Richard Moll of TV’s original ‘Night Court’ dies at 80

Actor Richard Moll is shown in Santa Monica, Calif., in this April 11, 1992 file photo. (AP/Chris Martinez)

NEW YORK — Richard Moll, a character actor who found lasting fame as an eccentric but gentle giant bailiff on the original “Night Court” sitcom, has died. He was 80.

Moll died Thursday at his home in Big Bear Lake, Calif., according to Jeff Sanderson, a family spokesperson.

Moll played “Bull” Shannon on NBC’s “Night Court” from 1984-1992 — one of only three stars who were with the series for its entire nine-season run, along with Harry Anderson and John Larroquette. His character formed close friendships with the court’s other bailiffs, notably Roz Russell, played by Marsha Warfield. Bull was known for his shaved head; his catchphrase, “Ohh-kay;” and a dim but sweet world view.

After “Night Court” ended, Moll contributed his trademark gravelly voice to various video games and comic book projects, including “Batman: The Animated Series” as Harvey Dent/Two-Face, and he 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.”

He appeared in the 1999 satire “But I’m a Cheerleader” with Natasha Lyonne, and starred in “Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas Cottage” opposite Peter O’Toole, Marcia Gay Harden and Ed Asner.

The towering actor — he was 6-foot-8 — did not join the reboot of “Night Court” starring Larroquette. The original “Night Court” finale ended with his character being abducted by aliens who needed someone tall to reach the things on their highest shelves.

Raised in Pasadena, Calif., Moll was a history and psychology major at the University of California at Berkeley, and graduated in 1964. He became a deputy probation officer in Alameda County and then worked as the “head of stock in ladies’ hosiery” at a San Francisco store.

The idea to pursue acting as a career came when Moll asked himself, “‘What do you want to do? Not, ‘What should you do?’ or ‘What are you supposed to do?’ And that’s when I started to study acting,” he told People magazine in 2003.

In 1968, he moved to Hollywood, but what followed was a decade filled with stops and starts. “It took me 10 years to find my way to the bathroom,” he told People.

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