Airing since 1999, “Law & Order: SVU” has seen many faces come and go. In fact, only Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson can proudly proclaim she’s been there (in some capacity) since day one. Through all the ebbs and flows, she’s managed to make her way up the ranks and even start a family. That being said, there are some other “family” members that fans miss from the series.
A lot of Outsiders have been loyally tuning in since the days of Dann Florek’s Captain Donald Cragen. A flip through the metaphorical yearbook would also turn up BD Wong’s Dr. George Huang, Tamara Tunie’s Melinda Warner, Danny Pino’s Nick Amaro, and Raúl Esparza’s A.D.A. Rafael Barba. That list is certainly not exhaustive and also misses out on another key fan favorite. So, that leads us to today’s topic. When was Richard Belzer’s (the man behind John Munch) latest appearance on the show? And where is he now?
John Munch Retired on ‘Law & Order: SVU’
After playing the character of Detective Munch for nearly twenty years, fans saw Richard Belzer hand in his badge on the show along with the announcement of his retirement. This ultimately followed the NYPD’s mandatory retirement age of 63, but there weren’t any hard feelings. At the time, Belzer told The Huffington Post:
“I’d be a fool to say I didn’t want to do it anymore and I’m certainly not bored with the character because the writing is so good,” he started. “[Munch is] very close to how I would be if I were in that situation, so it’s a dream.”
And, so, he did make several re-appearances on “Law & Order: SVU” after stepping away as one of the main cast members. The most recent appearance actually happened back in Season 17 for Episode 20 titled, “Fashionable Crimes.” IMDB’s got the trailer for you here.
Where Is He Now?
Nearly 80 years old now, it seems Richard Belzer has retired from acting altogether. This comes after a fruitful career in comedy and writing as well. If you never heard the story about how he got involved with “Law & Order: SVU” in the first place, he recounted that experience recently. Apparently, he never even auditioned for the show. Instead, his appearance on the “Howard Stern Show” garnered some attention and a buddy recommended him.
From there, he went straight to a table read. Belzer says it was all-around a “magical experience” and although he’d never be a detective himself, he says he did align with his character.
Check it out:
*Outsider bonus tip: Dick Wolf is expanding his universe AGAIN! If you haven’t read up on his new “Dark Woods” show yet, we’ve got you covered. Click here!