Michael Alden Norell was a man of many skills, but he was most recognized for his role as Captain Stanley in the TV drama “Emergency!”
Norell died on May 12, 2023, at the age of 85, although he was still recognized and referred to as Captain Stanley decades later.
Rest in Peace, Michael Norell, "Capt" Stanley Born: Wallace, Idaho October 4, 1937 Death: Pennsylvania May 12, 2023Posted by Emergency TV Series on Thursday, 25 May 2023
But Norell’s initial profession was not acting. He was born on October 4, 1937, in Wallace, and married the late Liz Ingleson in 1965. He married Cynthia Ann Cherbak in 1991 after their marriage was terminated.
The actor spent most of his childhood in the military and traveled around with his family. He served in the Korean War and then relocated his family to Tokyo, Japan.
When he returned to the US, he began performing in school plays at Falls Church High School until he chose to attend college and study journalism at Washington & Lee University.
For folks my age, Emergency was the best thing on TV. Gage and DeSoto influenced a generation. Their captain was a mild mannered dude and the actor who portrayed him, Michael Norell died this week. RIPPosted by David McCarthy on Friday, 26 May 2023
Norell, nevertheless, returned to the military after graduation to follow in his father’s footsteps. He stayed for another five years before retiring as a captain.
Norell began to explore his acting abilities once his military service ended. He traveled to Hollywood quickly and scored his breakout role on “Emergency!”
While working on “Emergency!” he also authored four episodes. He said that it all began when executive producer Bob Cinade summoned him to the writer’s room and asked him to present his ideas.
Norell recalled spending up to two hours brainstorming potential rescue sequences and medical problems with Cinade until he found one he liked.
Rest in Peace, Michael Norell, "Capt" Stanley Born: Wallace, Idaho October 4, 1937 Death: Pennsylvania May 12, 2023…Posted by Emergency TV Series on Thursday, 25 May 2023
His work on “Emergency!” launched him into a new career as a screenwriter. When the program ended, he changed jobs completely and went on to write for series like “Love Boat”, “Nash Bridges,” and “NYPD Blue.”
James Cherbak Norell, his son, and Chelsea Cherbak Norell, his wife of 32 years, survived the 85-year-old.
Dispatcher Sam: "Man down on the sidewalk complaining of chest pains, Turner Ave cross street Webster. " "Squad 51 responding, 10-4! KMG365" -Roy De SotoPosted by Emergency TV Series on Friday, 31 March 2023
Throughout his life, Norell had many dedicated friends and caregivers who provided updates on his health, but the actor also shared some personal information with fans of “Emergency!”
Norell remained an important element of the “Emergency 1” series, so much so that the show’s Facebook page reported his coma in 2016.
According to the article, the screenwriter was 79 when he underwent surgery that put him in a coma. Fans were also requested to remember Norell in their prayers in the heartfelt message.
URGENT! Mike Norell aka Captain Stanley apparently had heart surgery today and fell into a coma. He is 79 years old….Posted by Emergency TV Series on Thursday, 17 November 2016
However, in 2020, the Los Angeles County Fire Museum released an update from Norell’s caregiver, Linda, assuring fans that Captain Stanley was in good health.
May 18,2020 Captain Stanley is doing well. We got a wonderful email this morning from Linda. Linda is Mr Mike Norell’s…Posted by Los Angeles County Fire Museum on Monday, 18 May 2020
Linda was an excellent caretaker, treating the former star “like a king.” Fans were encouraged not to approach the “Emergency!” actor and to respect his privacy while he deals with his health challenges. Norell resided at an associated living facility.
Norell talked to kids and other firefighters about his experience on “Emergency!” in 2020. He claimed that the performers began to feel like actual firefighters as the program became more realistic.
Although his acting seemed genuine, Norell was asked whether he had ever been in a scenario where he had to use any of the talents he gained on set to save someone. “Not once,” he responded.
The actor said that he would have appreciated the chance to assist others. Norell’s audience also convinced him that “Emergency!” was one of the most credible programs on television today.
The screenwriter was in a wheelchair, with gray hair and a beard, and spoke gently to the pupils, but he did not lose his sense of humor. Throughout the talk, he had everyone giggling.
Despite the fact that Norell had a protracted battle with his health issues, one of his friends, Rick Lenz, was heartbroken by his passing and gave a passionate tribute to him.
MICHAEL NORELL My friend Michael Norell has died. I can’t wrap my mind around it—I mean just the fact of his not being…Posted by Rick Lenz on Thursday, 25 May 2023
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