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Richard Moll, ‘Night Court’ Actor, Dies At 80


According to Jeff Sanderson, a representative for the family, Richard Moll, a seasoned character and voice actor most recognized for his work as the bailiff on the original NBC series “Night Court,” has passed away.

According to a statement, Moll passed away quietly at his Big Bear Lake, California, home on October 26.

According to the Turner Classic Movies website, Moll attended the University of California, Berkeley after being born in Pasadena, California.

His earliest acting roles were in television shows minor parts and commercials. His early credits include appearances on “The Rockford Files” and “Welcome Back, Kotter.” He portrayed a character on the former who was just given the name “Big Thug.”

He was large, measuring 6’8″, and had a commanding presence. In reality, though, Moll’s full head of hair would not have made him as recognizable to “Night Court” viewers. His “Night Court” persona, Bull Shannon, was bald, kind-hearted, and occasionally a touch dim, but not to the point that it took away from his charisma or command of the situation.

Undoubtedly, Moll’s most famous part was in “Night Court,” which aired on NBC for nine seasons from 1984 and 1992. This year, the network brought the series back to life, with John Larroquette in the lead role from the first run. In the updated version, Moll never made an appearance.

Moll gained recognition after the show’s run for her roles in TV series like Smallville and Spider-Man: The Animated Series, as well as motion pictures including Jingle All the Way and Scary Movie 2. Actually, a significant portion of his career after “Night Court” consisted of voice acting. He had several parts in video games and provided the voice of Two-Face in “Batman: The Animated Series” and “Batman: The Brave and the Bold.”

In 1988, Moll told the Tampa Bay Times that while he was getting noticed for his comedic performances, he didn’t want to limit himself to playing roles that were exactly like them.

“I want to get into playing heavies again,” he said. “I don’t want to be known purely as a comic actor. I love playing bad guys … it’s such fun.”

Yes, Moll did have a serious side to him. He made a testimony in 1989 before the House Select Committee on Aging, urging increased financing for studies on Alzheimer’s disease. His father battled the illness.

Moll enjoyed the great outdoors and lived in Big Bear Lake, a town in the San Bernardino mountains, during his retirement. His ex-wife, two children, and two stepchildren survive him.

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