Prosecutor Dan Fielding (John Larroquette)
John Larroquette was one of the biggest stars of the show, having had the part of prosecutor Daniel R. “Dan” Fielding. He did so well in the role that he landed four straight Emmy wins for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series from 1985 up until 1988. But Larroquette was totally satisfied with all of his awards.
In 1989, he asked producers not to submit his name for another season. He had many projects after “Night Court” ended, including “The John Larroquette Show,” appearances on “The Practice” and “Boston Legal,” a recurring role on the show “The Librarians,” and, most recently, a role as Gavin Firth on “The Good Fight.”
Billie Young (Ellen Foley)
Billie Young (played by Ellen Foley) first appeared on the second season of “Night Court” as Stone’s love interest. Unfortunately, producers eventually wrote her out of the show because they thought that the chemistry was lacking between her and Harry Anderson. Initially, after “Night Court,” Foley managed to stay busy.
In 1988, she starred alongside Tom Cruise in the film “Cocktail.” She also appeared in 2015 in the film “No Pay, Nudity,” as well as the documentary “Meat Loaf: In and Out of Hell.” Additionally, she appeared on Broadway, has four solo musical albums, and has collaborated with singer Meat Loaf.
The Judge Himself (Harry Anderson)
Another main star of “Night Court” and a big contributor to its success was Harry Anderson in the role of Judge Harold “Harry” T. Stone. Before he became a household name on “Night Court,” Anderson was seen on both “Cheers” and “Saturday Night Live.” His role as Judge Stone landed Anderson three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
After “Night Court,” Anderson found himself in the title role of the CBS sitcom “Dave’s Place.” After four seasons on the show, he began performing magic shows across the country. He has not been active in the industry recently and was last seen on the show “A Matter of Faith” in 2014.
Harry Anderson Passed in 2018
Harry Anderson passed away in April of 2018. It was revealed a few months later that he had suffered a stroke at the age of 65. Anderson also suffered from heart disease and had been sick with the flu at the time.
These ailments, along with a stroke, were ultimately fatal for Anderson. Reportedly, his wife said he was past resuscitation when she found him. Additionally, it was revealed that he had suffered multiple strokes in the months leading to his death.
Public Defender Liz Williams (Paula Kelly)
Paula Kelly, who starred as Public Defender Liz Williams, received an Emmy nomination for her role on the show. Even though she was on “Night Court” for just one season, she still managed to impress audiences. But her success did not end there.
After leaving “Night Court,” she received a second Emmy nomination for her work in the TV mini-series, “The Women of Brewster Place.” Despite her potential, she was last seen on-screen in the 1999 series “Any Day Now.”
Bailiff Roz Russell (Marsha Warfield)
Another big draw for “Night Court” was actress and comedian Marsha Warfield who played Roz Russell. The edgy bailiff eventually won the audience’s hearts, and she was featured on the show from seasons 4 through 9.
After “Night Court” ended, Warfield starred on “Empty Nest” in the role of Dr. Maxine Douglas. Since then, she has had no shortage of projects and also appeared on “Family Ties,” “Clueless,” “Riptide,” “Cheers,” “Living Single,” “Moesha,” and more. Her most recent on-screen appearance was on an episode of the drama “9-1-1.”
Buddy Ryan (John Astin)
John Astin played the role of Harry’s father on “Night Court,” a character who had been a former psychiatric patient. John Astin was one of the more seasoned actors on the show, having been in multiple projects in the past and having received Oscar-nominations for both acting and directing roles.
Outside of “Night Court,” his best-known role was that of Gomez Addams on the live-action version of “The Addams Family.” After “Night Court,” he once again took up the role of Gomez for the animated version of “The Addams Family.” His most recent role is that of Professor Peabody in the film “Starship II: Rendezvous with Ramses.”
Mrs. Robinson (Denice Kumagai)
Denice Kumagai, who played Mrs. Robinson, joined the cast of “Night Court” in the show’s second season. The wife of Mac, her character’s full name was Quon Le Duc Robinson, who was supposed to be Vietnamese. The backstory of her and Mac was that the couples met while he was serving in Vietnam.
