Although he is arguably best known as the actor who played fireman Captain Hank Stanley on the long-running 1970s program "Emergency!", Michael Norell's career turned out to be even more fruitful as a television writer and producer. After studying at Washington and Lee University and reaching the rank of captain in the Army, Norell moved to Hollywood to become an actor. After quickly landing the role of Captain Hank Stanley, he began writing for the series. He wrote four episodes for the medical drama. After the show's completion, he wrote seven episodes for the frothy Aaron Spelling show "The Love Boat". Norell has written a number of made-for-TV movies, including the mystery/romance "Murder by the Book" with Robert Hays, the biopic "Barnum" with Burt Lancaster as the legendary showman, and the baseball comedy/drama "Long Gone" starring William Petersen and Virginia Madsen. He also penned the critically acclaimed "The Incident", a period drama set in 1944 starring Walter Matthau as a small-town lawyer who defends a German POW accused of murdering a military doctor at the camp prison. His script was nominated for both an Emmy and a Writers Guild of America award, which he won. Norell was credited with writing one of the two subsequent movies featuring Matthau as the lawyer, entitled "Against Her Will: An Incident in Baltimore". As a writer and supervising producer, he worked on the Don Johnson cop show "Nash Bridges", and he was a script coordinator on the Steven Bochco program "Murder One".