Richard Belzer, best known as the beloved detective on Law and Order: SVU has passed away at the age of 78.
Belzer’s death was confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter by his longtime friend Bill Scheft. “He had lots of health issues, and his last words were, ‘Fuck you, motherfucker,’” Scheft said, adding that Belzer died Sunday morning at his home in southwest France, where the actor moved to after his tenure on Law & Order: SVU.
Before he starred on Law and Order Belzer was one of the most revered stand-up comedians of the 70s and 80s in New York City. He was the opening comedian on Saturday Night Live in that series’ first seasons and appeared on the show three times.
“I’m so sad to hear of Richard Belzer’s passing,” SNL vet Laraine Newman tweeted Sunday. “I loved this guy so much. He was one of my first friends when I got to New York to do SNL. We used to go out to dinner every week at Sheepshead Bay for lobster. One of the funniest people ever. A master at crowd work. RIP dearest.”