August Schellenberg Dead — ‘Free Willy’ Star Dies at 77

Exclusive 0816_august_schellenberg_01

August Schellenberg — who played Jesse”s Native American mentor in “Free Willy” — has died Thursday in Texas after a long battle with cancer … our sources has learned.

Schellenberg”s family tells our sources … 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.”

August appeared in all 3 “Free Willy” movies. He also appeared alongside Christian Bale and Colin Farrell in the 2005 flick, “The New World.”

Story developing …