, radio personality
, and author
Belzer was born on August 4, 1944
in Bridgeport, CT
grew up in a troubled home, being physically abused by his
. He used his humor as an escape, though it caused him
difficulty in school, getting him suspended on numerous occasion
Belzer's mother died when he was eighteen and his father
when Belzer was twenty-two.
Belzer's first job was as a reporter for the Bridgeport Post. It
turned out to be the first in a long string of jobs, including
census taker, dock worker, and teacher. He got his break in
show business, starring in Groove Tube, replacing Chevy Chase.
He later went on to act in an off-Broadway show with Bill Murray,
Gilda Radner, and John Belushi. He has acted in other movies and
even had a New York radio show called Brink and Belzer on WNBC.
Belzer's most famous role to date has been as John Munch, an acerbic
detective. The character first appeared in NBC's Homicide: Life on
the Street. He later appeared as the same detective in a cross-over
with the NBC series Law and Order. When Homicide
was cancelled, NBC kept the John Munch character alive in a
spin-off series of Law and Order called Law and Order: Special
Victims Unit, teaming him with actor and musician Ice-T. Belzer
has also played John Munch on an episode of Fox's The X-Files and
on UPN's The Beat, setting a record for the most series
and networks one character has appeared upon.
Richard Belzer is married to actress Harlee McBride and they
have two daughters.