Actor and comedian Richard Belzer, has died at age of 78. It was reported that he was living in the South of France for quite some time. His cause of death has not been revealed and no other details pertaining to his death have been reported. None of his reps have confirmed his death.

Laraine Newman, an original player on SNL broke the news of his death on Twitter. She wrote: “Laraine Newman: 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.”

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Who was Richard Belzer?

Richard Belzer was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on August 4, 1944. He grew up in a Jewish family, where he described his mother as frequently physically abusive. He even said 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 was expelled from the Dean College, in Franklin, Massachusetts.

In 1972, After his first divorce, Belzer relocated to New York City and moved in with singer Shelley Ackerman. He began working as a stand-up comic at Pips, The Improv, and Catch a Rising Star. Belzer was the audience warm-up comedian for Saturday Night Live and made three guest appearances on the show between 1975 and 1980.

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In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Belzer also tried his hand at some small movie roles. Belzer can be found on Sesame Street and in movies like Fame, Café Flesh, Night Shift, and Scarface. He appeared in some music videos.

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. Belzer guest-hosted the afternoon program on Air America Radio, following the departure of Randi Rhodes from the network.

Belzer has been a regular guest on the right-wing radio show of Alex Jones. 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. His character detective John Munch became a fan favorite on Homicide: Life on the Street (1993–1999) and the New York-based Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–2013).

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His last appearance on “SVU” was in 2016. Belzer retired from acting at age 71 in 2016.

Belzer was married thrice in his lifetime. He was married to Gail Susan Ross from 1966–72, and boutique manager Dalia Danoch 1976 – 1978. In 1981 in Los Angeles he met 31-year-old Harlee McBride. McBride was appearing in TV commercials for Ford and acting in the free theater when she met Belzer at the suggestion of a friend. The two tied the knot in 1985.