Before her role on “Night Court,” she had a role on the hit show “M*A*S*H.” And, when “Night Court” was done, she also had roles in “Happily Ever After Fairy Tales for Every Child,” “Veronica’s Closet,” and “Living Single.” She was last seen in the role of Aunt June on “Gilmore Girls.”
Lana Wagner (Karen Austin)
Originally from West Virginia, Karen Austin played court clerk Lana Wagner for the first season of “Night Court.” She claims that, sadly, she was asked to leave the show after being diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy.
Thankfully for Austin, after her departure from the show, she was able to land a number of other roles. She had numerous spots on shows like “CSI: Miami,” “Whole Day Down,” “ER,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Desperate Housewives,” and many more. Her last appearance, however, was in the 2015 horror film, “The Wicked Within.”
Hillbilly Bob (Brent Spiner)
The recurring role of hillbilly Bob Wheeler was played by Brent Spiner. “Night Court” was just the beginning for the actor as, after the show, he took on the most significant role of his career within the “Star Trek” franchise.
He was cast in the role of Lt. Commander Data in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” as well as and the films “Star Trek: Generations,” “Star Trek: First Contact,” and “Star Trek: Insurrection.” Recently, he has had a recurring role on “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” as Ned Vanderhoff.
The Escort (Rita Taggart)
Actress Rita Taggart starred on the first two seasons of “Night Court” as the escort Carla Bouvier also called Carla B, on the show. After Taggart left “Night Court,” she took on numerous, recurring roles on shows like “Almost Grown,” “Coach,” and “Northern Exposure.”
She was also involved in a number of smaller projects and also took on the role of Doris Dorkoff on the comedy/mystery web series “Where the Bears Are.” Her last recorded project was in “The Lilac Thief” in 2019.
Terry Kiser and the Actor’s Arena
Terry Kiser played the role of tabloid reporter Al Craven on the show. The character of Craven was on “Night Court” for two seasons and, after leaving the show, Kiser made sure to stay sharp in the world of acting. He took on the role of Bernie Lomax in the films “Weekend at Bernie’s” and the sequel “Weekend at Bernie’s II.”
Kiser’s passion for acting inspired him to open an acting school with his spouse Joy Leigh in 2013. The two set up the school in Austin, Texas, and called it The Actors Arena. In recent years, he has taken on smaller projects like his role of Harry Wallace on the TV series “Running.”
Mac Robinson (Charles Robinson)
Charles Robinson played the mellow and likable Macintosh “Mac” Robinson on “Night Court.” To his backstory, it was also added that he was a Vietnam Veteran, and the character of Mac was known to be a big fan of cardigans. After his time on Night Court, Robinson acted in some smaller roles, but Mac Robinson is what he is best known for.
Robinson went on to play the role of Abe Johnson on the CBS sitcom “Love & War” and has also made appearances on “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Mom,” “Key and Peele,” “Raven’s Home,” and “Russell Maniac.”
Nostradamus “Bull” Shanon (Richard Moll)
Richard Moll’s trademark deep voice helped to distinguish him as both a live-action and voice actor. While on “Night Court,” he was one of the best-liked characters. Sadly for viewers, he eventually left the show, but he had no shortage of work after “Night Court.”
Moll had many projects throughout the 90s and also found himself becoming the voice behind comic book characters on “Batman: The Animated Series” (Two-Face), “Spider-Man” (Scorpion), and “Justice League” (Java). In recent years, he also made appearances on shows like “Anger Management,” “Cold Case,” and “Kirby Buckets.”
Lisette Hocheiser (Joleen Lutz)
Towards the end of “Night Court,” ditzy court stenographer Lisette Hocheiser (played by Joleen Lutz) stepped onto the scene. Although she may have only been on the last two seasons, she starred in 45 episodes within that short time.
After her stint on “Night Court,” Lutz made small appearances on “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” “City Guys,” and “Living Single.” In more recent years, she also appeared on “Pushing Daisies,” “Takezo Kensei: Sword Saint,” and “Desperate Housewives.”
Judge Willard (Jason Bernard)
Jason Bernard starred as Judge Willard on the first two seasons of “Night Court.” After his time on the show was up, Bernard landed the role of Deputy Inspector Marquette on “Cagney & Lacey” and Mr. Bracken on “Herman’s Head.”
