Richard Moll, Night Court actor, dead at 80
Richard Moll, best known for his role on "Night Court," has died at the age of 80. Moll had a successful career in both television and voice acting, and was known for his hulking presence and comedic talent. He also had a serious side, advocating for more funding for Alzheimer's Disease research. Moll will be remembered for his versatile acting and his love for the outdoors.
Richard Moll, a beloved actor recognized for his iconic role as the bailiff on the original version of NBC's "Night Court," has sadly passed away at the age of 80. The news was confirmed by Jeff Sanderson, a spokesperson for the family. Moll peacefully passed away on October 26 at his residence in Big Bear Lake, CA.
Born in Pasadena, California, Moll attended the University of California, Berkeley, as stated on the Turner Classic Movies website. He began his acting career by appearing in commercials and taking on minor roles in television shows. Some of his early credits include appearances on "Welcome Back, Kotter" and "The Rockford Files." Notably, he portrayed a character known simply as "Big Thug" on "Welcome Back, Kotter."
Moll's towering height of 6'8" made him a distinctive figure in the entertainment industry. However, he was not easily recognizable to "Night Court" viewers if he had a full head of hair. His character on the show, Bull Shannon, was bald but possessed a big heart and occasional naivety, which only added to his charm and ability to captivate audiences.
Undoubtedly, "Night Court" remains Moll's most memorable role. The show aired for nine seasons on NBC from 1984 to 1992. Although the series was revived this year, Moll did not make an appearance in the new iteration. Following the conclusion of "Night Court," Moll continued to contribute to the world of entertainment through his work in movies such as "Jingle All the Way" and "Scary Movie 2," as well as TV shows like "Smallville" and "Spider-Man: The Animated Series." Notably, he found success in voice acting, lending his voice to characters like Two-Face in "Batman: The Animated Series" and "Batman: The Brave and the Bold," along with various roles in video games.
In a 1988 interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Moll expressed his desire to explore more serious roles despite his comedic success at the time. He yearned to portray villains again, stating, "I don't want to be known purely as a comic actor. I love playing bad guys... it's such fun."
Beyond his career in entertainment, Moll had a philanthropic side. In 1989, he testified before the House Select Committee on Aging, advocating for increased funding for Alzheimer's Disease research. This cause was personal to him as his father battled the disease.
In his retirement, Moll embraced his love for the outdoors and resided in the serene mountain community of Big Bear Lake in San Bernardino. He is survived by his former wife, two children, and two stepchildren.
The passing of Richard Moll marks the end of an era in the entertainment industry. His talent, versatility, and dedication to his craft will be remembered by fans and colleagues alike. May he rest in peace.
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