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Richard Belzer Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (34) | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 4 August 1944Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
Birth NameRichard Jay Belzer
Nickname The Belz
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

A social misfit, was kicked out of every school he ever attended, due to his uncontrollable wit. His mother (Frances) died of breast cancer when Richard was 18. His father (Charles) committed suicide when he was 22. A dedication is written to him in Richard Belzer's "UFO's, JFK, and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don't Have To Be Crazy To Believe" (Ballantine Books, 1999).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tom Myers <myers_tom17@yahoo.com>

Spouse (3)

Harlee McBride (1985 - present)
Dalia Danoch (1976 - 1978) (divorced)
Gail Susan Ross (1966 - 1972) (divorced)

Trivia (34)

Wrestler Hulk Hogan hurt him while demonstrating a wrestling move on a 1986 TV show called Hot Properties (1985). He was knocked unconscious and required stitches on his head. He sued Hogan for $5 million, but later settled out of court.
Is a frequent guest on The Howard Stern Radio Show (1998).
Became the third person to play the same character in six different prime-time TV series, playing Detective "John Munch" in Homicide: Life on the Street (1993) (originating series), Law & Order (1990) (crossover), Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005)(crossover), The X-Files (1993) (crossover), The Beat (2000) (guest appearance in the short-lived UPN series), and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999). He followed John Ratzenberger and George Wendt, who played "Cliff Clavin" and "Norm Peterson" in Cheers (1982), St. Elsewhere (1982), The Tortellis (1987), Wings (1990), The Simpsons (1989), and Frasier (1993). Belzer upped his record to seven series with a cameo appearance in the 4th-to-last episode of David Simon's HBO series The Wire: Took (2008) (originally airing February 17, 2008); the appearance brought the character of Munch full circle as the character was born out of Simon's first series, Homicide, and in the scene he is hanging out in a police bar commenting on his experience owning a bar, which he did in Homicide.
Appeared on the 25 March 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live (1975) with Christopher Lee as the host and musical guest, Meat Loaf.
Appeared on the 2 October 1976 episode of Saturday Night Live (1975) with Eric Idle as the host and musical guests George Harrison, Joe Cocker, and Stuff.
Played himself in the movie Fame (1980).
Robert De Niro studied Belzer for his role in The King of Comedy (1982).
Auditioned for the role of Groucho Marx in the Tommy Tune production "A Day in Hollywood, a Night in the Ukraine." Belzer taught himself two songs from the 1930s ("Satin Doll" and "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?"), but did not get the part.
Was going to appear in Chevy Chase's movie, Modern Problems (1981), but scheduling conflicts could not be worked out. The date for the shooting of his scene was postponed twice and the day his scene was supposed to be shot, Belzer had a lucrative club date in New York, which was postponed at the last minute.
Testified on behalf of a low-level criminal who ran onto the set of Homicide: Life on the Street (1993) while fleeing actual Baltimore police and surrendered to the actors; Belzer said the look on the guy's face was sufficient punishment
Cousin of Henry Winkler.
Appeared in episodes of three different series with Jerry Orbach: Law & Order (1990), Homicide: Life on the Street (1993), and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999).
Has appeared in episodes of three different television series with Jesse L. Martin: Law & Order (1990), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) and Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005).
His character Detective John Munch, whom he has played continuously on Homicide: Life on the Street (1993) and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) since January 1993, is currently the longest-running character on U.S. prime-time drama television.
Was born on the same day that Anne Frank and her family were arrested by the Gestapo.
Has appeared in episodes of four different series with Sam Waterston: Law & Order (1990), Homicide: Life on the Street (1993), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) and Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005).
Stepfather of Bree Benton and Jessica Benton.
Was an assistant emcee for the Comedy Central Presents: The N.Y. Friars Club Roast of Rob Reiner.
Appears on the cover of Billy Joel's "Turnstiles" album (1976).
Was one of the original emcees at Rick Newman's Catch a Rising Star, along with Elayne Boosler, in the mid to late 1970s.
He lives in France and speaks fluent French.
Was the audience warm-up comedian for Saturday Night Live (1975) in its premiere season and made three guest appearances on the show in 1976 and 1978.
Survived testicular cancer in 1984.
A paper boy in his youth in Bridgeport, Connecticut, he later worked as a reporter for the Bridgeport Post and several other newspapers around the country. Other jobs included teacher, census-taker, jewelry salesman and dockworker.
Supporter of the North Shore Animal League. However his poodle fox terrier, Bebe, was adopted in France when he followed Belz home one day. Bebe is his near-constant companion, especially at public events.
Was considered for the role of Clark Griswold in National Lampoon's Vacation (1983).
Divides his time between New York City and his home in France.
He is the only actor in television history to play the same character (Detective John Munch) in ten different live action series: Homicide: Life on the Street (1993), Law & Order (1990), The X-Files (1993), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999), The Beat (2000), Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005), Arrested Development (2003), The Wire (2002), Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2003) and 30 Rock (2006).
Second husband of Harlee McBride.
He has worked with Andre Braugher and Zeljko Ivanek on three different series: Law & Order (1990), Homicide: Life on the Street (1993) and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999).
During one week in November 1997, he played the same character (Detective John Munch) on three different series: Law & Order: Baby, It's You (1997) on 12 November 1997, Homicide: Life on the Street: Baby, It's You: Part 2 (1997) on 14 November 1997 and The X-Files: Unusual Suspects (1997) on 16 November 1997.
He appears in 119 of the 122 episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street (1993), more than anyone else. The only episodes in which he does not appear are Homicide: Life on the Street: The Damage Done (1996), Homicide: Life on the Street: The Subway (1997) and Homicide: Life on the Street: Lines of Fire (1999).
Along with Kyle Secor, Clark Johnson, Yaphet Kotto and Sharon Ziman, he is one of only five actors to appear in both the first and last episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street (1993): Homicide: Life on the Street: Gone for Goode (1993) and Homicide: Life on the Street: Forgive Us Our Trespasses (1999).

