October 28, 2023

'Night Court' actor Richard Moll passes away at the age of 80

According to family spokesman Jeff Sanderson, renowned character and voice actor Richard Moll, best remembered for his role as the bailiff on the original NBC version of Night Court, has passed away. He was 80 years old.

According to a statement, Moll passed away peacefully at his Big Bear Lake, California, home on Oct. 26, as CNN reported.

The Turner Classic Movies website states that Moll was a California native (born in Pasadena) who went to U.C. Berkeley.

Moll's Career

When he initially started acting, he did commercials and small roles on TV series. His early work can be seen in episodes of Welcome Back, Kotter and The Rockford Files. On the former, he went by the nameless moniker "Big Thug."

At 6 feet 8 inches tall, he certainly made an impressive impression. However, in real life, Night Court viewers were less likely to recognize Moll if he had a full head of hair.

His Night Court persona, Bull Shannon, was bald, generous, and occasionally dense, but that never diminished his charisma or ability to seize the moment.

Moll's best-known work was on NBC's Night Court, which aired for nine seasons from 1984 and 1992. This year, the network brought back the series, and original cast member John Larroquette was among those to return. Moll was conspicuously absent from the updated version.

After the series ended, Moll continued to work in the entertainment industry, appearing in films such as Jingle All the Way and Scary Movie 2 and on television shows like Smallville and Spider-Man: The Animated Series. Even after Night Court ended, he continued to work extensively in voice acting.

He voiced the character of Two-Face in Batman: The Animated Series and Batman: The Brave and the Bold and appeared in other media projects, including video games.

Moll's Comments on His Acting

Moll told the Tampa Bay Times in 1988 that he didn't want to specialize in comedic roles, despite the fact that he was being noticed for it.

"I want to get into playing heavies again," he declared. "I don't want to be typecast as just a funny guy in the acting world. Taking on the role of the antagonist is a blast for me."

The serious side of Moll existed in his personal endeavors as well. Back in 1989, he advocated for increased funding for Alzheimer's disease research before the House Select Committee on Aging, as it was an illness with which his father struggled.

A nature enthusiast, Moll spent his retirement years in Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains. He is survived by his ex-wife, two kids, and two stepchildren.

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