In 1985, he hosted his own talk show, Hot Properties. On one episode, he challenged wrestling legend Hulk Hogan to demonstrate one of his signature wrestling moves on him. He obliged, putting Belzer in front chin lock, causing him to pass out and hit his head on the floor. Belzer sued Hogan, and the pair reached a financial settlement, which the actor used for a down payment on his house in France, The Hollywood Reporter said.
In addition to his comedy and acting career, Belzer was also the author of four conspiracy theory books, including UFOs, JFK, and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don’t Have to Be Crazy to Believe and Hit List: An In-Depth Investigation into the Mysterious Deaths of Witnesses to the JFK Assassination.
Many of Belzer’s colleagues paid tribute to the star following news of his passing.
Mariska Hargitay wrote on her Instagram, “Goodbye my dear, dear friend. I will miss you, your unique light, and your singular take on this strange world. I feel blessed to have known you and adored you and worked with you, side by side, for so many years. How lucky the angels are to have you. I can hear them laughing already. I love you so very much, now and forever.”
Comedian and actor Marc Maron tweeted, “Richard Belzer died. He was an original. One of the greats, babe. I loved the guy. RIP”
Laraine Newman, an original Saturday Night Live cast member, wrote, “I’m so sad to hear of Richard Belzer’s passing. 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.”
Meanwhile, former Law & Order: SVU showrunner Warren Light tweeted, “Richard Belzer was the first actor to welcome me when I started at SVU. Open, warm, acerbic, whip smart, surprisingly kind. I loved writing for Munch, and I loved being with Belz. We sensed this would be his parting scene. Godspeed Belz…”
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