Norman Fell

Norman Fell (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 in his career, he was billed as Norman Feld.[1][2]

Norman Fell
Fell in 1970
Norman Noah Feld

(1924-03-24)March 24, 1924
DiedDecember 14, 1998(1998-12-14) (aged 74)
Resting placeMount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles
EducationCentral High School of Philadelphia
Alma materTemple University
Years active1955–1998
TelevisionThree's Company
Dolores Pikoos
(m. 1951; div. 1954)

Diane Weiss
(m. 1961; div. 1973)

Karen Weingard
(m. 1975; div. 1995)

Early life

Fell was born on March 24, 1924 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Samuel and Edna Feld. His father was an Austrian Jewish immigrant, and his maternal grandparents were Russian Jews.[3] Samuel was a restaurateur and the family lived at 416 South 4th Street. He attended Central High School of Philadelphia.[4] 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.[5] He later honed his craft at The Actors Studio[6] and the Black Hills Players.[7]


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. In 1992, he starred as a Hotel owner in a comedy movie called Hexed.

On TV, Fell portrayed Mike in Joe and Mabel (1955–1956),[8]:536 Meyer Meyer in Ed McBain's 87th Precinct (1961–1962),[8]:302 Charles Wilentz in Dan August (1970–1971),[8] Nathan Davidson in Needles and Pins (1973),[8]:748 Bernie Solkin in Executive Suite (1976-1977),[8]:316 Richie's father in Richie Brockelman, Private Eye (1978),[8]:893 and Ben Cooper in Teachers Only (1982–1983).[8]:1056

From 1977 to 1979, Fell portrayed the main characters' hardnosed landlord Stanley Roper on the hit sitcom Three's Company[8]:1080–1081 (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,[8]:910 a spin-off which lasted two seasons.

Fell won a Golden Globe Award for Best TV Actor in a Supporting Role in 1979 for Three's Company.[9] 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.[10] His final television appearance was a cameo as Mr. Roper on an episode of the sitcom Ellen in 1997.

Personal life

On May 21, 1950, Fell married Dolores Pikoos in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[11] In total, he married and divorced three times.


On November 26 (Thanksgiving Day) of 1998, Fell had become too weak to get out of bed at his Marina del Rey home. He was rushed to the hospital where he was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer.[5] He died in Los Angeles on December 14, 1998 at the age of 74. He was interred at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery.


1957The ViolatorsRay
1959Pork Chop HillSgt. Coleman
1960Inherit the WindWGN Radio Technician
The Rat RaceTelephone Repairman
Ocean's 11Peter Rheimer
1963PT 109Machinist Edmund Drewitch
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad WorldDetective at Grogan's Crash Site
1964The KillersMickey Farmer
Quick, Before it MeltsGeorge Snell
The Young WarriorsSergeant Wadley
The GraduateMr. McCleery
1968Sergeant RykerSgt. Max Winkler(archive footage)
The Secret War of Harry FriggCapt. Stanley
The Young RunawaysMr. Donford
BullittCaptain Baker
1969If It's Tuesday, This Must Be BelgiumHarve Blakely
1970Catch-22First Sgt. Towser
The BoatniksMax
1973The Stone KillerLt. Les Daniels Captain of Detectives LAPD
Charley VarrickMr. Garfinkle
1974Airport 1975Bill
1975Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of GoldStanley Nagel
1976Guardian of the Wilderness
1978Rabbit TestSegoynia's Father
The EndDr. Samuel Krugman
On the Right TrackThe Mayor
Heartbreak HighJack McGuire
1985Transylvania 6-5000Mac Turner
1987Stripped to KillRay
1989C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D.Tyler
1990You're Driving Me CrazyDoctor 'F'
1991With Friends Like These...NarratorDirect-to-Video Release
The BoneyardShepardDirect-to-Video Release
For the BoysSam Schiff
1992The Naked TruthThe Dentist
1993HexedHerschel Levine
1996The Destiny of Marty FineDaryl
Beach HouseThe Landlord


