had suffered from a long battle with cancer, his family told TMZ.

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Schellenberg was born in Montreal to a Swiss father and a Mohawk mother, and had a prolific career, even scoring an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Hunkpapa Lakota leader Sitting Bull in the 2007 HBO mini-series, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

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He also previously acted opposite Colin Farrell and Christopher Plummer in 2005's The New World.

In Free Willy, Schellenberg's character served as a mentor of sorts to Jason James Richter's young Jesse in the classic 1993 film.

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