Richard Moll, starred as ‘Night Court’ bailiff, dies at 80

By Chicago 3 Min Read

Richard Moll, the actor best known for playing bailiff Nostradamus “Bull” Shannon on NBC’s original courtroom comedy “Night Court,” has died. He was 80.

Moll died peacefully on Oct. 26 at his home in Big Bear Lake, CA., according to family spokesman Jeff Sanderson.

A University of California, Berkeley graduate (history major) with a passion for Shakespeare, the 6-foot-8 inch character actor Moll became an instant breakout star on “Night Court,” which ran for nine seasons from 1984 to 1992.

Moll played the tough but kind seemingly dim-witted bailiff (full name: Aristotle Nostradamus “Bull” Shannon) working nights at the Manhattan Municipal Criminal Court with quirky Judge Harry T. Stone (Harry Anderson) and assistant District Attorney Dan Fielding (John Larroquette).

Bull was known for his catchphrase, “Ohh-kay,” delivered while slapping a hand to his forehead when he realized he’d made a mistake. 

Moll said in a 2010 interview that he originally auditioned for “Night Court” after shaving his head to play the bald one-eyed mutant Hurok in the 1983 sci-fi film “Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn.” The producers liked what they saw.

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

The original “Night Court” 1992 finale ended with his character being abducted by aliens who needed someone tall to reach the things on their highest shelves.

After “Night Court,” Moll contributed his trademark gravelly voice to various video games and comic book projects like “Batman: The Animated Series” as Harvey Dent and appeared in horror films like “Ghost Shark” (2013) and “Slay Belles” (2018).

He voiced Scorpion on the 1990s’ “Spider-Man: The Animated Series” and had small parts in 1994’s “The Flintstones,” the Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy “Jingle All the Way” and “Scary Movie 2.”

The towering actor did not join the “Night Court” reboot starring Larroquette. Larroquette paid social media tribute to his one-time co-star, calling Moll, “larger than life and taller too.”

“We first worked together on Mork and Mindy and then we spent nearly a decade helping Judge Harry Stone and the ‘Night Court’ world come to life,” Larroquette wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “My condolences and heartfelt sympathy to his family and loved ones.”

Moll is survived by his children, Chloe and Mason Moll; ex-wife, Susan Moll; and stepchildren Cassandra Card and Morgan Ostling.

Contributing: Associated Press


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