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'Free Willy' actor August Schellenberg dies aged 77

August Schellenberg, a cast member in the HBO film "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," arrives at the premiere of the film in Los Angeles, May
August Schellenberg, a cast member in the HBO film "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," arrives at the premiere of the film in Los Angeles, May

(Reuters) - Actor August Schellenberg, best known for playing Native American roles in films such as "Free Willy" and "The New World," has died after battling lung cancer, his manager said on Friday. He was 77.

Schellenberg died at his home in Dallas on Thursday, manager Alan Mills said. The actor's family has not yet made arrangements for his funeral.

The Montreal-born Schellenberg was half Mohawk and half Swiss-German, and played a whale trainer in 1993's "Free Willy," reprising the role for the sequels. He also played Chief Powhatan in Terrence Malick's 2005 film "The New World," alongside Christian Bale and Colin Farrell.

Schellenberg appeared in numerous television shows, most recently in "SGU Stargate Universe" in 2011, and was nominated for a supporting actor Emmy award in 2007 for his role in HBO TV movie "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy in Los Angeles; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Eric Walsh)

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