Richard Moll passed away on October 26, 2023 at the age of 80. He was an actor that enjoyed a pretty successful career as a supporting player in both comedy and drama. Although he appeared in a number of films and episodic television in roles that crossed a variety of genres, he is best remembered for his portrayal of the imposing but lovable bailiff “Bull Shannon” on the NBC sitcom Night Court during its entire nine-season run. Moll’s “Bull” was a popular character on the show and pretty much defined his persona for countless fans.
That’s not always a good thing.
After I posted the announcement of Moll’s death, a Facebook friend related her personal encounter with Moll — one that left her less than enthused. Here’s her story…
True story. I LOVED LOVED LOVED Bull when I was younger. Watched Night Court all of the time and he was my favorite. Cut to a summer where I was sent off to Wyoming to a Girl Scout horse camp and in a tiny airport in Jacksonhole, I saw Richard! He stomped to the front of the line and demanded to board in front of everyone else and they denied him. I later approached him to ask for an autograph (I was 12 and traveling alone in my G.S. uniform). He angrily grabbed my pen, signed quickly and then walked away. I was crushed and didn’t even keep the autograph because I stupidly always thought of him as his character and that he would be lovable.
That was the day that I learned:
1. Don’t meet your heroes
2. Actors aren’t their characters and can be real dicks sometimes in real life.
Of course, he was maybe having a bad day and was tired. But this wasn’t a huge airport, he wasn’t being hounded and I was a 12 year old in a girl scout uniform and he still managed to be a jerk so….