He also made appearances in films like “Death Wish,” “Liar Liar,” and “While You Were Sleeping,” as well as many smaller projects. Liar was his last film before his untimely death, due to a heart attack, in October of 1996. The hit comedy was dedicated to Bernard’s memory.
Christine Sullivan (Markie Post)
Actress Markie Post had a long-standing role on “Night Court.” From 1985 to 1992, she had the role of the go-getting, high-minded public defender Christine Sullivan. Sullivan was beautiful, bold, yet kind and ended up being a real challenge (romantically and professionally) for Dan Fielding.
After leaving Night Court, Post landed a role on the CBS sitcom “Hearts Afire,” which lasted from 1992 to 1995. From there, her career has been peppered with appearances on TV shows and movies up through the present.
Phil Sanders (William Utay)
The character of Phil Sanders was a quirky, homeless man who was, at times, also a henchman of Dan Fielding. It was revealed later that Sander’s character had previously been rich but had lost his fortune. Utay also played the role of Sander’s evil twin brother Will on the show.
When “Night Court” was finished for Utay he starred in a number of roles and had appearances on shows like Utay got the role of Dr. Wilhelm Rolf on the popular NBC soap opera “Days Of Our Lives.” He held this role from 1997 through 2003 and returned from 2007 to 2008. He was in “Species” in 1995, and in 2012 he appeared in “What Are Friends For?”
Yakov Korolenko (Yakov Smirnoff)
Ukrainian comedian Yakov Smirnoff depicted the role of Russian immigrant Yakov Korolenko. Smirnoff continued to perform as a comedian after “Night Court” and has been referenced on several popular comedy shows, including “Futurama,” “Family Guy,” and “The Simpsons.”
Smirnoff released a PBS special titled Yakov Smirnoff’s “Happily Ever Laughter: The Neuroscience of Romantic Relationships.” However, his last known project was him appearing as himself on the TV show “Dice” in 2017.
Oscar Brown (Gilbert Gottfried)
While some may not like to listen to him, Gilbert Gottfried’s loud and shrill voice became his trademark as an actor. In the very last season of “Night Court,” he appeared on the show as attorney Oscar Brown, who filled in for Dan Fielding. Gottfried went on to land a few well-known roles that would define his career.
He became the voice of Iago from the Aladdin franchise as well as the voice of the duck from the Aflac commercials. Additionally, he also had roles as Digit from “Cyberchase,” Kraang Subprime from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
Judge Margaret Wilbur (Florence Stanley)
Florence Stanley played the no-nonsense Judge Margaret Wilbur, who would sometimes fill in for Judge Harry.
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Stanley was also known for her roles as Grandma Ethyl Phillips on the hit ABC series “Dinosaurs,” Dr. Amanda Riskin on the NBC sitcom “Nurses,” and Wilhelmina Packard in the Disney films “Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Atlantis: Milo’s Return.” Sadly, on October 3, 2003, Stanley passed away (due to a stroke) at the age of 79.
The Gruff County Clerk (Selma Diamond)
The Gruff County Clerk, played by Selma Diamond, appeared in season 1 of “Night Court.” The Canadian-American actress had a variety of other appearances on shows like “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World,” “Bang the Drum Slowly,” “All of Me,” and “The Twilight Zone.”
She may have also inspired the Sally Rogers character on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Diamond was also a voice actor in “The Jetsons” animated series, giving her talents to the character of Di-Di. Sadly, Diamond would not lend her talents to the industry for much longer.
Selma Diamond Lost Her Cancer Battle
Selma Diamond was a heavy smoker for most of her life and, while filming season 1 of “Night Court,” she was diagnosed with advanced-stage lung cancer. Her symptoms intensified, and her health rapidly digressed. At age 64, Diamond passed away in Los Angeles.
Diamond is now buried in Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, California. After her untimely passing, actress Florence Halop replaced the role with a new character, Bailiff Florence Kleiner. Tragically, Halop also passed away due to lung cancer, just a year after Diamond.
