Richard Belzer, star of NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” has died at 78 years old.
Belzer died early Sunday at his home in Bozouls in southwest France, writer Bill Scheft, a longtime friend of the actor, told The Hollywood Reporter.
“He had lots of health issues, and his last words were, ‘F*ck you, motherf*cker,’” Scheft said.
Belzer made his film debut in the hilarious “The Groove Tube” (1974).
He also warmed up audiences in the early days of “Saturday Night Live” and famously was put to sleep by Hulk Hogan.
“Happy Days” actor Henry Winkler is Belzer’s cousin.
He said: “Rest in peace Richard.”
Rest in peace Richard https://t.co/recgtMi62J
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) February 19, 2023
Laraine Newman said:
“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.”
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/u23co0JPA2
— Laraine Newman (@larainenewman) February 19, 2023
“When Homicide was canceled, I was in France with my wife and she said, ‘Let’s open a bottle of champagne and toast: You did this character for seven years,’” Belzer said in 2009.
“And then I remembered that Benjamin Bratt was leaving L&O, and so I called my manager and said, ‘Call Dick Wolf — maybe Munch can become [Det. Lennie] Briscoe’s partner’ —- because we had teamed for the crossover.
“So he called and Dick said, ‘What a great idea, but I’ve already cast Jesse Martin to be the new guy [opposite Jerry Orbach].’”