Richard Belzer’s Colleagues And Pals Are Remembering The Late ‘Homicide’ And ‘Law & Order’ Actor

Sunday brought some sad news form the entertainment industry: Richard Belzer, comic and longtime portrayer of TV detective John Munch, had passed away following health issues. He was 78. He lived a long and varied life. What’s more he went out with top shelf final words, telling a friend, “F*ck you, motherf*cker.” His passing caused an avalanche of mourning, with colleagues from the worlds of TV and comedy posting tributes to the beloved performer.

“Goodbye my dear, dear friend,” wrote Mariska Hargitay, one of many from Belzer’s Law & Order family. “I feel blessed to have known you and adored you and worked with you, side by side, for so many years.”

Chris Meloni posted twice, sharing photos of the both of them and another featuring Hargitay. “Good bye mon ami. I love you,” he wrote in one.

Ice-T, who played his partner on Special Victims Unit, wrote, “After one of the most amazing weeks of my life. I wake up to the news I lost my friend today. Belz is gone.. Damn it!” He added, “I’ll miss you Homie.”

“Richard Belzer was always so kind to me,” wrote Vincent D’Onofrio, who starred on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. “We met at comedy club he was performing in yrs before L&O. I was young with only one film into my career. He always remembered me. I had the pleasure of hang’n with him a couple of times. Sweet sweet man & funny as hell. He will be missed.”

SVU showrunner Warren Leight also weighed in, writing, “Richard Belzer was the first actor to welcome me when I started at SVU. Open, warm, acerbic, whip smart, surprisingly kind. I loved writing for Munch, and I loved being with Belz. We sensed this would be his parting scene. Godspeed Belz…”

Others within the entertainment industry, many of them his pals, honored the man as well.

Belzer’s comedy career started in the ‘70s. He added serious (but still funny) work to his CV starting with Homicide: Life on the Street, which began his long stretch playing John Munch. Indeed, only a few years ago did Hargitay — who’s played SVU’s Olivia Benson since 1999 — eclipse Belzer’s record of having the longest-running prime time live-action character in television history. He will be missed.