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.

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17 Comments

MeFanFromSavan 3 months ago
Just reading about his passing, or maybe I forgot reading about it prior. As a kid, Emergency! was a great series to watch ..... "Squad 51, KMG365, ETA five minutes.."
candycoloredclown 10 months ago
God Bless and Thank You Cap!
Loved the basketball coach in him (episode on last week on FETV, sorry been watching every day for a year now). Love that he set his colleague's hat on fire as well!
KMG365 for always and forever!
Maybe Meh-TV could shake up its line-up and being back great shows like Emergency, same thing year after year............
TheSentinel 10 months ago
Emergency! was a part of my Saturday night viewing as a kid during its original run, followed by syndicated reruns and most recently on MeTV, and I always enjoyed those episodes and the characters.

RIP and KMG-365, Michael.
sueeastlake 10 months ago
I have just begun watching the series, and of the two actors that played Cap, Michael was the best. RIP and ride that big fire truck in the sky.
SheriHeffner 10 months ago
I saw this earlier today. I grew up watching Emergency. I thought all the guys on there were cute. May Michael Rest In Peace.
PapaJon 11 months ago
RIP '50's-'60's Singer/Actor Ed Ames passed away at age 95 on May 21, 2023. Ames famously played Mingo on the beloved Daniel Boone with Fess Parker. How about squezzing in some Daniel Boone episodes to honor the late Ed Ames. Big Time ! Thanks METV you guys/gals RULE !!
KJExpress PapaJon 11 months ago
I had no idea Ed Ames was still alive! I always thought he had a nice singing voice.
SheriHeffner PapaJon 10 months ago
Yes I saw that too. I loved Mingo. Plus I saw reruns of The Ed Sullivan Show. He was a good singer.
JERRY6 11 months ago
RIP Cap Still watch Emergency , interesting that he wrote a few episodes . Squad 51
CANARYMETV666 11 months ago
I watch Emergency on FETV and love it.
You were the best captain there
72doug 11 months ago
KMG- 365 final call! R.I.P. Captain Stanley!
jjaso 11 months ago
A final KMG-365 Capt. Stanley. RIP.
CANARYMETV666 jjaso 11 months ago
May he RIP
LoveMETV22 11 months ago
R.I.P. Michael Norell. Enjoyed his role of Captain Hank Stanley on Emergency! It sounds like he enjoyed screenwriting after Emergency, with the several shows that are listed.
Runeshaper 11 months ago
R.I.P. Michael Norell. It was cool that he followed in his father's footsteps and served his country.
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