Richard Belzer, best known for playing cynical Detective John Munch on Law & Order: SVU, has died.
According to Bill Scheft, a former writer for The Late Show with David Letterman, the actor died at his home in Bozouls, southwest France, at the age of 78.
The former late-night writer first revealed the news in a letter to The Hollywood Reporter, explaining that he has had “plenty of health concerns.”
His final words were “[Expletive] you, mother [expletive],” according to a longtime friend of the SVU actor.
Richard is survived by his 74-year-old wife, Harlee McBride, whom he married in 1985. He is also survived by his two stepdaughters from his wife’s previous marriage, Jessica and Shannon, even though he never had any of his own.
Chevy Chase, born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1944, made his screen debut in the 1974 comedy The Groove Tube, which also served as Chevy Chase’s feature film debut.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he was a mainstay of the New York City comedy scene, sharing the stage with many other greats, including Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, and the late John Belushi.
When the renowned sketch show first aired in 1975, seasoned producer Lorne Michaels chose Richard to perform as the opening act for the live audience.
He made his television debut in the premiere of NBC’s Homicide as Detective Munch, and he most recently appeared in an episode of Law & Order: SVU in 2016. From 1999 to 2016, he was a member of the show’s cast.
His longtime co-star Mariska Hargitay paid a touching tribute to him on Instagram, writing: “My dear, dear buddy, farewell. You, your unique brilliance, and your unique perspective on this strange world will be missed.”
“I consider myself fortunate to have known, loved, and worked with you for so many years. The angels are extremely lucky to have you. I can already hear them giggling. You have my undying love, now and forever.”