Richard Belzer wife at the time of death: Get to know Richard Belzer wife and children: Richard Belzer was an American actor, stand-up comedian, and author. He was best known for his role as BPD Detective, NYPD Detective/Sergeant, and DA Investigator John Munch, whom he has portrayed as a regular cast member on the NBC police drama series Homicide: Life on the Street and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as in guest appearances on several other series. He portrayed the character for 23 years, from 1993 to 2016. Belzer retired from acting at age 71 in 2016.
Richard Belzer Early life
Richard Jay Belzer was born on August 4, 1944, until his death on February 19, 2023, at age 78 years old. Belzer was born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States. He is the son of Frances (née Abrams) and Charles Belzer, a tobacco and candy retailer. He grew up in a Jewish family.
Belzer described his mother as frequently physically abusive, and he declared that his comedy career began when trying to make his mother laugh to distract her from abusing him and his brother. After graduating from Fairfield Warde High School, Belzer worked as a reporter for the Bridgeport Post. He attended Dean College, which was then known as Dean Junior College, in Franklin, Massachusetts, but was expelled.
He worked in a variety of jobs, including sales and as a census taker. Belzer’s older brother, Leonard Belzer, died by suicide at age 73 in the early morning hours of July 30, 2014, by jumping from the roof of the New York City luxury apartment building in which he had resided. Belzer’s father had also died by suicide, in 1968.
Richard Belzer Career
Richard Belzer relocated to New York City after his first divorce, moved in with singer Shelley Ackerman, and began working as a stand-up comic at Pips, The Improv, and Catch a Rising Star. He participated in the Channel One comedy group that satirized television and became the basis for the cult movie The Groove Tube, in which Belzer played the costar of the ersatz TV show The Dealers.
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Belzer was the audience warm-up comedian for Saturday Night Live and made three guest appearances on the show between 1975 and 1980. He also opened for musician Warren Zevon during his tour supporting the release of his album Excitable Boy. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Belzer became an occasional film actor. A short skit of a younger Richard Belzer can be found on Sesame Street in a season 9 episode in 1978 when two young men attempt a picnic and boat ride, only to be thwarted by a dog who eats their food.
He is noted for small roles in Fame, Café Flesh, Night Shift, and Scarface. He appeared in the music videos for the Mike + The Mechanics song “Taken In” and for the Pat Benatar song “Le Bel Age”, as well as the Kansas video “Can’t Cry Anymore”. He appeared in A Very Brady Sequel as an LAPD detective. In addition to his film career, Belzer was a featured player on the National Lampoon Radio Hour with co-stars John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, and Harold Ramis, a half-hour comedy program aired on 600 plus U.S. stations from 1973 to 1975.
Several of his sketches were released on National Lampoon albums, drawn from the Radio Hour, including several bits in which he portrayed a pithy call-in talk show host named “Dick Ballantine”. In the late 1970s, he co-hosted Brink & Belzer on 660AM WNBC radio in New York City. He has been a frequent guest on The Howard Stern Show. Following the departure of Randi Rhodes from Air America Radio, Belzer guest-hosted the afternoon program on the network.
Belzer has been a regular guest on the right-wing radio show of Alex Jones and appeared on the episode covering the Boston Marathon bombing, in which he referred to the bombing as a false flag event. In the 1990s, Belzer appeared frequently on television. He was a regular on The Flash as a news anchor and reporter. In several episodes of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, he played Inspector William Henderson.
He followed that with starring roles on the Baltimore-based Homicide: Life on the Street (1993–1999) and the New York-based Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–2013), portraying police detective John Munch in both series. Barry Levinson, Executive Producer of Homicide, said Belzer was a “lousy actor” in the audition when he read lines from the script for “Gone for Goode”, the first episode in the series. Levinson asked Belzer to take time to reread and practice the material, then read it again. At his second reading, Levinson said Belzer was “still terrible”, but that the actor eventually found confidence in his performance.
Richard Belzer has played Munch in episodes on seven other series and in a sketch on one talk show, making Munch the only fictional character to appear on eleven different television shows played by a single actor. Belzer moved to the town Bozouls in the South of France, following his being written out of SVU. He spends his time writing about his passion for conspiracy theories (“Corporate Conspiracies: How Wall Street Will Take Over Washington” and the upcoming “Conversations with Jerry Lewis”).
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On March 27, 1985, days prior to the inaugural WrestleMania, Belzer requested on his cable TV talk show Hot Properties that Hulk Hogan demonstrate one of his signature wrestling moves. After being asked by Belzer several times, Hogan put Belzer in a front chin-lock, which caused Belzer to pass out. When Hogan released him, Belzer hit his head on the floor, sustaining a laceration to the scalp that required a brief hospitalization.
Richard Belzer wife
Richard Belzer was married to Harlee McBride, they had their wedding in 1985. His surviving wife is an actress. McBride, who had been seen in Playboy magazine four years earlier in that year’s sex-in-cinema feature, in conjunction with Young Lady Chatterley, was appearing in TV commercials for Ford and acting in free theater when she met Belzer at the suggestion of a friend.