Law and Order stars pay tribute after actor Richard Belzer dies

richard belzer
Law and Order stars pay tribute to Richard BelzerJamie McCarthy - Getty Images

Law & Order star Mariska Hargitay has led tributes to her Special Victims Unit co-star Richard Belzer, who has died aged 78.

The actor was known for portraying Detective John Munch, a character he played for 23 years before retiring in 2016. He passed away on Sunday (February 19).

"Goodbye my dear, dear friend. I will miss you, your unique light, and your singular take on this strange world," Hargitay wrote on Instagram.

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The Olivia Benson actress continued: "I feel blessed to have known you and adored you and worked with you, side by side, for so many years. How lucky the angels are to have you. I love you so very much, now and forever."

SVU star Christopher Meloni, who reprised the role of Elliot Stabler in spin-off Law & Order: Organized Crime, shared a message on his Instagram.

"Richard 'The Belz' Belzer. A beautiful soul, a dapper dresser, with the spirit of a child. Never met anyone like him, and I never will again," the actor wrote.

glasses, dress shirt, collar, shirt, suit trousers, coat, outerwear, formal wear, pocket, blazer,
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Ice T, known to Law & Order fans for the role of Odafin Tutuola, joined his co-stars in remembering Belzer.

"Highs and Lows… After one of the most amazing weeks of my life. I wake up to the news I lost my friend today. Belz is gone..." the rapper wrote on Instagram.

"But remember this.. When you ARE having real fun and are truly happy, ENJOY it to the fullest! Cause pain is inevitably coming. I'll miss you Homie."

A stand-up comedian and actor, Belzer also appeared in episodes of The X-Files, Arrested Development and Unbreakable Jimmy Schmidt.

Law & Order: SVU airs Thursdays on NBC in the US. The show airs on Sky Witness in the UK, with select episodes available on NOW.

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