Miriam Brody (Fran Drescher)
With her trademark voice and wit, Fran Drescher was comedy gold. She is best known for her role in the 90s comedy series “The Nanny,” but before that, she appeared in a guest role during season 4 of “Night Court.”
Drescher played the character of Miriam Brody in one particular episode. Miriam was a schizophrenic woman who randomly changed personalities from that of an overly open woman to a prudish one. In recent years, Fran has added “writer” to her credentials along with acting and has most recently starred in the series “Indebted.”
Patty Douglas (Mimi Kennedy)
Patty Douglas, played by Mimi Kennedy, appeared in season 2 of “Night Court.” Douglas was an heiress and the fiancé Dan Fielding, at least for a time. Aside from “Night Court,” Kennedy became known to audiences for her role on the 1990s show “Dharma and Greg,” playing the role of Dharma’s mother, Abby O’Neil.
Still active as an actress, Mimi has appeared on many TV shows, including “Criminal Minds,” “Veep,” and “Scandal.” She currently has a recurring role on the show “Mom,” playing the character Marjorie and is also set to star in two upcoming films.
Mel Torme As Mel Torme
Easy Listening singer Mel Torme, known for hits like “The Velvet Fog,” made a total of eight guest appearances on “Night Court.” He starred as himself on the show but was also known to appear in other TV shows and films.
Mel had the opportunity to not only sing but also write his own songs. Some of his most famous songs have now become beloved classics like “Jeepers Creepers” and “The Christmas Song.” Though he passed away in 1999 at age seventy-three, Torme’s music has consistently been used throughout television shows and films.
Leon (Bumper Robinson)
Bumper Robinson had the role of Leon, the orphaned shoeshine boy, in seasons 2 and 3 of “Night Court.” Robinson entered the industry as a child actor and appeared as an infant on shows like “The Jeffersons” and “Hill Street Blues.” Having had many years working as an actor, he has appeared in numerous television shows as both an on-screen and voice actor.
One of his most notable voice acting roles was that of Dwight Conrad from “Futurama.” His most famous live-action role was probably Clarence on the sitcom “Amen.” Most recently, he has worked as a voice actor in a handful of animated series.
Easy Mary (Estelle Harris)
Estelle Harris is best known for her role as Estelle Costanza on “Seinfeld,” but she also appeared on two seasons of “Night Court.” Her character, “Easy Mary.” was an escort on the show and was present in both seasons 3 and 4.
Though she is now in her 90s, Estelle has not retired as an actress and has been in many projects over her long-standing career. Her most recent voice acting role was as the character of Mrs. Potato Head in “Toy Story 4.”
Vincent Daniels (Daniel Frishman)
Daniel Frishman starred as District Attorney Vincent Daniels on the show. As a little person, Daniels was able to break stereotypes and barriers in the show business industry. The character of Vincent Daniels first appeared in a Season 3 episode called “Dan’s Boss.”
Daniel first began as a stage actor before moving into the film industry in the movie “Under the Rainbow” as the Mayor of Munchkinland. Frishman also appeared in multiple Shakespearean plays over the years. He acted into the late 80s but decided to retire from acting to pursue a career as a real estate agent.
Eddie Simms (Michael J. Fox)
One of the most prestigious guest stars on the show, Michael J. Fox, appeared on “Night Court” in Season 1 as a teenage delinquent named Eddie Simms. Before he was immortalized as Marty McFly, Fox was best known for his role as Alex Keaton on “Family Ties.”
Of course, later on, he would become a huge star as Marty McFly in the “Back to the Future” films and also from his 1990s sitcom “Spin City.” Michael was sadly diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991. And, although he now devotes much of his time advocating for the disease’s cure, he has still been able to take on projects.
Princess Tatiana of Kapua (Jeanne Mori)
Jeanne Mori got to play the unique role of Princess Tatiana of Kapua in season 4 of “Night Court.” Mori is probably best recognized by audiences for her role as the Helm Officer in the film “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.”
She has also appeared in a number of well-known films throughout the 1980s and ’90s, such as “Night Shift,” “Protocol,” “Mars Attacks!,” and “Real Genius.” Jeanne continued acting throughout the 2000s, but her last known appearance was in the 2009 short project “Shear Delight.”
