Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Born: June 26, 1924
Died: February 3, 2014 (at age 89)
Birthplace: Zion, Illinois, U.S.

Richard William Bull (June 26, 1924 - February 3, 2014) was an American film, stage and television actor. He was best known for his performance as "Doc" on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Nels Oleson on Little House on the Prairie.

Personal life

Bull was born on June 26, 1924 in Zion, Illinois. After years of living in Los Angeles, he moved back to Chicago in 1994 with his wife Barbara Collentine. Bull and Collentine, also 89, moved to the Motion Picture & Television Fund home from Chicago in September 2012.


Bull died on the morning of February 3, 2014 at the Motion Picture Television Fund campus in Calabasas, California of pneumonia. He was 89 years old.


Richard Bull began his stage career at the famous Goodman Theatre in Chicago. He said that a two-line part in The Greatest Story Ever Told "opened a lot of doors for me." Director George Stevens was impressed with Bull's emoting, and that "led directly to the role of an FBI agent in The Satan Bug," Bull said.

He made more than 100 film and TV appearances including:


  • Harrigan and Son (1961) as Lawson in "They Were All in Step But Jim"
  • The Eleventh Hour (1964) as Phil Whitman in "Sunday Father"
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964-1968 TV Series) as The Doctor, various episodes
  • Kentucky Jones (1965) as Harold Erkel in episodes "The Victim" and "The Return of Wong Lee"
  • Blue Light (1966) in episode "Sacrifice!"
  • Mission: Impossible (1966) as an agent for the Impossible Missions Force
  • Mannix - (1968-1974) 7 episodes as 4 different characters
  • Gomer Pyle, USMC (1966) as the psychologist in the episode "Gomer and the Little Space Men".
  • Bonanza (1969-1972) as Jess Hill (2 episodes)
  • Columbo (1971) as 2nd Detective in episode "Lady in Waiting"
  • The Streets of San Francisco (1973-1974) as the coroner
  • Barnaby Jones (1973-1976) 4 episodes as J.I. Fletcher
  • Little House on the Prairie (1974-1983) as Nels Oleson
  • Wipeout (1976) as Sheriff Safian
  • Dead Man's Run as Mr. Moore
  • Blind Terror (1973) as Mr. Strather
  • Perchance to Kill (1973) as J.I. Fletcher
  • Hill Street Blues (1985) as Capt. Furillo's father
  • Highway to Heaven (1985) as the doctor (2 episodes)
  • Designing Women (1988) as Everett
  • Normal - (2003 film) as Roy, Sr.
  • Boss (2011)


  • Witless Protection - (2008) as Sheriff Smoot
  • The Parallax View - (1974) as a Parallax Goon
  • High Plains Drifter - (1973) as Asa Goodwin
  • Executive Action - (1973) as a gunman on "Team A"
  • The President's Plane is Missing - (1973) as Flight Controller
  • The Andromeda Strain - (1971) as an Air Force major
  • Moonfire - (1970) as Leslie Russell
  • The Stalking Moon - (1968) as the doctor
  • The Thomas Crown Affair - (1968) as Booth Guard
  • The Satan Bug - (1965) As Federal Agent

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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