Richard Belzer bio, relationships, career, and more

Who is Richard Belzer?

Richard Jay Belzer is a renowned American actor, stand-up comedian, and author best known for his role as Detective John Munch in the television series “Homicide: Life On the Street” (NBC, 1993-99) and “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” (NBC, 1999-present). Belzer has earned a place in television history for portraying the same character on more series than any one actor.

Belzer had a difficult upbringing, with his mother dying of breast cancer when he was 18 and his father committing suicide when he was 22. Despite these struggles, he has made a successful career in show business.

Aside from his famous role as Detective John Munch, Belzer is also known for his appearances in films such as Fame and Scarface and for hosting his talk show, The Richard Belzer Show, on Cinemax.

He has also been a regular guest on many talk shows due to his acerbic wit and controversial statements.

Richard Belzer passed away at age 78 on February 19, 2023, at his house in Bozouls, France.

Richard Belzer biography
Richard Belzer biography

Quick facts

Full nameRichard Jay Belzer
Known asRichard Belzer
BirthdayAugust 4, 1944
Age78 years old
DeathFebruary 19, 2023
Sun signLeo
BirthplaceBridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.
Current residenceBozouls, France,
NationalityFrench and American
ParentsCharles Belzer,
Frances Belzer
SiblingsLeonard Belzer
Marital statusMarried
SpouseHarlee McBride (m. 1985), 
Dalia Danoch (m. 1976–1978), 
Gail Susan Ross (m. 1966–1972)
ChildrenNo biological children
EducationFairfield Warde High School,
Dean College
ProfessionStand-up comedian,
Net worthUSD 16 million
Social mediaTwitter


Richard Belzer

Richard Belzer was born on August 4, 1944, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Frances and Charles Belzer, a tobacco and candy retailer. He grew up in a Jewish family and had a Jewish upbringing.

Unfortunately, Richard’s childhood was marred by his mother’s physical abuse. It led him to recall that the kitchen in his house was the most dangerous place to be.

Furthermore, he has stated that his abusive mother sparked his interest in comedy. He used to make her laugh to stop his mother from physically abusing him and his brother.

His mother passed away when he was young.

Belzer studied at Fairfield Warde High School, and after graduating there, he worked as a reporter for the Bridgeport Post. After this, Belzer enrolled at Dean College, previously known as Dean Junior College. Unfortunately, Belzer was expelled from the college.

Despite his tumultuous childhood, Richard Belzer was kicked out of every school he attended due to uncontrollable behavior.

Despite this difficult start, Belzer used his wit to forge a successful career as a standup comic, actor, talk-show host, and author. He has achieved success in his profession, has a loving family, and is well respected in the entertainment industry.


Belzer was married to Gail Susan Ross from 1966 to 1972. After this, he married Dalia Danoch in 1976. They divorced in 1978. The stand-up comedian got married to Harlee McBride in 1985. Harlee McBride was a Playboy model who had also appeared in an ad for Ford Motors. 

Richard Belzer career

Belzer’s stand-up comedy career began when he worked at Pips, The Improv, and Catch a Rising Star. His comedy group, Channel One, satirized television. From 1975 to 1980, he appeared on Saturday Night Life as a guest.

His acting career began with Sesame Street’s first episode. Aside from Fame, Café Flesh, Night Shift, and Scarface, he also had minor roles in those films. Belzer also appeared in music videos for Mike + The Mechanics’ Taken In, Pat Benator’s Le Bel Age, and Kansas’ Can’t Cry Anymore.

Belzer also co-hosted Brink & Belzer on 660AM WNBC radio in New York. He has also guest-starred in The Howard Stern Show. Regarding his TV work, Belzer has worked as a regular cast member on The Flash. He has starred in several episodes of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Homicide: Life on the Street, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. 

Belzer has authored four books related to conspiracy theories. They are UFOs, JFK, and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don’t Have to Be Crazy to Believe; Dead Wrong: Straight Facts on the Country’s Most Controversial Cover-Ups; Hit List: An In-Depth Investigation into the Mysterious Deaths of Witnesses to the JFK Assassination; and Someone Is Hiding Something: What Happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370? He co-authored the book Dead Wrong and Hit List with  David Wayne. 



1974The Groove TubeRodriguez
Leo Batfish
The President
The Hooker
1982Café FleshLoud-mouthed audience member
1982Author! Author!Seth Shapiro
1982Night ShiftPig
1983ScarfaceM.C. at Babylon Club
1983Likely Stories, Vol. 3Richard
1986AmericaGypsy Beam (AKA Moonbeam)
1986Charlie Barnett’s Terms of EnrollmentMan Reading Paper
1987FlicksStoner (segment ‘New Adventures of the Great Galaxy’)
1988The Wrong GuysRichard ‘Belz’ Belzer
1988FreewayDr. David Lazarus
1989The Big PictureVideo Show Host
1989Fletch LivesPhil
1990The Bonfire of the VanitiesTelevision Producer
1991The Flash II: Revenge of the TricksterJoe Kline
1991Missing PiecesBaldesari
1991Off and RunningMilt Zoloth
1992Flash III: Deadly NightshadeJoe Kline
1993Mad Dog and GloryM.C./Comic
1993Dangerous GameHimself
1994The Puppet MastersJarvis
1995Not of this EarthJeremy Pallin
1996Girl 6Caller #4 – Beach
1996A Very Brady SequelLAPD Detective
1996Get on the BusRick
1998The Bar Channel
1998Species IIU.S. President
2006Copy ThatRichard
2007BelzerVizionRichard Belzer (Also executive producer)
2009Polish BarHershel
2010Santorini BlueRichard (Also executive producer)


1975–1980Saturday Night LiveJuror
Chevy Chase
Museum Visitor
1978Sesame StreetMan in Row Boat #1
1984The Richard Belzer ShowHimself
1986Miami ViceCaptain Hook
1990–1991The FlashJoe Kline
1991MonstersBuzz Hunkle
1992Human TargetGreene
1993–1999Homicide: Life on the StreetDet. John Munch
1994Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of SupermanInspector William Henderson
1994NursesJesse Wilner
1994Bandit BanditBig Bob
1994Hart to Hart: Crimes of the HartDet. Frank Giordano
1995Prince for a DayBernie Silver
1995The InvadersRandy Stein
1996Deadly PursuitsMariano
1996–2000Law & OrderDet. John Munch
1997The X-FilesDet. John Munch
1997Richard Belzer: Another Lone NutHimself
1997When Cars AttackHimself
1997–1998E! True Hollywood StoryHimself
1999Mad About YouDetective Sharp
1999–2016Law & Order: Special Victims UnitDet./Sgt. John Munch
2000Homicide: The MovieDet. John Munch
2000The BeatDet. John Munch
2000South ParkLoogie
20003rd Rock from the SunHimself
2005Law & Order: Trial by JuryDet. John Munch
2006Arrested DevelopmentDet. John Munch
2008The WireSgt. John Munch
2009Jimmy Kimmel Live!Sgt. John Munch
2009Comedy Central Roast of Joan RiversHimself
2013America DeclassifiedHimself
2015Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtA John Munch-like character

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