Norman Fell

Norman Fell

Fell in 1970
Born Norman Noah Feld
(1924-03-24)March 24, 1924
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died December 14, 1998(1998-12-14) (aged 74)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Cancer
Resting place Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery
in Los Angeles
Residence Los Angeles, California
Other names Norman N. Fell
Education Central High School of Philadelphia
Alma mater Temple University
Occupation Actor
Years active 1955–98
Home town Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Television Three's Company,
The Ropers
Spouse(s) ? (2 children)
Diane Weiss (1961-1973; divorced)
Karen Weingard (1975-1995; divorced)

Norman Fell[1] (born Norman Noah Feld, March 24, 1924 – December 14, 1998), was an American actor of film and television, most famous for his role as landlord Mr. Roper on the sitcom Three's Company and its spin-off, The Ropers.

Early life

Fell was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 24, 1924, to a Jewish family. He attended Central High School of Philadelphia. He studied drama at Temple University after serving as a tail gunner on a B-25 Mitchell in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.[2] He later honed his craft at The Actors Studio.[3]


Aside from Fell's best-known television work, he also played minor character roles in several films, including the original Ocean's 11, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, PT 109, The Graduate, Bullitt and Catch-22 (as Sergeant Towser). He appeared alongside Ronald Reagan in Reagan's last film, The Killers.

From 1961 to 1962, he portrayed Meyer Meyer in the TV series Ed McBain's 87th Precinct.

From 1977 to 1979, he portrayed the main characters' hardnosed landlord Stanley Roper on the hit sitcom Three's Company (a role with some similarities to Mr. McCleery in The Graduate). He continued the role as the co-lead with Audra Lindley playing his wife, Helen, on The Ropers, a spin-off which lasted a year.

He won a Golden Globe Award for Best TV Actor in a Supporting Role in 1979 for Three's Company. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for his dramatic performance as the boxing trainer of Tom Jordache (Nick Nolte) in the miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man. His final television appearance was a cameo as Mr. Roper on an episode of the sitcom Ellen in 1997.


Fell died of cancer in Los Angeles on December 14, 1998, and was interred at the Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery. He was 74.


Year Title Role Other notes
1957 The Violators Ray
1959 Pork Chop Hill Sgt. Coleman
1960 Inherit the Wind WGN Radio Technician
The Rat Race Telephone Repairman
Ocean's 11 Peter Rheimer
1963 PT 109 Machinist Edmund Drewitch
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Detective at Grogan's Crash Site
1964 The Killers Mickey Farmer
Quick, Before it Melts George Snell
The Young Warriors Sergeant Wadley
1967 Fitzwilly Oberblatz
The Graduate Mr. McCleery
1968 Sergeant Ryker Sgt. Max Winkler (archive footage)
The Secret War of Harry Frigg Capt. Stanley
The Young Runaways Mr. Donford
Bullitt Captain Baker
1969 If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium Harve Blakely
1970 Catch-22 First Sgt. Towser
The Boatniks Max
1973 The Stone Killer Lt. Les Daniels Captain of Detectives LAPD
Charley Varrick Mr. Garfinkle
1974 Airport 1975 Bill
1975 Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold Stanley Nagel
1976 Guardian of the Wilderness
1977 The Life And Times Of Grizzly Adams- The Redemption of Ben Mitch Morgan
1978 Rabbit Test Segoynia's Father
The EndDr. Samuel Krugman
1981 Crunch ?
On the Right TrackThe Mayor
Heartbreak High Jack McGuire
Paternity Larry
1985 Transylvania 6-5000 Mac Turner
1987 Stripped to Kill Ray
1989 C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. Tyler
1990 You're Driving Me Crazy Doctor 'F'
1991 With Friends Like These... Narrator Direct-to-Video Release
The Boneyard Shepard Direct-to-Video Release
For the Boys Sam Schiff
1992 The Naked Truth The Dentist
1993 Hexed Herschel Levine
1996 The Destiny of Marty Fine Daryl
Beach House The Landlord


