R.I.P. Michael Norell, Capt. Hank Stanley on Emergency!
The actor/producer/screenwriter was 85.
Actor, screenwriter, and executive producer Michael Norell has passed away, Legacy.com confirms. The Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, resident was 85 years old.
As an actor, Norell is best remembered for his role in the Jack Webb-produced drama Emergency!, where he starred as Captain Hank Stanley.
Michael Norell was born on October 4, 1937, to Wilma Helen (née Snook) and James Alden Norell. James Norell was a lifelong military man, moving his family around the world during his career in the Army. During the Korean War, the Norell family lived in Tokyo, Japan. Upon returning to the States, Michael acted in several school plays at Falls Church High School in Virginia before majoring in journalism at Washington and Lee University.
When he graduated, Michael Norell enlisted in the Army, following in his father's footsteps. After five years, the younger Norell left the military as captain. Norell returned to civilian life in New York City, where he started acting full-time. Within six months, he moved to Hollywood and began work on Emergency!
Not only did Michael Norell have a lead role acting in Emergency!, but he also wrote four episodes, beginning his career as an accomplished screenwriter. In Richard Yorkley and Rozane Sutherland's Emergency!: Behind The Scenes, Norell gave his thoughts on the show's writing process: "I would be invited by [executive producer] Bob Cinader to pitch ideas. You'd spend an hour or two throwing out ideas for rescues and hospital stories and firehouse stories and eventually, there were enough that he liked and he'd tell you to go to work. A couple of weeks later, you'd turn in a first draft."
When production wrapped on Emergency!, screenwriting became Michael Norell's primary occupation, as he'd then earn writing credits on shows like The Love Boat, Nash Bridges, and NYPD Blue.
Norell is survived by his wife of 32 years, Cynthia Ann Cherbak, in addition to his daughter, Chelsea Cherbak Norell, and son, James Cherbak Norell.