He earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree in 1944 and an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts in 1965 from Northeastern University.
After college, Markell worked for the Grumman Aircraft Company in 1944-1946 as a civil engineer and architect in Boston until 1948. In 1948, he became a student at the Art Students League in New York City. Markell began his film career as a scenic designer at Columbia Broadcasting System-television, where he worked from 1949 to 1959.
During that time, he also had the opportunities to take on art director roles, one of which landed him an Emmy.
From 1959 to 1960, he was the associate producer for Playhouse 90. Between 1967 and 1969, he produced the popular television show New York City Police Department Blue.
In 1973, he became the executive producer of dramatic programs for Columbia Broadcasting System-television "We were free to do anything we wanted, to say anything we wanted. And we weren"t afraid of being fired or anything like that.
We kind of knew our limits so we weren"t that extravagant.
The Golden Age of Television was an age where everybody was learning. There were no experts, so there was nobody to tell us what to do." -Bob Markell
Executive producer roles
Nicky"s World (1974)
Dain Curse (1978)
Bicentennial Minutes (1974-1976)
You Can"t Go Home Again (1979)
If Tomorrow Comes (1986)
At Mother"s Request (1987)
Playhouse 90 (1959-1960)
New York City Police Department Blue (1967-1969)
Doctor Cook"s Garden (1971)
Tattered Web (1972)
Murder Once Removed (1972)
Settle the Score (1990)
Art director roles
You Are There (1954)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Since he retired from his film career, Markell has been painting and printmaking. His work has been on display in numerous exhibits, galleries, and the Brooklyn Museum.