Fans and colleagues honour the life and legacy of late ‘Law & Order’ star Richard Belzer

Feb 21, 2023
Richard Belzer passed away at the age of 78 after suffering "health issues". Source: Getty Images.

Richard Belzer, best known for his portrayal of cynical detective John Munch on the hit crime series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, has passed away at the age of 78.

Longtime friend, Bill Scheft confirmed Belzer’s death to The Hollywood Reporter, telling the publication he died on Sunday, February 19 at his home in southwest France.

Sheft revealed that Belzer “had lots of health issues” while sharing the late actor’s notable last words.

“His last words were, ‘F*#k you, motherf*#ker,’” Scheft said.

Born August 4, 1944, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Belzer first began work as a reporter for the Bridgeport Post before making the move into stand-up comedy.

Following his first divorce, Belzer made the move to New York City and began performing as a stand-up comic, eventually securing the role of the warm-up comedian for Saturday Night Live in which he made three guest appearances on the show between 1975 and 1980.

Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, Belzer made several minor appearances in films such as Fame, Café Flesh, Night Shift, and Scarface.

Following appearances in television shows such as The Flash and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Belzer secured his most notable role, that of police detective John Munch.

Belzer first portrayed Munch in the American police drama series Homicide: Life on the Street from 1993 to 1999 before portraying the character yet again on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 1999 with his last appearance as the character in 2016.

Incredibly, Belzer portrayed Munch for 22 consecutive seasons of television, 7 seasons on Homicide: Life on the Street, and 15 seasons of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

As news broke of Belzer’s passing, fans and colleagues alike to social media to honour the life and legacy of the late star.

Belzer is survived by his wife, Harlee McBride.

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