Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Richard Moll

During an amazing nine-year run on NBC's Night Court - from 1984 to 1992 - Richard Moll's considerable presence could be counted on to liven up what was already a pretty lively proceeding; as bailiff Bull Shannon he used all of his six feet eight-and-a-half inches to intimidate suspects, but fortunately the show's writers decided to dispense with stereotypes when imbuing his character with hidden depths and gentle wisdom...

PhotobucketBorn in Pasadena on this day in 1943, Moll's first film role was the 1981 film Hard Country, which starred Jan-Michael Vincent and Kim Basinger; the same year he voiced a beat poet in Ralph Bakshi's rotoscoped cult classic American Pop. For sheer camp appeal, though, neither of them had anything on his 1983 appearance in Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn.

It was his role in Night Court, however, that made Richard Moll a household name; for sheer visual amusement, nothing could beat his sparring with gravelly-voiced co-star Selma Diamond, who was seemingly as short as he is tall. Moll later relied on a similar effect when he co-hosted Friday Night Videos opposite ALF, making for one of the more indelible viewing experiences of my teenage years.

After Night Court went off the air, Moll returned to the life of the itinerant actor he had known before it, albeit now with an, er, even higher profile* and the sweet, sweet residuals that make the life of the working actor all the more bearable. Among his notable recent film roles was in the 1999 film But I'm a Cheerleader, in which he played against type as a gay man who, with Wesley Mann (as his partner) helps kids escape from an anti-gay re-education camp. Moll also works extensively as voice-over talent in the burgeoning field of animation.

*Higher than 6'8.5"?

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Anonymous said...

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Is this possible?

michael sean morris said...

Of course!