Today marks the 90th birthday of actor Norman Fell, who died in 1998 after more than 40 years in film and television. Fell is best remembered for his role as one of television's wackiest of wacky neighbors, landlord Stanley Roper on Three's Company and The Ropers. His work as Mr. Roper was a cultural touchstone for TV audiences, thanks to the ubiquity of the shows in reruns in the years since they went off the air. But Fell's career was surprisingly diverse, if largely overshadowed by that one role.
Fell had parts in classic films such as the original Ocean's 11, The Graduate (as a landlord) and Mike Nichols' classic adaptation of Catch-22. He turned in dramatic performances in war films such as Pork Chop Hill and PT 109, as well as The Killers and Airport 1975. He also played Juror No. 1/Foreman in the original television production of Twelve Angry Men in 1954.
In 1976 Fell received an Emmy nomination for a role in the miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man before joining the cast of Three's Company for the show's first three seasons. He received a Golden Globe in 1979 for his portrayal of Mr. Roper. Fell stayed busy in the 1980s and 1990s, as a guest star on television and in a string of movies, putting out almost a movie a year through the early 1990s. One of his final television appearances was as a guest star on an episode of Ellen in 1997, once again playing the lovable Mr. Roper.
Written by Seth Joseph. Find him on Google+.
Norman Fell | Photo Gallery