R.I.P. Richard Moll, gentle giant bailiff Bull on Night Court

He became a fan favorite on the courtroom sitcom, and later voiced an iconic Batman villain. The actor was 80 years old.

The Everett Collection

Richard Moll, the towering bailiff Bull on the sitcom Night Court with a soft side, has passed away.

Moll's height, standing at 6' 8'', made him a popular choice for dangerous, intimidating characters. Early in his career he was cast in an episode of the final season of Welcome Back, Kotter as "Big Thug".

Shortly afterward, he appeared in the Happy Days two-part episode "Fonzie's Funeral" as a gangster. This marked the beginning of Moll's relationship with Garry Marshall, and Moll would later go on to appear in the Happy Days spinoffs Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy.

The role that he would become most famous for came in 1984 when he was cast as bailiff Aristotle Nostradamus "Bull" Shannon in the sitcom Night Court. The bald-headed Bull, who loved poetry, children, and was frequently bossed around by female bailiffs half his size, quickly became a fan favorite.

"It's really all my fault," Moll started in a 1986 interview with Courier-Post. "I had just wound up filming a low-budget horror movie in which I played some sort of bald mutant, and I walked into an interview for the Night Court part. They said, 'Richard, the shaved head looks good. Will you shave your head for this part?' I said, 'Are you kidding? I'll shave my legs for the part.'"

Moll knew that Bull had hidden depths from the very beginning.

"He's got a menacing exterior that can scare anybody, but you can tell right away that he's just a big, good-hearted guy," Moll said in the interview with Courier-Post.

"Some weeks, I just have a few lines and I try to deliver them well so they mesh with the storyline of that episode," Moll said. "And then there are the weeks when my character is the major part of the whole story. It varies throughout the year but, first and foremost, the six of us realize that we're an ensemble. We have to work together; we have to be a family."

Moll didn't play good guys all the time, however; in 1987 he was nominated for a Saturn Award for his role as "Big Ben" in the cult classic horror comedy House.

Later in life, Moll had a healthy career in voice acting, including a recurring role as the Batman villain Two-Face in Batman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Moll was 80 years old.

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34 Comments

JHP 5 months ago
heaven got classier - fer sure
dsander13 5 months ago
I miss them all. They entertained me through some hard, and some good times.
jvf 7 months ago
RIP Richard. You were the best!
musicman37 7 months ago
Let's face it: We're getting older, and so are our heroes. It's only natural that we're losing a lot of them at this time. But don't be sad - we'll be joining them sometime in the future.
solarface 7 months ago
Losing actors and actresses from a Time when television wasn't trying to push propaganda down your throat 24/7... R.I.P
CarolCoons solarface 7 months ago
To be fair TV has always shoved propaganda down our throats, they just used to be a lot more subtle about it.
DoubleNaughtSpy solarface 7 months ago
Yes, the advent of Fox "News", Newsmax, and OAN, in conjunction with the normalization of disinformation and the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine have resulted in a dumbing-down of America, one viewer at a time.
That dumbing down was really accomplished by the likes of CNN, MSNBC, Viceland, Vox Media and the nightly network "news"casts (including on PBS).
JHP CarolCoons 5 months ago
agreed - the mute button saves us
tootsieg 7 months ago
Very sad. Rest In Peace Richard Moll.
🙏🙏
forthekids 7 months ago
On "Batman:The Animated Series"..he did the voice of"Gotham City D.A.Harvey Dent"/"Two Face".
forthekids 7 months ago
Mr.Moll also appeared in the TV movie:"Battle Academy"with Dana Hill,Robert Culp,Mr.Farr,Mr.Kopell..and Mr.Hemsely.
AgingDisgracefully 7 months ago
Funnier than Matthew Perry.
Just sayin'.
Peter_Falk_Fan 7 months ago
I liked the show "Night Court". It was fun watching the banter between Bull and Roz.

R.I.P. Richard Moll
Snickers 7 months ago
If they ever needed a Bailiff in heaven Bull would be the man. R.I.P Richard.
CoreyC 7 months ago
Bull Shannon, Hoss Cartwright, and Herman Munster were gentle giant TV characters.
Moverfan CoreyC 6 months ago
I just got a picture in my mind of Richard standing in a corner with Dan Blocker and Fred Gwynn--the three of them are looking around a bit nervously and saying to each other "They're scared of us? Why are they scared of us?"
Runeshaper 7 months ago
R.I.P. Richard Moll. Loved 🥰 him as Two-Face.
Oddball 7 months ago
I always liked Richard Moll "BULL". He was my favorite on Night Court. RIP
Iduswelton3 7 months ago
I like " Bull " Shannon very much and can relate being 6ft 4inch and of large stature myself with a deep voice - mr Moll was a favorite of mine - R.I.P. MR. MOLL
Cartoondave 7 months ago
So many celebs are gone so sad:-(
cperrynaples Cartoondave 7 months ago
Yes, and Matthew Perry of Friends drown in a Jacuzzi yesterday!
Snickers cperrynaples 7 months ago
The sad news just keeps on coming. R.I.P Richard and Matthew.
FLETCH 7 months ago
The oddest thing is I somehow mistakenly believed Richard had passed many years ago and learned that he was in fact alive just awhile back. I'm glad I was mistaken and he lived to 80 yrs of age.

R.I.P. Richard
HeidiCarreiro 7 months ago
Just saw pic of him and Marcia Wallace saying the only still alive from original.
Bapa1 7 months ago
RIP. He was funny on Night Court. I was hoping he would make an appearance on the reboot. He also appeared in the movie 'Caveman' with Ringo.
markomalley 7 months ago
So Sad. I loved Richard Moll!!! So did my family. You could instantly tell he was a kind man with a good heart. A Gentle Kind Giant. He must have had a very good sense of humor because his comedic timing was absolutely perfect. I think there's nothing greater than an actor who can make people laugh and Richard was the best at doing so. Richard will be greatly missed by his fans and future fans. Heaven Got A Good Guy!! RIP RICHARD!
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