Birth Date: August 4, 1944 / Age: 71
Birth Place: Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
Biography: Richard Belzer (born August 4, 1944) is an American stand up comedian, writer and actor.
Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, he grew up with his parents and older brother. He worked as a paperboy and became known in school for his uncontrollable wit. After high school he was a reporter for the Bridgeport Post. He unsuccessfully attended junior college and later enlisted in the Army. He soon realized it was a mistake and tried to get out.
After the Army, Belzer moved to New York City and began working as a stand-up comic. He participated in the Channel One comedy group that satirized television and became the basis for the cult movie The Groove Tube. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Belzer became an occasional film actor. He is noted for his small roles in Fame, Night Shift, and Scarface. He also was a player on the National Lampoon Radio Hour, a half-hour comedy program aired on some 600 U.S. stations from 1973 to 1975. Several of his sketches were released on National Lampoon albums drawn from the Radio Hour including several bits in which he portrayed a pithy call-in talk show host named Dick Valentine.
Belzer was the audience warm-up comedian for Saturday Night Live in its premiere season and made three guest appearances on SNL in 1976 and 1978.
In the 1990s, Belzer appeared frequently on television. He was a regular on The Flash television show. He followed that success with starring roles on Homicide: Life on the Street and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, playing the same character (Detective John Munch) in both series. In addition, he has also played Munch in episodes of four other series:
Law & Order - 4 episodes
The X-Files - 1 episode
The Beat - 1 episode
Law & Order: Trial by Jury - 1 episode
Belzer's appearance on Trial by Jury, which aired April 15, 2005, made him the first actor in history to play the same character on six different television shows.
Belzer and Henry Winkler (most notably the Fonz on Happy Days) are cousins. Belzer is a survivor of testicular cancer.