David Newell (born November 24, 1938) is an American television actor known primarily for his portrayal of Mr. McFeely, the delivery man on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and works in the public relations department of the Fred Rogers Company (the entity responsible for all rights relating to the program, and other series currently in production from the company). His character's most famous catchphrase was "Speedy Delivery!" This was Newell's major role, but not his only one, as he appeared in small film and TV parts throughout the years. He toured the country until he retired in 2015, promoting Mister Rogers' Neighborhood as Mr. McFeely.
Newell was born in O'Hara Township, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, he was the director of public relations for The Fred Rogers Company. Newell now resides in Pittsburgh. He used to be an English teacher at Wilkinsburg Junior/Senior High school.
Newell began his acting career at a theatre school known as the Pittsburgh Playhouse. Through connections made there, he eventually met Fred Rogers. Newell was originally hired onto the show as a public relations manager, but Rogers also cast him in the role of Mr. McFeely. As a result, he and Rogers became lifelong friends until Rogers' death in 2003.
A documentary feature about Newell entitled Speedy Delivery, which chronicles his travels around the world as Mr. McFeely, debuted on public television in 2008.
An animated version of Mr. McFeely is a recurring character on the new PBS series Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Canadian actor Derek McGrath performs the voice.
"Working with Fred Rogers was like receiving a master’s degree in child development. Fred taught by example, and he was subtle—but suddenly you’d realize that, after working side by side with him, your knowledge base had expanded almost beyond description."