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Richard Belzer (1944-2023)

Actor and comedian Richard Belzer, who is best known for his roles in Homicide: Life on the Street and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, died on Sunday at his home in France, age 78. Belzer fought injustice on screen and off, and made a cameo appearance with his Law & Order partner Ice-T in our 2016 film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

Richard Belzer was a kind soul, a nonstop warrior against injustice; a brilliant comic who could crack you up without saying a word, like when we were having lunch at an outdoor café with Larry David. A fan ran up, “Oh my God, you’re my favorite TV star!” and shook Belz’ hand, gushing. Larry grinned and gesticulated, but the fan took no note of him. You could see that Larry used all his willpower not to jump up and chase the guy to offer an autograph. Belz gave me a look that said, “Yes, this is like a bad episode of ‘Curb’, but please don’t say so.”

Belz had that invaluable, un-fakeable thing, Menschkeit.

Olav ha-shalom, flatfoot.

Greg Palast (Rolling Stone, Guardian, BBC) is the author of The New York Times bestsellers, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits and the book and documentary,
The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.
His latest film is Vigilante: Georgia's Vote Suppression Hitman

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