Richard Belzer, TV cop and famous stand-up comedian, has died at 78


Richard Bezer, a former stand-up comedian and star of Homicide : Life on the Street, and Law & Order : SVU is dead at 78.

Richard Bezer, an iconic comedian and one the most important TV cops of 2000s and ’90s, has died at the age of 78. The star of Homicide – Life on the Street was seventy eight. According to Deadline, the news of his passing was first reported by his lifelong friend, Laraine Newman of Saturday Night Live:

Belzer had an incredible career. Although he is most well-known for his role in TV cop, Homicide on the Street was his most notable role. He was also a stand-up comedian. He was a comedian on Saturday NightLive, and the late Alan Thicke’s comic sidekick at the infamously short-lived Thicke of the Night. Belzer was so well-known as a comic that in his early acting roles, such as in the movie version of Fame, Scarface, or Mad Dog and Glory, he was always cast as an M.C.

His career changed significantly when Barry Levinson cast him as Detective John Munch in the iconic Homicide: Life on the Street. He was so popular in the role, he was allowed by rival networks to reprise Munch’s role on other TV shows. He played Munch on The X-Files, The Wire (which came from the folks behind Homicide) and, most notably, Law & Order and the spinoff, Law & Order: SVU. Wikipedia says that he was the actor who had the longest tenure as the same character on television. He played Munch on Homicide on the Street and Law and Order: SVU. The record has since been broken by his SVU co-star Mariska Hargitay.

Interestingly, Belzer also had a sideline as an author of conspiracy theory books relating to UFOs and the JFK assassination, with his obsession being worked into the character of John Munch.

According to reports, Belzer’s health was declining over the years. He did not have an on-screen credit after playing a thinly disguised version of John Munch in Unbreakable Kimmy.. Belzer was truly a one-of-a-kind icon who will be missed.

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