Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Richard Moll, ‘Night Court’ Star, Dead at 80

Richard Moll, ‘Night Court’ Star, Dead at 80

Richard Moll, who played the fun-loving and rather tall bailiff Aristotle Nostradamus “Bull” Shannon on nine seasons of NBC’s Night Court, has died. He was 80 years old, the Hollywood Reporter states.

Moll was part of the show’s original cast, which also included Harry Anderson and Markie Post.

Moll reportedly died peacefully on Thursday at his home in Big Bear Lake, California, a family spokesperson announced. He stood at 6-foot-8. But Moll played an abominable snowman alongside Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach in the comedy feature Caveman (1981), and he was a scary, decomposing Vietnam veteran in the horror film House (1986).

Moll also did lots of voiceover work. That included a regular gig as the immortal bodyguard Norman on the syndicated series Mighty Max and turns as Harvey Dent/Two-Face for three Batman cartoons.

Richard Moll Shaved His Head For a Movie Role

Moll did shave his head. But he did that to play the warrior Hurok in the sci-fi film Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983). That’s when auditioned for the role of Shannon on Night Court, a series created by Reinhold Weege.

“They said ‘Richard, the shaved head looks good. Will you shave your head for the part?’” he recalled in a 2010 interview. “I said, ‘Are you kidding? I’ll shave my legs for the part. I’ll shave my armpits, I don’t care.’”

With Night Court being nominated three times for the Emmy for outstanding comedy series, Moll came up with a catchphrase — “Oooo-kay” — as he appeared on all but one of the show’s 193 episodes from 1984-92 alongside the likes of Anderson, John Larroquette, Charlie Robinson, and Post.

Moll did not have any involvement with the Larroquette-toplined Night Court reboot that returned to NBC for the 2022-23 season.

The youngest of three children, Charles Richard Moll was born in Pasadena on Jan. 13, 1943. His mother, Violet, was a nurse, and his father, Harry, was a lawyer.

Moll was a history and psychology major at the University of California at Berkeley, he graduated in 1964 and then worked as a deputy probation officer in Alameda County and in ladies’ hosiery at a store in San Francisco.

He came to Los Angeles in 1968 to pursue acting but found the going tough at first. He got to play a cannibal in a Hertz commercial opposite Don Adams and then Joseph Smith in a 1977 biopic about Brigham Young before landing parts in episodes of Welcome Back, Kotter, and The Rockford Files.