Let's Learn Something from Richard Moll, "Night Court's" Bull
To me, “Night Court” was on TV “just yesterday.” To the youth of today, they haven’t heard of it. It is amazing how things we enjoyed are so quickly forgotten as more modern and updated trends bury the past. So I’d like to remember something about one of the actors on Night Court, Richard Moll, and see if we can learn something from him.
I believe one of Richard Moll’s first movies was “Gargoyles,” made in the early 70’s. About eight years after that one, he was in one named “Cataclysm.” He was a co-star with Cameron Mitchell (who had been in many earlier films with the greats such as John Wayne, Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, and later in TV serials such as “High Chaparral” (he played Uncle Buck), “Bonanza,” and S.W.A.T.”). I was in "Cataclysm" with Richard Moll, whose name at that time was Charles Moll. His middle name was Richard, and it looks like later on he just dropped the first name.
As I was (and am) a free-lance artist, I was doing scenery for the movie at that time. The story took place in Nazi Germany, but the movie was made here, in Utah. While I was painting away, someone came up to me and the other artists there, saying that extras were needed, and we were invited to go to a certain room to sign up. During the next few hours, I had the privilege of seeing Richard Moll, Cameron Mitchell, Faith Clift, and one or two more famous people, and how they interacted with the people and the conditions around them. It was on this occasion that I learned how they keep details straight, such as whether a woman’s hair was in front of her shoulder, or behind it: As soon as they finished a scene with a “cut,” someone snapped a picture before the actors relaxed.
Since then, I’ve seen movies where they didn’t do that, evidently. In one movie, when a woman and a man were talking back and forth, it showed two separate POV’s (points-of-view): one, where you were looking into the man’s face and saw the back of the woman’s head, and the other where you saw the woman’s face and the back of the man’s head. From one direction, the woman’s hair was in front of her shoulder. From the other, her hair was in back.
Getting back to the movie: I was a Nazi brown-shirt, eating and talking with the crowd around a banquet table. We were carrying on a boisterous celebration of some type, then finished it off with a triple “Hiel Hitler” salute.
Richard Moll (Charles, at that time) had seen that there was a rustic ladle in the soup pot, so he brought a newer one and exchanged it. But he brought it too late; they had already filmed one scene with the old spoon, and one of the scene-checkers had noticed it just barely before they started the next take.
Richard had dark hair in that movie, and was portrayed as being quite handsome and sober. It was a little while after that (a few years?) that I saw him on Night Court.
They paid me in shares, telling me I could cash them in whenever I wanted. I still have the certificate that bears those shares.
Richard married Susan Berle, daughter of Milton Berle.
Here are other movies in which Richard Moll played, starting with the most recent: Love at First Hiccup (2009); Christmas Cottage (11-Nov-2008); Nightmare Man (4-Aug-2006); Uh Oh! (Mar-2003); Angel Blade (10-Feb-2002); The Biggest Fan (2002); Call Me Claus (2-Dec-2001); Scary Movie 2 (4-Jul-2001); Evolution (8-Jun-2001); Spiders II: Breeding Ground (9-May-2001); Dish Dogs (29-Aug-2000); Big Monster on Campus (25-Feb-2000); Shadow Hours (22-Jan-2000); But I'm a Cheerleader (12-Sep-1999); Foreign Correspondents (17-Feb-1999); Casper Meets Wendy (8-Sep-1998); Casper: A Spirited Beginning (21-Oct-1997); Living in Peril (21-Jun-1997); Jingle All the Way (16-Nov-1996); The Secret Agent Club (16-Aug-1996); The Glass Cage (1996); Galaxis (27-Jun-1995); The Flintstones (27-May-1994); Loaded Weapon 1 (5-Feb-1993); Sidekicks (17-Dec-1992); Driving Me Crazy (16-May-1991); Class Cruise (22-Oct-1989); Wicked Stepmother (3-Feb-1989); Think Big (1989); Combat Academy (23-Nov-1986); House (28-Feb-1986); The Dungeonmaster (Feb-1985); Night Train to Terror (1985); Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (19-Aug-1983); Liar's Moon (Sep-1982); The Sword and the Sorcerer (28-Jul-1982); Evilspeak (2-Sep-1981); Caveman (17-Apr-1981); The Archer: Fugitive from the Empire (12-Apr-1981); Hard Country (Apr-1981); American Pop (13-Feb-1981) [VOICE]; Cataclysm (1980); The Jericho Mile (18-Mar-1979)
In 1981, Moll shaved his head for the role of Hurok in the science fiction movie Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn. Later, the producers of Night Court liked the look so much that they asked him to keep it. Moll used the Bull character in commercials for Washington's Lottery.
Above, I mentioned that the past is quickly buried. But in reality, it lingers all around us, hidden, as we enjoy its remnants in other forms: Moll’s voice is heard in many animated productions, often as a villain. He voiced Two-Face in Batman: The Animated Series, and the Scorpion in Spider-Man: The Animated Series. He also appeared in The Flintstones, and Casper Meets Wendy. Richard also voiced the Devil Hulk in the 2005 video game Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, and in Death in the 2010 game Dante's Inferno.
Moll has appeared in TV shows such as Family Affair, The Rockford Files, How the West Was Won, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, The Fall Guy, T. J. Hooker, Fantasy Island, Alice, The Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team, My Two Dads, Babylon 5, Baywatch, Married... with Children, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Smallville, and Cold Case.
We need not suppose that when people leave the limelight, they are wasting away in a dark corner of the world. Their talents are still useful in many other ways, and if they recorded something, they'll continue to get the royalties. And that reminds me about what we learned from Mr. Moll: When I stop writing on HubPages, I won't sink into oblivion; I’ll still be on people's mlnds when they read my articles, or I'll still have some influence on others, hopefully for good. And I'll still be making money from the articles I’ve already written.