David Newell played Mr. McFeely for the entire run of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. He explains that Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was filmed like a live show, with very long takes. Although Fred was not always comfortable in front of the camera, he would light up when Mr. McFeely came to the door. Newell comments on the genuine joy he would see in Fred when they would film together.
He explains that Fred was using television as a communication tool, not as a means to become a television star. In addition to appearing on the program as Mr. McFeely, Newell worked on props and public relations, writing the press releases announcing new theme weeks of the Neighborhood.
Fred Rogers Center
Margy Whitmer Oral History
Margy Whitmer explains how Fred helped families deal with difficult stories in the news.