Actor Richard Moll, beloved for his role in the original series of sitcom Night Court, has died aged 80.
He died Thursday at home in Big Bear Lake, the California mountain resort where he retired after a five-decade career on stage and screen diversity.
With his baritone voice and his enormous 1.80 meter tall figure, he conquered the hearts of fans as Bull, the bailiff on Night Court, from 1984 to 1992.
His memorable roles include that of a former “ex-gay” in the 1999 lesbian comedy “But I’m A Cheerleader” with Natasha Lyonne, RuPaul and Michelle Williams.
Moll also had a career as a voice actor in children’s entertainment, including as Harvey Dent aka Two-Face in some Batman TV shows.
Bull the Bailiff: Actor Richard Moll, beloved for his role in the original series of sitcom Night Court (pictured), has died aged 80
Passed away in deep sadness: He died on Thursday at home in Big Bear Lake, the idyllic mountain resort in California where he retired after a five-decade career. pictured in 2020
Born in Pasadena in 1943, Charles Richard Moll didn’t seem destined for acting early on and actually studied history and psychology at UC Berkeley.
After college, he bounced from job to job, including ten months as a deputy probation officer and a job at a store as a “women’s hosiery warehouse manager.”
He knew he “was in the wrong place,” he said Peopleand he finally asked himself, “What do you want to do?”
Moll explained, “Not, ‘What should you do?’ or ‘What should you do?’ And that’s when I started studying acting.”
He went to Los Angeles, played Shakespeare on the stage of the Will Geer Theater and tried to pursue a career in Hollywood.
However, for over a decade his career failed to take off and he bounced from one supporting role to the next on shows like The Dukes Of Hazzard and Mork & Mindy.
In 1983, he starred in a 3D sci-fi film called Metalstorm: The Destruction Of Jared-Syn, for which he adopted the shaved look that earned him Night Court.
During an interview with the New Jersey Courier-Post, he recalled how his baldness helped him land the role of Bull Shannon in 1984.
Unforgettable: With his baritone voice and his enormous 1.80 meter tall figure, he conquered the hearts of fans from 1984 to 1992 as Bull, the bailiff on Night Court
Review: Moll is pictured for Night Court with (top left to right) Harry Anderson, Charles Robinson, (bottom left to right) Marsha Warfield, Markie Post and John Larroquette
“I had just finished filming a low-budget horror film in which I played some kind of bald mutant and went to interview for the role in Night Court,” he said.
“They said, ‘Richard, the shaved head looks good. Are you going to shave your head for this part?” I said, “Are you kidding? I will shave my legs for the role.”‘
The sitcom, starring Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, Karen Austin and Paula Kelly, revolved around the graveyard shift in a Manhattan criminal court.
Bull became a fan favorite in the series, played by Moll as a somewhat unbalanced personality who is nonetheless extremely pure-hearted.
Moll later recalled that the writers initially thought of Bull as “very stubborn” until they “saw something in me that would make him a lot softer.”
After becoming a TV star with “Night Court,” Moll continued to appear in high-profile series of the time, including “Married… With Children” and “The Facts Of Life.”
After Night Court ended and Bull was abducted by aliens who needed him to reach the top shelves of their spaceships, his career continued apace.
He kept up with guest appearances on popular programs that included Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and Baywatch belonged.
Flashback: After Night Court, he made several guest appearances on popular shows, including 1990s Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (pictured) and Baywatch
As they were: Moll married Milton Berle’s stepdaughter Susan Brown in 1993 and stayed with her until 2005; The couple is pictured in 1992
His film appearances included not only “But I’m A Cheerleader”, but also titles such as “Scary Movie 2”, “Jingle All The Way” and “Headless Horseman”.
Moll used his booming voice for various often villainous characters in children’s animated superhero programs.
Roles he took on included Scorpion in Spider-Man, Two-Face in Batman: The Animated Series and The Abomination in The Incredible Hulk.
After a brief first marriage to a certain Laura Class, he married Milton Berle’s stepdaughter Susan Brown in 1993 and stayed with her until 2005.
He is survived by his ex-wife, two children named Chloe and Mason Moll, and two stepchildren, Cassandra Card and Morgan Ostling.