Richard Moll was once called himself ''The Midwest Mr. T''
Richard Moll was best known for being a big, seemingly menacing man with a heart full of gold both onscreen and in real life. This gentle giant played the role of bailiff Bull Shannon on Night Court (1984) for nine seasons.
Despite his size, 6 feet 8 inches to be exact, he didn't always stand out in a room full of people. In a 1984 interview with The Pittsburgh Press, Moll said it was a long road to reaching fame.
He took his life in a different direction after a short 10-month stint as a probation officer after college, where he attended the University of California and majored in History and Psychology — two fields with no acting experience involved whatsoever.
According to the interview, Moll was interested in the human mind and decision-making, but the job was a "ridiculous" one for him to imagine doing. Soon after, Moll tried being a buyer for a department store, but that didn't feel right to him either.
With little options left, Moll asked himself, "What do you really want to do in your life?" Thankfully, his interest in decision-making led him to make the right one.
Moll started his acting career with various Shakespeare parts before landing a few small roles in television. When he was offered the role of Bull Shannon in 1983, his life would be changed forever.
According to the interview, Moll had mixed feelings about both his size and his bald head. He said the producers of Night Court wanted him to keep his bald-headed look, but he wasn't so sure.
"It's trauma time when people step on an elevator with me," Moll said. "I forget to smile a lot. So, when the door opens, there I am, standing with my bald head glistening in the neon light. I've also received some blows on the kneecaps from hostile small people."
"Ok, so this may not be my most attractive look — and it's ruining my social life — but I hope I get to keep it through five seasons, if you know what I mean," Moll said.
Spoiler alert: He was able to keep the role for a total of nine seasons, surpassing his own expectations for the series. Moll became highly successful in his role on Night Court and created a solid fan base who loved watching him each week on NBC.
"You gotta admit I look like the Midwest's answer to Mr. T," Moll said.
A bald, seemingly intimidating teddy bear who overcame many obstacles in life to become an actor — textbook Mr. T... and Richard Moll.
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