Two Different Roles (Cathy McAuley)
Like a handful of other actors, Cathy McAuley also appeared as two different characters on “Night Court.” In four episodes of the show, she played a character named Daphne and also a character named Wanda Flinn, a dating agency clerk who would later marry Bull.
McAuley has been seen in numerous TV shows over the years, including “Murder She Wrote” as well as “Dharma and Greg.” She supplemented her acting career by becoming a playwright and also founded The Sparc Foundation, which seeks to mentor high-risk youth through acting and performing.
Many, Many Roles (Angela Aames)
Angela Aames is best remembered as the buxom blonde in various TV shows and films in the late 1970s and 1980s. She starred as a number of different characters in four episodes of “Night Court,” including Angela, a former date of Dan’s, a character named Debbie, and lastly, a character named Ursula.
She made an appearance on shows like “The Love Boat” and “Cheers” and also appeared in the iconic film “Scarface.” Tragically, she died at only age thirty-two in 1988. It is thought that her death was the result of a virus that weakened her heart.
Ronald McKenzie (Joey Aresco)
Ronald McKenzie, played by Joey Aresco, appeared in season 1 of “Night Court.” Joey had a conglomeration of roles throughout his career, appearing on TV shows like “General Hospital,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Remington Steele,” “The A-Team,” “MacGyver,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and “The Flash” (which was his last project).
He even co-starred with his “Night Court” co-star John Larroquette in the TV series “Baa Baa Black Sheep” during the 1970s.
Arnold Preminger (Stanley Brock)
What may shock some “Night Court” viewers is that Freddie Kreuger once appeared on the show, or at least Robert Eglund did. Eglund was known for his role in the horror film but played Arnold Preminger on “Night Court.”
Aside from playing Freddie Kreuger, Brock has appeared in numerous horror films over the years but is also a classically trained actor. While he did star in other horror flicks, his most recent role was in the comedy “The Extra.”
What Arnold Did
So what were the detailed events that led to Freddie Kreuger, or Arnold Preminger, ending up in court? Preminger ended up in “Night Court” for attempted varson. He thought that there was an imminent alien invasion and that he should “fight back” against the invaders.
When he claimed to have proof of the documented aliens from “The New York Times,” Judge Harry informed him that the article was referring to “immigrants.”
Jack Gilford Appeared on the Show
Jack Gilford was a veteran stage and film actor who had been acting since the 40s. Though he was blacklisted for a time during the height of McCarthyism in the 50s, he managed to stay in showbusiness.
In season 3 of “Night Court,” Gilford appeared as the character Marty Ratner, Selma’s former lover. Gilford went on to have a successful career. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1973 film “Save the Tiger.” He passed away at the age of eighty-one in 1990 after a long career.
Kitty Daniels (Teri Hatcher)
In season 5, Teri Hatcher starred as Kitty Daniels, who was the niece of District Attorney Vincent Daniels. Teri became well known for her roles as Lois Lane in the popular TV series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” and later as the character Susan Mayer Delfino in the hit show “Desperate Housewives.”
After leaving “Desperate Housewives,” Teri focused on raising her daughter, primarily taking voice acting roles, including in the film Coraline. However, in recent years she has appeared on the shows “The Odd Couple” and “Super Girl.”
Sheila (Leslie Bevis)
The striking Leslie Bevis began working as a model in Europe and later broke into the film industry. On “Night Court,” Bevis took on the role of Sheila, a clerk who works in the Records Department. In season 3, Sheila began dating Dan Fielding and proved to be a true match for him.
Bevis was also well known for her role in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and also for the character of Ruth Perkins on the “Young and The Restless.” The soap opera was her last role in the film industry before she left to focus on her family.
Many Roles (Judy Landers)
Judy Landers appeared on “Night Court” many times as different characters. She was Vickie Guyer-McKenzie, Dan’s date, and U.S. Army Reserve Major Roberta Savage. Landers was educated at both Warren Robertson Dramatic Training School and the Juilliard School of Music.
Aside from Night Court, she also appeared in many other TV shows over the years, like “The Love Boat,” “Happy Days,” and “ALF.” In 2019 she starred as Francine Davis in the film “Manipulated.”
