End of an era as Richard Belzer exits Law & Order: SVU

2013-10-28_0016 He’s such a distinct character in his tinted glasses on Law & Order: SVU but this week detective John Munch bids a final farewell to the series after 15 seasons.

Munch, who has been played by Richard Belzer, has been a part of Dick Wolf’s SVU franchise for more than 320 episodes spanning over 20 years.

The character has even appeared on Homicide: Life on the Street, The X-Files, Arrested Development, The Wire and 30 Rock.

Belzer, who is an author and comedian, is not giving up on the role entirely: “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. Our show reverberates throughout the community. It’s more than a television show.”

His SVU exit airs 8:30pm Thursday on TEN.


  1. It’s a real shame, Munch is such a great character and still somewhat of an enigma after all these years! I thought it was odd that was such a low key departure though for such a longstanding role? And I still miss Elliott :(

  2. @trelorski
    Correct. Munch was an original detective in Homicide:LOTS created by Paul Attanasio back in 1993.

    He has been with SVU since its beginning in 1999, so 14 years.

    And has done comedy guest-star spots all over the place, including next week’s episode of 30 Rock.

  3. At least two goodbyes in one week for Channel Ten this is :(.

    Sad to see him go but not entirely surprised as they had to go at some point. I always thought Munch would become Captain & Dann Florek would leave first though too. Shame that we seem to be losing both so will go down to only one of the original characters left. Well unless Olivia’s boyfriend comes in it more since I guess he’s an original even if he hasn’t been in it for most of the seasons. To me it is setting up the show to end soon as I doubt many people will keep watching with just the one original left.

  4. HardcorePrawn

    Doesn’t Richard Belzer hold the record for playing the same role in multiple TV shows?
    That character is sure to pop up somewhere else soon.

  5. His character ( Munch ) is a shadow of the one on Homicide. I love his acerbic monologues on H.l.o.t.s.
    Also loving the Homicide on 7Mate. Will finally get to see series 7 and hopefully the movie finale that 7 never aired in the late 90’s…I’m gettin’ old…

  6. I was shocked when they mentioned it in the last episode. I always thought that Munch would be an excellent Captain if for some reason Dann Florek left.

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