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Famous Law & Order actor Richard Belzer dead at 78

Ambulance. (Dreamstime/TNS)
February 20, 2023

Actor Richard Belzer, famous for his roles in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Homicide: Life on the Street,” has died at the age of 78.

Born in August 1944 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Belzer was raised in a working-class Jewish family and worked several jobs before moving to New York City in pursuit of a career in comedy, Rare reported. He made three guest appearances on SNL in the late 1970s and served as a warm-up comedian for the audience.

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“I’m so sad to hear of Richard Belzer’s passing. I loved this guy so much. He was one of my first friends when I got to New York to do SNL. We used to go out to dinner every week at Sheepshead Bay for lobster. One of the funniest people ever. A master at crowd work. RIP dearest,” Comedian Laraine Newman tweeted.

Belzer’s most iconic character, John Munch, first appeared in 1993 and later appeared on 11 different shows across 6 different networks. Prior to his death, he appeared on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Arrested Development,” and “30 Rock.” However, he is best remembered for his appearance on SVU for a total of 17 seasons.

“Missing Richard Belzer today. Working with him on Homicide to SVU has been a hilarious, surprising and always joyful experience. I’m sure he’s giving ’em all a lot of laughs upstairs,” writer Julie Martin tweeted.