1954The Elgin HourMortonEpisode: Hearts and Hollywood
Westinghouse Studio OneJuror #1Episode: Twelve Angry Men
The Philco Television PlayhouseEpisode: Miss Look-Alike
Goodyear Television PlayhouseEpisode: The Huntress
1955Joe & MabelMike
1956The Alcoa HourMarvieEpisode: Finkle's Comet
Star TonightSharpEpisode: Faith and Patience
Playwrights '56Nick ZervasEpisode: Nick and Letty
The United States Steel HourDetectiveEpisode: Hunted
1959Hallmark Hall of FameWint SelbyEpisode: Ah, Wilderness!
1960Johnny StaccatoBill LentzEpisode: The Man in the Pit
Perry MasonCaspar PedleyEpisode: The Case of the Mythical Monkeys
The UntouchablesReinerEpisode: The Rusty Heller Story
The Tom Ewell ShowEpisode: Salesmanship Lesson
1961The Law and Mr. JonesFred CookEpisode: Lethal Weapons
The Tab Hunter ShowEmory FarnsworthEpisode: Me and My Shadow
Peter GunnDanny CarmichaelEpisode: A Kill and a Half
The AquanautsOliver PappasEpisode: The Rainbow Adventure
The Many Loves of Dobie GillisColeEpisode: Be It Ever So Humble
CheckmateShep StrykerEpisode: Hot Wind in a Cold Town
Cain's HundredDriscollEpisode: Cain's Final Judgement
1962Sam BenedictAlex McConnellEpisode: Where There's a Will
1961–196287th PrecinctDet. Meyer MeyerEpisode: The Floater
Episode: Man in a Jam
1963The Eleventh HourLionelEpisode: Five Moments Out of Time
The Lloyd Bridges ShowEpisode: Gym in January
Episode: Sheridan Square
The Dick Powell ShowDr. Joseph GreerEpisode: The Last of the Big Spenders
Kraft Suspense TheatreSgt. Max WinklerEpisode: The Case Against Paul Ryker (1)
Episode: The Case Against Paul Ryker (2)
East Side/West SideEddie BestEpisode: Not Bad for Openers
The Alfred Hitchcock HourAl NormanEpisode: The Dividing Wall
1964The DefendersGeorge CappEpisode: Moment of Truth
The Hanged ManGaylord GrebbTV-Movie
1965Mr. NovakBarney SandersEpisode: And Then I Wrote...
The Trials of O'BrienMickey the MiserEpisode: How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?
Dr. KildareDr. Keith Myers
Arnold Vitnack
The FugitiveLt. Germak
Lt. Green
Episode: May God Have Mercy
Episode: Stranger in the Mirror
1964–1965Ben CaseyArnold Halbert
Manny Berger
Episode: I'll Get on My Ice Floe and Wave Goodbye
Episode: Where Does the Boomerang Go?
1966The Wild Wild WestJeremiah RatchEpisode: The Night of the Whirring Death
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.Mark SlateEpisode: The Moonglow Affair
A Man Called ShenandoahCapt. Arnold DudleyEpisode: Muted Fifes, Muffled Drums
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler TheatreEddie CarrEpisode: Dear Deductible
BewitchedDr. FreudEpisode: I'd Rather Twitch Than Fight
1964–1966Twelve O'Clock HighLt. CanelloEpisode: An Act of War
Episode: The All-American
1967The InvadersNeal TaftEpisode: The Betrayed
GhostbreakersLt. P.J. HartunainTV Pilot
I SpyKarinEpisode: The Medarra Block
MannixDaniel BrewerEpisode: Coffin for a Clown
1968That GirlBernieEpisode: Sixty-Five on the Aisle
Judd, for the DefenseHarry GreenEpisode: The Sound of the Plastic Axe
1969The Name of the Game Winston PolkEpisode: A Hard Case of the Blues
Three's a CrowdNorman, the Elevator OperatorTV-Movie
1965–1969The F.B.I. Ted Cullinan
Ken Haney
Victor Green
Episode: All the Streets Are Silent
Episode: The Mercenary
Episode: The Catalyst
1967–1969IronsideCapt. Lauren
Lt. Haines
Episode: An Inside Job
Episode: Seeing Is Believing
1970Double JeopardySgt. Charles WilentzTV-Movie
1971The Partridge FamilyMr. BrunerEpisode: The Undergraduate
1970–1971Dan AugustSgt. Charles Wilentz
1972O'Hara, U.S. TreasuryLeo WalshEpisode: Operation – Smokescreen
The HeistPat DillonTV-Movie
McCloudLt. Ed FeldmanEpisode: The Park Avenue Rustlers
1969–1972Love, American StyleSegment: Love and the Good Deal
Segment: Love and the Clinic
1973Marcus Welby, M.D.Episode: Catch a Ring That Isn't There
Going PlacesMr. ShawTV-Movie
Needles and PinsNathan Davidson
GriffEpisode: Hammerlock
