Vale: Richard Belzer

Veteran US actor and comedian Richard Belzer has died.

Veteran US actor and comedian Richard Belzer has died aged 78.

Belzer was best known for his role in the Law & Order franchise as John Munch, but had a film and television career spanning decades, including a five-year stint on Saturday Night Live.

The cause of his death is unknown.

Belzer introduced detective John Munch on Homicide: Life On The Street, but moved to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and reprising the characteron several other shows including The X-Files, Arrested Development and Mad About You, making history as the longest-running character on TV.

He featured on 325 episodes of Law & Order: SVU, plus a crossover with Law & Order: Trial By Jury.

Mariska Hargitay, SVU‘s Olivia Benson, took to Instagram to mourn her friend, captioning the post, “Oh Richard.”

“Goodbye my dear, dear friend,” she wrote. “I will miss you, your unique light, and your singular take on this strange world. I feel blessed to have known you and adored you and worked with you, side by side, for so many years. How lucky the angels are to have you. I can hear them laughing already. I love you so very much, now and forever.”

Christopher Meloni kept his tribute short and simple, saying, “Good bye mon ami. I love you,” sharing photos from their many years together on set and off.

Executive producer Dick Wolf also paid homage.

“Richard Belzer’s Detective John Munch is one of television’s iconic characters. I first worked with Richard on the Law & Order/Homicide crossover and loved the character so much, I told [executive producer] Tom (Fontana) that I wanted to make him one of the original characters on SVU. The rest is history,” Wolf said. “Richard brought humor and joy into all our lives, was the consummate professional and we will all miss him very much.”

NBC and Universal Television also issued the following statement following Belzer’s death: “Anyone who ever had the pleasure of watching Richard Belzer portray Det. John Munch — whether on Homicide or Law & Order: SVU – over four decades will never forget how much he inhabited that beloved character to make it his own. His professionalism, talents and dedication to the craft made him a pillar in the industry, but it was his humor, compassion and loving heart that made him family. Our condolences go out to his loved ones as we join them in mourning his loss, but also in celebrating his memory.”

Source: Yahoo, TV Insider

9 Responses

  1. It says something that the Munch character of his was so popular that he was able to move from Baltimore’s ‘Homicide: Life On The Streets’ to NYC’s ‘Law and Order’ to continue the role. RIP, Sir.

  2. Oh man there goes one of the best and one of the greatest lines of cameos ever as mentioned.

    You may be gone Richard Belzer to your final destination but the Munch Cinematic Universe (the real MCU), will live on forever and be forever tied into Tommy Westphall’s Snowglobe from St Elsewhere (also written by Homicide Life on the Street writer Tom Fontana), at least 13 shows Munch was in are contained in that snowglobe.

    Going to be so missed, including your stand-Up Comedy, so it is farewell Richard Belzer, however as for John Munch I know it is only farewell for now, as I know one day sometime, somewhere you will turn up again. Whether that be your image in a piece of toast I’m having, or maybe one day as I’m shaving I’ll see you in the mirror over my shoulder, or another sighting in or on something else, thank you for making my Cinematic world all the more brighter and connected.

    Yep Richard Belzer you’re legacy that will continue on and shall never be repeated.

  3. There were only 3 reasons I watch SVU…Richard, Mariska and Ice T. I watched the very first episode season 1 and was hoked, then season 2 and Ice T came along I was hooked even more. I’ve been a fan of the show ever since. I’ve never missed an episode all 500+ of them.
    Richard was even in a video for Pat Benatar as Artie the Comic (his usual cool and suave) on the song Le Bel Age. 2023 has not had a good start to the year with so many deaths in the industry. Thanks for all the intrigue and enjoyment you brought Det John Munch…RIP Richard.

  4. Very sad. A great actor. So good to see 7flix playing L&O and L&O:SVU from S1 7:30-11:30 Sunday nights. Much better than the trash served up on their ‘main’ channel.

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