John Larroquette Had A Shocking Voice Over
Before becoming Prosecutor Dan Fielding, John Larroquette was presented with a unique voice-over opportunity.
It may be surprising to fans, given his corporate appearance, but John Larroquette was asked by director Tobe Hooper to narrate the opening text in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (the 1974 version). Larroquette narrated the opening text for the low-budget film that would soon become a cult classic.
Markie Post Worked On Game Shows
Before becoming an actress, Markie Post actually worked behind the scenes on a number of game shows. She worked as part of the production crew on “Second Split,” as an associate producer on “Double Dare,” and as a car dealer on the show “Card Sharks.”
Additionally, she later appeared as a celebrity guest on various game shows like “Blackout,” “Password,” and “Pyramid.” The post is a great example of working your way to the top!
The Genesis of Night Court
So, where did the concept of the “Night Court” series first begin? The show’s creator, Reinhold Weege, said that the idea came from hearing the real-life stories of night court judges in New York City. When he was asked to create a courtroom show, Weege decided to gather research by sitting outside a Manhattan night court.
He claimed that what he observed inspired him along with the fascinating stories he had read about the emotionally unstable judges facilitating these nighttime court sessions.
“Must See Thursday”
“Night Court” was such a hit that it became part of a lineup of shows (called “Must See Thursday”) on NBC. ” Night Court” was accompanied by shows like ” Family Ties,” ” The Cosby Show,” “Dear John,” and ” A Different World.”
It’s thought that comedies airing on NBC have not been very successful since the ending of the incredibly popular ” Friends” sitcom in the 90s and, though NBC no longer does “Must See Thursday,” the fact that ” Night Court” was once included on this time slot speaks greatly to its success.
Markie Post’s Pregnancy Fit Into The Plot
Filmmakers and TV producers often run into creative challenges when an actress becomes pregnant, but thankfully there are usually ways to work around it. When Markie Post became pregnant, “Night Court” writers simply made it part of the plot in the upcoming episodes.
The storyline for Christine Sullivan then became that she both got married and became pregnant. In the episode The Blues of the Birth, she even goes into labor (not in real life, of course) in an elevator.
The Show Was Intentionally Lighthearted
Today, many shows that revolve around courtrooms are typically laden with heavy topics, but “Night Court” was strictly a comedy. The executive producer, Stuart Kreisman, admitted that “Night Court” sought to be a lighthearted show.
John Larroquette also more or less admitted that, in partaking in the sitcom world, his goal was just to make people laugh. Given the success of the show, the creators knew what they were doing!
Too Many Loose Ends
One big grievance viewers may have about “Night Court” is that, when the series finally came to a close, there were many loose ends in the storylines. That’s right; many subplots never came to a conclusion for the characters on the show. Why was this?
Well, the show’s fate hung in the balance after the ninth season ended, with NBC considering renewing “Night Court” for another season. Sadly, nothing came of the potential renewal, and the series ended after nine seasons.
Some Characters Were Named After Real-Life People
“Night Court” saw many interesting and even wacky characters in its nine seasons. Some regular types of characters were known to appear on the show.
The fun fact about the names of these characters is that they were often named after show creator Reinhold Weege’s friends. Weege did this as a way to recognize those close to him in a rather unconventional way, or maybe it was meant as a humorous jab.
Wile E. Coyote Made An Appearance
As if the “Night Court” storylines couldn’t get any sillier, the animated Wile E. Coyote (from the Road Runner cartoon) even stepped into one of the courtroom sessions.
He appeared in the episode Still Another Day in the Life. The presence of Wile E. Coyote was because the Warner brothers were behind both the iconic cartoon and the sitcom and decided to merge the two worlds. It certainly was a surprise for fans!
Richard Moll Was Bald For A Reason
Though it only added to his intimidating-looking character, Richard Moll was not supposed to be bald for the role of Bull Shannon.
Moll had very recently starred in a sci-fi film (“Metal Storm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn”), and his role demanded that he be bald. He went into his audition for “Night Court” with his bald head and, although Weege had not planned on the character being bald, he decided he liked the look.