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He once sued Hulk Hogan for dropping him on his head. Richard Belzer, or "the Belz," has a reputation for being a bit of a cynic in the entertainment industry. A "stand-up journalist," he is known for his eccentricity, his intellect, and his once shadowy presence in the world of standup comedy.
A veteran actor and comedian, he holds a unique record for playing the same character, Detective John Munch, on five different television shows. The role originated on the series Homicide: Life on the Street and the character crossed over to Law & Order and the popular X-Files, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and finally, The Beat.
Belzer's debut came with a starring role on The Groove Tube in the early '70s. He also had roles in the legendary movies Author! Author!, Fame, and Scarface. Before becoming a TV regular, Belzer hosted a six-part comedy special series for Cinemax, simply called The Richard Belzer Show. He also had his own HBO special: Another Lone Nut, which he recorded for audio.
Belzer has appeared numerous times as the host of SNL (for the first time in 1978) and made myriad appearances on The Tonight Show (spanning three of its hosts), as well as frequently visiting the set of David Letterman's shows. He had recurring guest roles on two network shows: The Flash and Lois &Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
Belzer has written a book, How to Be a Stand-Up Comic, and even though it's a satirical look at the business of standup comedy, many comedians stake claim that Belzer has been profoundly influential to their work. He wrote a second book, UFOs, JFK, and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don't Have to Be Crazy to Believe, in May 2000.
Richard Belzer was kicked out of many schools throughout his youth. His mother died of breast cancer when he was 18, and his father committed suicide when Belzer was 22. He has had three wives and since 1972 has been married to actress Harlee MacBride, who has a recurring role on Homicide: Life on the Street.