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Richard Moll, “Night Court”'s Bull the bailiff, dies at 80

Richard Moll, “Night Court”'s Bull the bailiff, dies at 80

Richard Moll, the actor known for playing the imposing but kindhearted bailiff "Bull" Shannon on the NBC sitcom Night Court, died Thursday at his home in Big Bear Lake, Calif. He was 80.

A representative for Moll confirmed the news to EW and said he died peacefully.

Born in Jan. 13, 1943, in Pasadena, Moll was the youngest of three children and went on to graduate from UC Berkeley with a degree in history. Realizing he didn't want to pursue a career in law like his father, he turned to acting and began performing Shakespeare at the Will Geer Theatre before transitioning to film and TV.

Richard Moll in 1998 and on 'Night Court'
Richard Moll in 1998 and on 'Night Court'

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty; Nbc-Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock Richard Moll in 1998 and on 'Night Court'

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Standing 6 foot 8, Moll initially had difficulty landing roles, but soon his commanding presence and voice became his calling card. After starring in a Hertz commercial and appearing on TV shows including Happy Days, Laverne & ShirleyMork & Mindy, Welcome Back, Kotter, and The Rockford Files, he played an abominable snowman opposite Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach in 1981's Caveman and a decomposing war veteran in 1986's House.

Moll then landed the role that catapulted him to fame on the original Night Court, playing Bull for all nine seasons, from 1984 to 1992. (He did not return for last year's Night Court reboot.)

Moll also did extensive voice-over work, including playing Harvey Dent/Two-Face on three Batman cartoons, Scorpion on Spider-Man: The Animated Series, and Norman on Mighty Max. His other TV and film credits included But I'm a Cheerleader, The Flintsones, Jingle All the Way, Scary Movie 2, The Dungeonmaster, Driving Me Crazy, Getting By, Babylon 5, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, 7th Heaven, Smallville, Cold Case, and many more.

Moll was an avid bird watcher and retired to Big Bear Lake. He is survived by his children Chloe and Mason Moll, ex-wife Susan Moll, and stepchildren Cassandra Card and Morgan Ostling.

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