Year Title Role Other notes
1954 The Elgin Hour Morton Episode: Hearts and Hollywood
Westinghouse Studio One Juror #1 Episode: Twelve Angry Men
The Philco Television Playhouse Episode: Miss Look-Alike
Goodyear Television Playhouse Episode: The Huntress
1955 Joe & Mabel Mike
1956 The Alcoa Hour Marvie Episode: Finkle's Comet
Star Tonight Sharp Episode: Faith and Patience
Playwrights '56 Nick Zervas Episode: Nick and Letty
The United States Steel Hour Detective Episode: Hunted
1959 Hallmark Hall of Fame Wint Selby Episode: Ah, Wilderness!
1960 Johnny Staccato Bill Lentz Episode: The Man in the Pit
Perry Mason Caspar Pedley Episode: The Case of the Mythical Monkeys
The Untouchables Reiner Episode: The Rusty Heller Story
The Tom Ewell Show Episode: Salesmanship Lesson
1961 The Law and Mr. Jones Fred Cook Episode: Lethal Weapons
The Tab Hunter Show Emory Farnsworth Episode: Me and My Shadow
Peter Gunn Danny Carmichael Episode: A Kill and a Half
The Aquanauts Oliver Pappas Episode: The Rainbow Adventure
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis Cole Episode: Be It Ever So Humble
Checkmate Shep Stryker Episode: Hot Wind in a Cold Town
Cain's Hundred Driscoll Episode: Cain's Final Judgement
1962 Sam Benedict Alex McConnell Episode: Where There's a Will
1961, 1962 87th Precinct Det. Meyer Meyer Episode: The Floater
Episode: Man in a Jam
1963 The Eleventh Hour Lionel Episode: Five Moments Out of Time
The Lloyd Bridges Show Episode: Gym in January
Episode: Sheridan Square
The Dick Powell Show Dr. Joseph Greer Episode: The Last of the Big Spenders
Kraft Suspense Theatre Sgt. Max Winkler Episode: The Case Against Paul Ryker (1)
Episode: The Case Against Paul Ryker (2)
East Side/West Side Eddie Best Episode: Not Bad for Openers
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour Al Norman Episode: The Dividing Wall
1964 The Defenders George Capp Episode: Moment of Truth
The Hanged Man Gaylord Grebb TV-Movie
1965 Mr. Novak Barney Sanders Episode: And Then I Wrote...
The Trials of O'Brien Mickey the Miser Episode: How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?
Dr. Kildare Dr. Keith Myers
Arnold Vitnack
The Fugitive Lt. Germak
Lt. Green
Episode: May God Have Mercy
Episode: Stranger in the Mirror
1964, 1965 Ben Casey Arnold Halbert
Manny Berger
Episode: I'll Get on My Ice Floe and Wave Goodbye
Episode: Where Does the Boomerang Go?
1966 The Wild Wild West Jeremiah Ratch Episode: The Night of the Whirring Death
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Mark Slate Episode: The Moonglow Affair
A Man Called Shenandoah Capt. Arnold Dudley Episode: Muted Fifes, Muffled Drums
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Eddie Carr Episode: Dear Deductible
Bewitched Dr. Freud Episode: I'd Rather Twitch Than Fight
1964, 1966 Twelve O'Clock High Lt. Canello Episode: An Act of War
Episode: The All-American
1967 The Invaders Neal Taft Episode: The Betrayed
Ghostbreakers Lt. P.J. HartunainTV Pilot
I Spy Karin Episode: The Medarra Block
Mannix Daniel Brewer Episode: Coffin for a Clown
1968 That Girl Bernie Episode: Sixty-Five on the Aisle
Judd, for the Defense Harry Green Episode: The Sound of the Plastic Axe
1969 The Name of the Game Winston Polk Episode: A Hard Case of the Blues
Three's a Crowd Norman, the Elevator Operator TV-Movie
1965, 1968, 1969 The F.B.I. Ted Cullinan
Ken Haney
Victor Green
Episode: All the Streets Are Silent
Episode: The Mercenary
Episode: The Catalyst
1967, 1969 IronsideCapt. Lauren
Lt. Haines
Episode: An Inside Job
Episode: Seeing Is Believing
1970 Double Jeopardy Sgt. Charles Wilentz TV-Movie
1971 The Partridge Family Mr. Bruner Episode: The Undergraduate
