The actor best known for his turn as Bull Shannon on the iconic sitcom “Night Court” has died. Richard Moll, 80, portrayed the dimwitted, larger-than-life bailiff, Bull Shannon, on the wildly popular 80s sitcom opposite comedian and magician Harry Anderson. A representative confirmed Moll passed away earlier this week at his Big Bear, California home. No cause of death has been revealed.
Studio Talent Group released a statement: “The Studio Talent Group mourns the passing of our longtime acting client, the indomitable Richard Moll. A gifted actor and humanitarian he was a caring, loving father with an unmistakably unique persona.”
Moll’s character, Bull Shannon, was a shaved-head, slowwitted tough guy with a soft side on the surprising hit Night Court. Alongside Harry Anderson, John Laroquette, and Marsha Warfield, Shannon helped anchor one of the surprise, underdog hits of the decade.
The towering 6’8 actor chose not to join the reboot of the famous show, instead opting to leave his character in limbo. It should be recalled that in the series finale of the original Night Court, Bull Shannon was abducted by aliens because they needed someone tall to reach things on high shelves.
While the ending to Shannon’s character might have been silly, the veteran actor’s career spanned nearly 60 years. Moll portrayed a cannibal in an ad opposite comedic legend Don Adams and famously portrayed Mormon Founder Joseph Smith in a 1977 biopic about Brigham Young.
Moll continued, landing roles in the iconic sitcom “Welcome Back Kotter,” as well as “The Rockford Files.” Those small roles led to bigger parts, including a turn as a gangster in a two-part Happy Days and parts in “Lavern and Shirley” and “Mork and Mindy.”
In 1987, Moll was featured on a two-part episode of “The Facts of Life” and spent three years in a recurring role on the 1992-2002 Nickelodeon comedy “100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd.”
Aside from performing on screen, Moll was also an accomplished voice actor. His gravelly voice was featured in numerous video games, including voicing the Devil Hulk in the 2005 video game “Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction” and the 2010 game “Dante’s Inferno,” where he voiced Death.
Along with the extensive video game work, Moll was also active in the animation industry. He voiced Harvey Dent in “Batman: The Animated Series.” Moll continued with the iconic character, voicing Two-Face after Dent undergoes his villainous transformation.
Moll continued making occasional real-life, on-screen appearances. He appeared in the horror films “Ghost Shark” and “Slay Belles” in 2018. He also voiced Scorpion in the 1990s “Spider-Man: The Animated Series” and had parts in 1994 in “The Flintstones” and the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic holiday comedy “Jingle All the Way.”
Aside from acting and voicing, Richard Moll loved birdwatching and was an avid fan of the outdoors. Moll was an imposing, loveable figure who lent his face and voice to many iconic roles and will be missed. He is survived by two children, two step-children, and his ex-wife, Susan Moll.
Best wishes to Bull Shannon’s family and friends on his passing.
Featured image: Alan Light, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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