Richard Moll Death
Richard Moll Death

Richard Moll, The Imposing Bailiff From “Night Court,” Passes Away at Age 80

In his portrayal as the massive bailiff on the NBC sitcom “Night Court,” 6-foot-8 actor Richard Moll captivated fans with a childish charm. Moll passed away on Thursday at his home in Big Bear Lake, California. He was 80. On Friday, his spokesman, Jeff Sanderson, announced his death. The relatives did not provide a reason.

Mr. Moll has been an actor for almost 40 years, and his work spans a wide range of genres and characters. His most famous role, however, was as the bald, wide-eyed Aristotle Nostradamus (Bull) Shannon in the smash television comedy “Night Court,” which he played in for nine seasons between 1984 and 1992.

The show was in competition with other popular comedies like “The Cosby Show” and “The Golden Girls.” The series was place in a made-up Manhattan municipal night court and starred Harry Anderson (Judge Harry Stone) and John Larroquette (the prosecutor, Dan Fielding).

Anderson passed away in 2018, and Larroquette joined Anderson in the role of Bull Shannon. “Larger than life and taller too,” Mr. Larroquette remarked of Mr. Moll in a Friday X post.

On January 13, 1943, Richard Charles Moll was born to Harry and Violet Moll in Pasadena, California. After completing his history degree at Berkeley in 1964, he decided to pursue acting instead of following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a lawyer. He got his start in the arts by acting in California Shakespeare productions.


In the late 1970s, he began appearing in both film and television, with his first parts coming in the film “Brigham” in 1977 and an episode of “Welcome Back, Kotter” the following year. In a 2010 interview with MaximoTV, Mr. Moll commented, “Probably auditioning for ‘Night Court’ would be my first big break.”

Among the questions posed to him was whether he would be ready to shave his head for the role, he revealed. “I said ‘Are you kidding?’ ” he recalled. “‘I’ll shave my legs for the part. I’ll shave my armpits. I don’t care.’”

After “Night Court” ended in 1992, Mr. Moll did voice-over work for various cartoons, including the disturbed villain with a disfigured mug known as “Two-Face” on Fox’s “Adventures of Batman & Robin” and as “Scorpion” in Marvel’s “Spider-Man: The Animated Series,” also on Fox.

Although Mr. Moll is best known for his comedic roles in films like “Scary Movie 2” and “But I’m a Cheerleader,” he has also appeared in horror and science fiction movies. Some of his earliest starring film appearances were in films like 1985’s horror film “House” and 1986’s independent fantasy film “The Dungeonmaster.”

According to IMDb, Mr. Moll continued to act and provide voiceovers as recently as 2018. Last seen as mysterious lighthouse keeper Elmer Uggins in the 2010 live-action film “Scooby-Doo: Curse of the Lake Monster,” which marked his final notable appearance.

Family members say that after Mr. Moll’s retirement, he moved to Big Bear Lake in the Southern California foothills, where he could enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings and indulge his passion for bird-watching. His children Chloe and Mason, as well as his ex-wife Susan and stepchildren Cassandra Card and Morgan Ostling, will miss him much.

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