Fans around the world mourn the death of TV legend Richard Belzer

Francesca Divincenzo, A&E editor

On Sunday, Feb. 19, the world lost a vital part of the “Law & Order: Special Crimes Unit” cast—Mr. Richard Belzer also known to fans as Detective Munch.
Belzer did not get his start working on “Law & Order;” he actually got his start way earlier. According to sources, “In 1971, Mr. Belzer answered an ad in ‘The Village Voice for auditions for a sketch show, and soon enough he found himself performing stand-up.”That sketch show turned out to be “Saturday Night Live,”
where he was the opener for the comedy sketches.His career took off when he started appearing in episodes of the show “Homicide” as Detective Munch.
According to sources, “Mr.Belzer was often described as the actor with the longest run playing the same character on television, as well as the actor who
had played the same character on the largest number of different shows” many of the cast members from “Law & Order” have spoken about the loss of their fellow cast member. According to “Law & Order: Special Crimes Unit” counterpart, Mariska Hargitay speaks highly of Belzer saying, “I will miss you, your unique light, and your singular take on this strange world. I feel blessed to have known you and adored you and worked with you, side by side, for so many years. How
lucky the angels are to have you. I can hear them laughing already. I love you so very much,now and forever.”According to sources, “Prolific TV producer Dick Wolf, who created “SVU,” remembered Belzer as a ‘consummate professional’ who “brought humor and joy into all our lives.”Not only the cast of “Law &Order” are mourning the loss of their beloved cast mate, Billy Crystal tweeted of Belzer calling him, “simply hilarious,” “A genius at handling a crowd. So
sad he’s passed away.”Richard Belzer was born Aug.4, 1944, in Bridgeport Connecticut. His father Charles Belzer was a candy and tobacco distributor
while his mother Frances was a homemaker. Belzer grew up in a housing project in the city. Belzer died from circulatory and respiratory issues at his home in France, he was 79 years old. Belzer will be missed by his family, his two step daughters and his wife of 38 years, Harlee McBride.Richard Belzer had been on
“Law & Order” for 17 years.