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McFeely actor to kick off Ligonier screening of Mister Rogers doc

September 7, 2018

Fred Rogers, right, and David Newell, as Speedy Delivery’s Mr. McFeely, stand on the front porch set while filming an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

David Newell, the actor who portrayed “Speedy Delivery” man Mr. McFeely on the “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” TV show, will be on hand Friday in Ligonier to introduce a local screening of a documentary film about the children’s series.

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor” will be shown at 8 p.m. at the Diamond Theatre at 210 W. Main St., with additional screenings at 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday.

Admission costs $8 for adults, $7 for children age 10 or younger. Limited premium seating is available for an additional $4 charge.

The film’s release coincides with the show’s 50th anniversary. It first aired nationally in 1968. The final show was broadcast on Aug. 21, 2001.

Newell, who during three decades made deliveries on the show with everything from a tricycle to a kayak, also will take part in a question-and-answer session and will sign autographs as part of Friday’s screening, according to the theater management.

A native of Pittsburgh’s Banksville neighborhood, Newell tried acting in Hawaii before returning home and taking a job as assistant and prop master on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, as well as portraying McFeely.

The McFeely character was named for late series host and Latrobe native Fred Rogers’ grandfather. The character has continued as part of an animated followup series on public television, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.”

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