Richard Belzer, the actor who became famous for his role as Detective Munch in “Law & Order: SVU,” has died at 78 years. The actor’s death was confirmed on social media by celebrities who were close to Belzer, such as Julie Martin and Laraine Newman.
Belzer was a regular on “SVU” for over 200 episodes and did guest appearances on “Law & Order.” His Munch character featured in several other TV shows, and Belzer himself has extensive film credits, such as the 1990 “The Flash” series. He also featured in films like the Andy Kaufman biopic, “Man on the Moon,” “Mad Dog and Glory,” and “The Puppet Masters.”
Belzer was born in Bridgeport in 1944 and worked as a reporter until he moved to New York and started stand-up comedy. The actor is survived by his third wife and former co-star Harlee McBride and two stepdaughters.
Read on to find out more.
Richard Belzer Died At Age 78
Richard Belzer, the actor who rose to fame as a stand-up comedian and later as Detective John Munch, has died at age 78. Det. Munch was one of the central characters in “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Law & Order: SVU” and was featured on several other television series.
The show’s creator, Dick Wolf, released a statement to Variety on Belzer’s death, which read, “I first worked with Richard on the ‘Law & Order’/’ Homicide’ crossover and loved the character so much, I told Tom (Fontana) that I wanted to make him one of the original characters on ‘SVU.’ The rest is history. Richard brought humor and joy into all our lives, was the consummate professional and we will all miss him very much.”
The actor’s death was shared with the public by several of Belzer’s actor peers and celebrity friends, such as “SVU” executive producer Julie Martin and comedian Laraine Newman. Martin tweeted, “Missing Richard Belzer today. Working with him on Homicide to SVU was an hilarious, surprising, and always joyful experience.”
He Featured On SVU For Over 200 Episodes
Belzer was featured as a series regular on “SVU” for over 230 episodes after doing multiple guest appearances on “Law & Order.” Over the course of his time on “SVU,” Munch featured in several roles, rising from detective to the post of sergeant. Belzer finally retired from the show in October 2013, leaving to become an investigator for the D.A.’s office.
His Detective Munch character currently holds the record for featuring in the most television series, standing at nine shows across five TV networks. Belzer’s character made guest appearances on shows like “Arrested Development,” “3rd Rock From the Sun,” “The Wire,” “The X-Files,” and “The Beat.”
Richard Belzer Had Extensive Film Credits
Asides from his role in “Law & Order,” Belzer had extensive film credits, which included movies like Arthur Hiller’s “Author! Author!,” where he worked alongside Al Pacino, Ron Howard’s “Night Shift,” “The Bonfire of the Vanities,” “Mad Dog and Glory,” “The Puppet Masters,” and the Andy Kaufman biopic “Man on the Moon.”
Belzer also featured as news commentator Joe Klein on the first iteration of CBS’ “The Flash” and again as Inspector Henderson in
“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.” Belzer did several guest appearances on TV shows, including “Miami Vice,” “Moonlighting,” “Mad About You,” and “The Larry Sanders Show.”
Richard Belzer Is Survived By His Wife And Stepkids
Belzer was born in Bridgeport in 1944 and worked as a reporter for a while in the late 60s because he dreamed of becoming a prominent writer. In 1972, Belzer moved to New York and began stand-up comedy, even joining the infamous “Channel One” comedy. The group became known for their TV satire, and their work was later adapted into the cult film, “The Groove Tube.”
It was in this film that Belzer first featured on screen, starring alongside Chevy Chase and the movie’s director, Ken Shapiro. The late film star is now survived by his third wife, Harlee McBride, who was his co-star on “Homicide: Life on the Street.” Belzer is also survived by his two stepdaughters.