Dan Belzer, Actor: Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
Belzer provides advisory services to private equity firms, publicly-held companies, and entrepreneurs. He possesses expertise in venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, business formation, structuring and commercial contracts.
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Early Life and Education
Belzer, who is also an accomplished composer and pianist, has music directed several musicals at UCLA School of Theater Film & Television including Steel Pier, Hair, A Chorus Line Cabaret & Bat Boy. Additionally he has taught vocal courses as well as both group & private singing lessons.
Belzer first developed his comedy skills as a warm-up comedian for early Saturday Night Live tapings, before serving as host for Comedy Central’s Friars Club roasts. When Belzer was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1983, this provided the impetus for creating his HBO special and album Another Lone Nut.
He frequently returns to Cando in his free time to direct and perform in musical revues with local talent, which include retired people, farmers, teachers, nurses and a minister – many of which volunteer for these productions at Cando’s 105-year-old Audi Theatre.
Belzer launched his career as a comedian in New York’s comedy clubs, appearing on National Lampoon Radio Hour and later warming audiences on Saturday Night Live. His first movie role came in 1974’s counterculture film The Groove Tube; from then on he would make multiple movies and television appearances including comedy short series A Distinguished Gentleman and The John Larroquette Show, as well as numerous others.
He was best-known for his appearances as Detective John Munch on NBC’s Law and Order franchise between 1999 and 2016, appearing in 326 episodes from 1999 until 2016. Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni and Ice-t all paid their respects following his passing via social media. Additionally, he performed vocals for Broadway musicals The Cher Show, Into the Woods High Fidelity and Thoroughly Modern Millie among many others.
Achievement and Honors
Belzer became widely recognized for his portrayal of Detective John Munch across a number of NBC dramas, most notably Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Appearing as Detective Munch in 326 episodes between 1999 and 2016; Belzer set an incredible record by being featured as John Munch across different shows at once, beating James Arness’s runs as Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke as well as Kelsey Grammer’s turn as Cliff Clavin in Cheers and Frasier respectively.
Belzer not only worked as an actor but was also featured as a warm-up comedian on Saturday Night Live during its early seasons and also made appearances as bit parts, including standing in for Chevy Chase himself. Additionally he performed at numerous Friars Club roasts as well as being a recurring guest on The Howard Stern Show; music directed and conducted various musicals including Steel Pier Hair Rent at UCLA School of Theater Film & Television School.
Prior to becoming famous as Detective Munch on Homicide and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Belzer was an established New York comic. His performances could be found at Pips, The Improv and Catch a Rising Star venues while Channel One provided opportunities for satirizing television.
Atwood also appeared in several movies, such as The Groove Tube (1974) co-starring Chevy Chase. After surviving testicular cancer in 1983 he used this experience to fuel his humor even further.
Friends and co-stars of late actor Paul Belzer have taken to social media in tribute. Former SNL cast member Laraine Newman shared an emotive post, while fellow comedian Marc Maron called him an original. Belzer died unexpectedly Sunday at age 78 while at his home in southwest France at the time.
Belzer began his career as an audience warm-up comedian for Saturday Night Live and made three guest appearances in the late 70s; later becoming best-known for playing John Munch on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Homicide: Life on the Street TV shows; eventually attaining a net worth of approximately $16 Million at his death at age 78.
Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni and Ice-t from Law & Order have paid their respects on social media since he passed away Sunday at his home in Bozouls in southwest France. Bill Scheft of Hollywood Reporter shared that Belzer had suffered health issues that ultimately contributed to his passing; one writer/friend reported, he died saying his last words were ‘F**k You Motherfucker.'”