1970–1971 Dan August Sgt. Charles Wilentz
1972 O'Hara, U.S. Treasury Leo Walsh Episode: Operation - Smokescreen
The Heist Pat Dillon TV-Movie
McCloudLt. Ed Feldman Episode: The Park Avenue Rustlers
1969, 1972 Love, American Style Segment: Love and the Good Deal
Segment: Love and the Clinic
1973 Marcus Welby, M.D. Episode: Catch a Ring That Isn't There
Going Places Mr. Shaw TV-Movie
Needles and Pins Nathan Davidson
Griff Episode: Hammerlock
1974 Medical Center Frank Episode: The World's Balloon
Thursday's Game Melvin Leonard TV-Movie
1975 Death Stalk Frank Cody TV-Movie
McMillan & Wife Allan Kovacs Episode: Love, Honor and Swindle
Lucas Tanner Abe Lydecker Episode: The Noise of a Quiet Weekend
Rhoda Dr. Henry Gerber Episode: Chest Pains
Episode: Ida's Doctor
Cannon Police Lieutenant Episode: The Games Children Play
Starsky and Hutch Sammy Grovner Episode: Shootout
1976 Rich Man, Poor Man Smitty Mini-Series
Emmy Award (nominated)
Ellery Queen Errol Keyes Episode: The Adventure of the Tyrant of Tin Pan Alley
Risko Max Unsold TV-Pilot
The Bionic Woman Milt Bigelow Episode: In This Corner, Jaime Sommers
The Streets of San Francisco Juror Episode: The Thrill Killers (1)
Episode: The Thrill Killers (2)
Richie Brockelman: The Missing 24 Hours Mr. Brockelman TV-Movie
Switch Episode: Gaffing the Skim
Executive Suite Bernie Episode: Re-The Sounds of Silence
1977 The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams Episode: The Redemption of Ben
Charlie's Angels Sammy Episode: Angels in Paradise
1974, 1977 Police Story Sgt. Dell
Lieutenant Alfred Thornwood
Episode: Wolf
Episode: One of Our Cops is Crazy
1978 The Love Boat Mr. McCoy, Julie's Father Episode: Julie's Dilemma/Who's Who/Rocky
1979 Roots: The Next Generations Bernie Raymond Mini-Series
1980 Getting There Jim TV-Movie
This Year's Blonde Pat Toledo TV-Movie
For the Love of It Hall TV-Movie
1979–1980 The Ropers Stanley Roper
1976–1981 Three's Company Stanley Roper Golden Globe Award (won)
1982 Teachers Only Ben Cooper
Matt Houston Herman Episode: Joey's Here
1983 Uncommon Valor Garvin TV-Movie
1984 The Jesse Owens Story Marty Forkins TV-Movie
1985 Simon & Simon Leo Nyquist Episode: Facets
1986 Webster Charlie Episode: Almost Home
The New Twilight Zone Eddie O'Hara Episode: The Convict's Piano
1985, 1986 Crazy Like a Fox Episode: Some Day My Prints Will Come
Episode: A Fox at the Races
1987 Magnum, P.I. David Albertson Episode: Solo Flight
Matlock Dr. Norman Radburn Episode: The Doctors
Out of This World Dr. Hauser Episode: The Nightmare
Sledge Hammer! Episode: They Call Me Mr. Trunk
1985, 1988 Murder, She Wrote Vince Shackman
Lt. Rupp
Episode: Dead Heat
Episode: Just Another Fish Story
1989 The Boys Dave
Hooperman Pete Cosgrove, Ventriloquist Episode: Dog Day Afternoon, Morning and Night
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! Fred Van Winkle
Ted Bull
Episode: Fred Van Winkle
Episode: Texas Tea
1990 Good Grief Slezar Episode: The Good, the Bad and the Mariachis
1993 Flying Blind Employer #2Episode: Panic in Neil's Park
1994 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air The Landlord Episode: What's Will Got to Do With It?
1995 Family Reunion: A Relative Nightmare Grandpa Joe Dooley TV-Movie
1996 The Naked Truth Himself Episode: 5 Bully for Dave
1997 Ellen Mr. Roper Episode: Roommates


  1. Full name, a .JPG image of a memorial for Norman Noah Fell 1924-1998: AmazonAWS imagestore for website. Retrieved on January 10, 2008.
  2. Profile for Norman Fell: website. Retrieved on January 10, 2008.
  3. Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 278. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.
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