Why ‘Night Court’ Star Marsha Warfield Took an Extended Hiatus from Acting

by Josh Lanier
(Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

Marsha Warfield walked away from an established acting career without a word in 1999. The Night Court star recently returned to television on 9-1-1 after a 22-year-old absence. Now, she’s explaining why she left and where she went.

Most people will recognize Warfield from her time as Rosalind “Roz” Russell” on Night Court. She joined the show in the fourth season and continued until it ended in 1992. Then she went on to Empty Nest and made guest appearances on Living Single, Cybill, and Mad About You. But in 1999, after a brief run on Veronica’s Closet, Marsha Warfield disappeared. She wouldn’t return to television until 2021.

“I had a family commitment thing I had to attend to that needed my time and presence,” she said in an interview with 50 Bold. “The matter needed my attention, and then I could resume pursuing my passion. So I went for it!”

Now, the 67-year-old is back. She joined the cast of 9-1-1 as Toni Wilson last season. Warfield said she’s excited to reclaim her career but admits things look must different today.

“You take the hiatus that I did, and suddenly, there’s a whole new landscape out here,” she told 50 Bold. “I am a whole new person. I have to reintroduce myself to this country and to the world”

She also began performing a one-woman stand-up show called The Book of Marsha.

There is a reboot of Night Court in the works at NBC, but it’s unclear if Warfield will take part in that project. Melissa Rauch of The Big Bang Theory will star and executive producer. She plays Abby Stone, the daughter of Harry Anderson’s character, Harry Stone. She also works the graveyard shift of a Manhattan arraignment court. The show will return to TVs next year, NBC said.

Marsha Warfield Laments Passing of ‘Night Court’ Co-Stars

Sadly, most of the cast of Night Court won’t be reprising their role in any reboot. Harry Anderson died in 2018. Charles Robinson, who played Mac on the show, and Markie Post, the plucky district attorney for the series, died last summer.

Warfield posted a memorial to Post, who died in August at 70 after a years-long battle with cancer.

“She has been and will be, described as perky, bubbly, sweet, etc. And she was,” Marsha Warfield wrote on Facebook. “But she was also real, caring, and kind. I never heard a cross word from, to, or about her.”

She was close to Post during production on Night Court. They would play games in between scenes to pass the time, which blossomed into full-on battles with other cast members.

“She’d call out a word and I’d try to guess the Password. Soon, Harry [Anderson] and John [Larroquette] would join in and we’d have a rousing game going.”

Only Laroquette, Warfield, and Richard Moll, who played Bull, remain from the Night Court line-up. NBC said they want Laroquette to reprise his role in the reboot. They haven’t said if Moll or Warfield would return.

Warfield said she’d hoped to see everyone again before it was too late, but no reunion ever materialized.

“Three of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure to know,” she wrote. “May they rest together in peace, forever calling out Passwords, cracking jokes, and sharing laughs and smiles.”