scorecardRichard Belzer, 'Law & Order' actor famous for playing Det. John Munch, dead at 78: reports
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Richard Belzer, 'Law & Order' actor famous for playing Det. John Munch, dead at 78: reports

Sarah Al-Arshani,Jordan Parker Erb   

Richard Belzer, 'Law & Order' actor famous for playing Det. John Munch, dead at 78: reports
LifeInternational2 min read
  • Actor Richard Belzer has died at 78 years old, according to several reports and friends.
  • He was known for the role of detective John Munch on "Law & Order."

Actor Richard Belzer, know for his role as police detective John Munch on Law & Order has died at the age of 78, according to The Hollywood Reporter and several close friends and colleagues of the actor.

Belzer, who began his career as a comedian but in recent years aligned himself with conspiracy theories, died Sunday in his home in the south of France after an illness, his longtime friend Bill Scheft told the Reporter. Laraine Newman, and original "Saturday Night Live" cast member also shared her rememberances on Sunday.

Reps for Belzer did not respond for Insider's request for confirmation.

"I'm so sad to hear of Richard Belzer's passing," Newman said in a tweet. "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."

Other actors and comedians, including Ellen Barkin, Marc Maron, and Patton Oswalt, shared their rememberances Sunday after seeing the news.

"Law & Order" writers and staff also shared memories Sunday of working with Belzer.

Belzer's "Law & Order" career began in 1993 up until his final appearance on the show in 2016.

Prior to his work on "Law & Order," Belzer was a stand-up comic who began his career at clubs around New York City, Forbes reported. He also served as the audience warm-up comedian for the early seasons of "Saturday Night Live," and made three appearances on the late-night show.

Along with roles throughout the '80s in films and television shows like "Scarface," "Miami Vice," and "The Flash," Belzer guest starred in dramas like "The X-Files" and "The Wire," as well as comedies including "Arrested Development" and "30 Rock."

In recent years, Belzer espoused several conspiracy theories, writing four books about his belief of conspiracies to assassinate President John F. Kennedy, per Forbes. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Belzer had also described the United States as a "fascist state" run by "sociopaths," and was a supporter of InfoWars founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Belzer was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on August 4, 1944. He was married and divorced twice, per Forbes.




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