1974Medical CenterFrankEpisode: The World's Balloon
Thursday's GameMelvin LeonardTV-Movie
1975Death StalkFrank CodyTV-Movie
McMillan & WifeAllan KovacsEpisode: Love, Honor and Swindle
Lucas TannerAbe LydeckerEpisode: The Noise of a Quiet Weekend
RhodaDr. Henry GerberEpisode: Chest Pains
Episode: Ida's Doctor
CannonPolice LieutenantEpisode: The Games Children Play
Starsky & HutchSammy GrovnerEpisode: Shootout
1976Rich Man, Poor ManSmittyMini-Series
Emmy Award (nominated)
Ellery QueenErrol KeyesEpisode: The Adventure of the Tyrant of Tin Pan Alley
RiskoMaxUnsold TV-Pilot
The Bionic WomanMilt BigelowEpisode: In This Corner, Jaime Sommers
The Streets of San FranciscoJurorEpisode: The Thrill Killers (1)
Episode: The Thrill Killers (2)
Richie Brockelman: The Missing 24 HoursMr. BrockelmanTV-Movie
SwitchEpisode: Gaffing the Skim
Executive SuiteBernieEpisode: Re-The Sounds of Silence
1977The Life and Times of Grizzly AdamsEpisode: The Redemption of Ben
Charlie's AngelsSammyEpisode: Angels in Paradise
1974–1977Police StorySgt. Dell
Lieutenant Alfred Thornwood
Episode: Wolf
Episode: One of Our Cops is Crazy
1978The Love BoatMr. McCoy, Julie's FatherEpisode: Julie's Dilemma/Who's Who/Rocky
1979Roots: The Next GenerationsBernie RaymondMini-Series
1980Getting ThereJimTV-Movie
This Year's BlondePat ToledoTV-Movie
For the Love of ItHallTV-Movie
1976–1981Three's CompanyStanley RoperGolden Globe Award (won)
1979–1980The RopersStanley Roper
1982Teachers OnlyBen Cooper
Matt HoustonHermanEpisode: Joey's Here
1983Uncommon ValorGarvinTV-Movie
1984The Jesse Owens StoryMarty ForkinsTV-Movie
1985Simon & SimonLeo NyquistEpisode: Facets
1986WebsterCharlieEpisode: Almost Home
The Twilight ZoneEddie O'HaraEpisode: The Convict's Piano
1985–1986Crazy Like a FoxEpisode: Some Day My Prints Will Come
Episode: A Fox at the Races
1987Magnum, P.I.David AlbertsonEpisode: Solo Flight
MatlockDr. Norman RadburnEpisode: The Doctors
Out of This WorldDr. HauserEpisode: The Nightmare
Sledge Hammer!Episode: They Call Me Mr. Trunk
1985–1988Murder, She WroteVince Shackman
Lt. Rupp
Episode: Dead Heat
Episode: Just Another Fish Story
1989The BoysDave
HoopermanPete Cosgrove, VentriloquistEpisode: Dog Day Afternoon, Morning and Night
The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!Fred Van Winkle
Ted Bull
Episode: Fred Van Winkle
Episode: Texas Tea
1990Good GriefSlezarEpisode: The Good, the Bad and the Mariachis
1993Flying BlindEmployer #2Episode: Panic in Neil's Park
1994The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirThe LandlordEpisode: What's Will Got to Do With It?
1995Family Reunion: A Relative NightmareGrandpa Joe DooleyTV-Movie
1996The Naked TruthHimselfEpisode: 5 Bully for Dave
1997EllenMr. RoperEpisode: Roommates


  1. Norman Fell at IMDb
  2. Norman Feld at IBDB
  4. "Singers Ask for City Base". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. April 1, 1956. p. 89. Retrieved July 27, 2018 via
  5. Lipton, Michael A. (January 11, 1999). "Grouch Potato". People Magazine. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  6. 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.
  7. "Black Hills Players Open Season Saturday". Rapid City Journal. South Dakota, Rapid City. June 16, 1950. p. 4. Retrieved July 27, 2018 via
  8. Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  9. "Golden Globe Awards for 'Norman Fell'". Golden Globe Awards. Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Archived from the original on July 28, 2018. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  10. "("Norman Fell" search results)". Emmys. Television Academy. Archived from the original on July 28, 2018. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  11. "Dolores Pikoos Becomes Bride of Norman Feld". News-Journal. Ohio, Mansfield. May 24, 1950. p. 28. Retrieved July 27, 2018 via
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