Tuesday, February 21, 2023 – Richard Belzer, the longtime stand-up comedian who became one of TV’s most indelible detectives as John Munch in “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Law & Order: SVU,” has died. He was 78.
Belzer died on Sunday, February 19, at his home in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, in southern France, as confirmed by his longtime friend Bill Scheft. Scheft, a writer who had been working on a documentary about Belzer, said there was no known cause of death, but that Belzer had been dealing with circulatory and respiratory issues. The actor Henry Winkler, Belzer’s cousin, tweeted, “Rest in peace Richard.”
Laraine Newman, an original ‘SNL’ cast member who worked alongside Belzer from the mid-’70s through the ’80s, also confirmed his death.
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.