Personal Quotes (9)

I've known Chevy Chase for so long, I actually knew him when he was funny!
Anybody who thinks there's not a vast right-wing conspiracy in this country must also think that Ken Starr should be our next ambassador to Luxembourg.
[on his long-running character, Det. John Munch] Munch is the guy who says what a lot of people wouldn't dare say.
It's this patronizing thing that people have about if you're against the war everyone's lumped together. You know, the soldiers are not scholars, they're not war experts.
[on U.S. soldiers serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom] You think everyone over there is a college graduate? They're 19- and 20-year-old kids who couldn't get a job.
[on landing his small role in Scarface (1983)] I was asked to audition. Oliver Stone wrote the screenplay and Brian De Palma directed. I went to audition for the producer, and the producer said "Okay, Richard, do your act". And I said, "No, I don't work in offices, I work at clubs. If you guys want to come down to one of the clubs and see me, then I'd be glad to". And then they gave me a script, like an MC script that they wanted me to ad-lib off of, and I refused to do that, and I could see that the producer was getting angry. I think Oliver was a bit amused, because I know 20 other comedians had gone in and done stuff for them, and I didn't. So I got the part. But the producer knew who I was and had seen me work, so he just said, "Make sure it's funny. We want the audience in the theater to laugh the way the audience in a club would". So, they let me write my own stuff, and I felt good about that. Let me make the coke jokes I wanted.
[2010 - on making The Wrong Guys (1988)] Richard Lewis, Tim Thomerson, Louie Anderson. We had more laughs on that movie than legally allowed. We were slowing the filming, just laughing hysterically. That's all I remember. Really having a great time. Of course, the movie wasn't considered the Citizen Kane of comedy, but I thought it was a sweet movie. More of a kids' movie, but marketed as an adult comedy, which was the problem. A lot of good memories, though, I'll tell ya that. Richard Lewis and I were very close friends. We started hanging out in the early '70s, Catch A Rising Star and Improv. We were very close. And Tim was a good friend. Louie was a friend, I didn't know him that well, but I knew him. It was wild. One day, we literally almost died, laughing so hard. We were working on the side of the mountain, we started rolling down the side of the mountain as we were laughing. I have to say Tim Thomerson is one of the funniest people I've ever met.
[on his reduced screen time in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999)]: It's mystifying to me. And I have to admit my feelings are slightly hurt. But I do feel flattered my fans miss me!
If you tell a lie that's big enough, and you tell it often enough, people will believe you're telling the truth, even if what you're saying is total crap.

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