Chris Meloni, Mariska Hargitay And More Mourn The Death Of Law And Order: SVU Great Richard Belzer
Actor and comedian Richard Belzer passed away at the age of 78, and not long after the news of his death and NSFW last words reached the public, the tributes came flooding in. As such, former and current Law & Order: Special Victims Unit vets Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay shared their tributes alongside many others from those who shared projects with Belzer over the years.
Richard Belzer was a core part of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for many years, but departed in 2014 and spent his later years living in a small French village writing books. Though he hasn't been on the show since a brief return in 2016, the late actor still received tons of love from his former co-star Chris Meloni, who has since branched out from SVU, only to later return to draw eyeballs to Law & Order: Organized Crime. Meloni shared a picture with Belzer, as well as his reaction to the reported last words of the actor:
A post shared by Chris Meloni (@chris_meloni)
A photo posted by on
For those unaware, Richard Belzer's reported last words were, "Fuck you, motherfucker," and that sentiment apparently struck a chord with Chris Meloni, who also shared other pictures with the actor through Twitter posts.
Mariska Hargitay, who continues to run the ship over at Law & Order: Special Victims Unit despite other actors moving on, shared a more formal but equally touching tribute to Richard Belzer. In a brief statement, Hargitay offered a tribute that let the world know just how much the late actor meant to her:
A post shared by Mariska Hargitay (@therealmariskahargitay)
A photo posted by on
These days, the general public might sooner recognize Vincent D'Onofrio for his work as Wilson Fisk in Daredevil by way of his TV career, but Law & Order fans will always think of him as Detective Robert "Bobby" Goren from the spinoff Criminal Intent. In his message, D'Onofrio revealed that he had the pleasure of meeting Richard Belzer ahead of being a part of the Law & Order family, and spoke to his past experiences with the actor:
Richard Belzer was always so kind to me. We met at comedy club he was performing in yrs before L&O. I was young with only one film into my career. He always remembered me. I had the pleasure of hang'n with him a couple of times. Sweet sweet man & funny as hell. He will be missed pic.twitter.com/DZx5EKb6WyFebruary 19, 2023
Many on the internet will mourn the loss of Richard Belzer and his popular character Detective John Munch, but others might remember he once worked as the warm-up comedian for Saturday Night Live in its early days. Actress Laraine Newman, who was a part of the NBC sketch comedy series' original cast, was one of the first to speak publicly about Belzer's death, sharing a bit of personal information about his time working for the Lorne Michaels sketch series.
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. pic.twitter.com/u23co0JPA2February 19, 2023
While many will look back fondly on his acting roles, other stand-up comedians and legends from that industry have also been paying homage to Richard Belzer. The ever-outspoken comic George Wallace is one such example, and posted a unique memory the two of them shared:
1976 at Catch a Rising Star. I was called onto a stage for the first time. By Richard Belzer. Farewell. Love you forever. pic.twitter.com/bdpFR0lRk6February 19, 2023
It's hard to believe an actor who touched so many aspects of the industry and so many notable shows is gone. It goes without saying that Richard Belzer will be missed, and I'm sure there are a few showrunners and writers out there who had pipe dreams about giving Detective John Munch at least one more cameo in their series.
CinemaBlend continues to offer its condolences to the family and friends of Richard Belzer and wishes them well during this time. Hopefully, as more tributes pour in from around the web so that the world can continue learning more about Belzer's life behind the scenes.