Richard Moll, the veteran fun-loving actor who played the towering yet kindhearted role of the Bailiff Bull Shannon at NBC’s “Night Court,” died at 80. He died peacefully on October 26, 2023, at his home in Big Bear Lake, CA, according to Jeff Sanderson, a spokesperson for the family.
Bull from “Night Court” is a deep-voiced, 6 foot 8 inches actor who became famous from an NBC sitcom co-starring Harry Anderson and John Larroquette from 1984 to 1992 and remained Bull Shannon on all nine seasons. Moll was born in Pasadena, California, on January 13, 1943, and was the youngest of three children.
Bull in “Night Court” graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in history, according to the Turner Classic Movies website. After graduation in 1964, Moll worked as a deputy probation officer in Alameda Country and a ladies’ hosiery store in San Francisco. After realizing he did not want to pursue a career in law as his father, he turned to acting.
If we talk about Richard Moll’s movies and TV shows, in his career of four decades, he played a variety of roles. His first jobs were in commercials and bit parts of television shows. Among his early credits, he had well-known roles in “Welcome Back, Kotter” and “The Rockford Files”. Initially, he began performing Shakespeare at the Will Geer Theatre before turning to film and TV.
Bull Moll had a core love for acting, though his roles were initially limited due to his tall stature. However, soon, his commanding presence and voice worked as a calling card. After leading in a Hertz commercial and appearing on TV shows, he appeared on TV shows including Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Mork and Mindy, Welcome Back, The Rockford Files, and Kotter.
Moll played the role of a terrible snowman opposite Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach in 1981’s Caveman and played the role of a decomposing war veteran in House in 1986.
Apart from Richard Moll’s movies and TV shows, he did extensive voice-over work. His work included Harvey Dent/ Two-Face on three Batman cartoons, Scorpion on Spider-Man: The Animated Series, and Norman on Mighty Max.
Moll’s other TV and film credits include. Still, I’m a Cheerleader, The Flintstones, Jingle all the Way, The Dungeonmaster, Scary Movie 2, Driving me crazy, Casper Meets Wendy, Getting By, Babylon 5, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Smallville, 7th Heaven, Cold Case and many more.
Richard Moll was nominated for a Saturn award in the 1985 horror movie “House.” “Night Court” was nominated thrice for the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series as he appeared in 193 episodes from 1984 to 92 during its eight-season run.
Moll had a shaved head when he auditioned for the role of Shannon on Night Court; he did so to play the warrior role in the sci-fi film MetaLstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983). In the real world, Moll was not likely to be the same as he was sporting a full head of hair.
His character in “Night Court” as Bull Shannon was bald, tender-hearted, and sometimes dense, yet not enough to dull his charm or command over moments.
Richard Moll’s new Night Court, where he did not appear in a new iteration. Although it was inarguably Moll’s most notable role and network revived the series this year with John Larroquette.
Richard Moll’s net worth was around $20 million at his death. Apart from being a comic actor, Moll has a severe side. In 1989, he testified before the House Select Committee for funding Alzheimer’s Disease research as his father struggled with the disease. Richard Moll loved the outdoors and spent his retirement in the mountain community of Big Bear Lake, where he died at 80.