Richard Belzer, the legendary actor, comedian, and author, died at his home in Bozouls, France. He was 78 years old when he died quietly with family by his side, according to Bill Sheft, a former writer for The Late Show with David Letterman.
From 1999 until 2016, Belzer was most recognized for his famous role as Detective John Munch on the long-running crime drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. His appearance on the show made an unforgettable imprint, earning him thousands of followers worldwide.
Richard Belzer survived testicular cancer in 1983, which inspired his 1997 HBO comedy special Another Lone Nut. Hulk Hogan, a celebrity guest on The Richard Belzer Show, choked the presenter, causing him to lose consciousness and smack his head against the stage.
Belzer then filed a lawsuit against Hogan, which was later settled out of court. Many renowned people offered their condolences after his death was reported.
For example, Dick Wolf, creator and executive producer of Law & Order: SVU, said that John Munch – Belzer’s detective role – is “one of television’s classic characters.”
Laraine Newman, a former Saturday Night Live cast member, remembers Richard Belzer affectionately following his death. Belzer worked as a warm-up comedian on SNL from 1975 through 1980. She turned to Twitter to express her grief over his death and to recall their time as friends in New York.
Belzer was also a crossover character on Law & Order and Homicide: Criminal Intent, which led to his being one of the initial characters on SVU (Special Victims Unit).
His colleagues admired him for bringing fun and joy into their lives while maintaining professionalism in whatever he did. His demise has severely devastated them all.
Richard Belzer, who died in 2004, left a legacy of laughter and pleasant memories. He rose to prominence as Detective John Munch on the legendary Law & Order: Special Victims Unit series and regularly used crowd work as a humorous element.
His wit and charisma were unparalleled, frequently giving joy to people around him. Marc Maron paid tribute to him, writing, “He was a one-of-a-kind. You’re one of the greats. I adored him.” Jeff Ross also expressed his sorrow in a post with an old photo of Belzer and his tiny puppy Bebe.
He remarked on Belzer’s ability to remain calm and composed in any room he entered. It’s no surprise that Belzer’s beloved character appeared in over 330 episodes of SVU between 1999 and 2013; two additional cameos followed in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
Friends, relatives, and fans all remember the fun-filled lobster feasts they used to have in Sheepshead Bay with Belzer – a time no one will ever forget.
In an interview, John Belzer revealed that his position on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU) came about through divine intervention – he was heard on the Howard Stern Show by Barry Levinson, who then invited him to audition for the job.
Belzer describes playing this role as “a dream come true” because the scripts mirror his beliefs about paranoia, anti-establishment discord, and conspiracy theories.
Belzer’s strong acting resume also includes favorite parts as an M.C. at the Babylon Club in Scarface (1983), President of the United States in Species II (1998), and various appearances on The Flash from 1991 to the present.
John Belzer has been married to Harlee McBride since 1985 and has no children. On the other hand, McBride had two children from a previous relationship, Jessica and Shannon Benton, whom Belzer considered his own.
He revealed that his dog Bebe functioned as a calming influence when he became furious, assisting him in maintaining control and keeping his temper in check. He speculated that this could be the cause that has helped him to live a longer life.