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Stand-up comic and TV detective, Richard Belzer, dies at 78

(SOUNDBITE OF MIKE POST'S "LAW AND ORDER")

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Leila Fadel. Actor Richard Belzer has died. For over two decades, he played cynical and wisecracking detective John Munch. That character was made iconic on the show "Law & Order." And it feels like it's been on forever. Belzer was actually credited as the actor with the longest run playing the same character. He started his career as a New York City-based stand-up comedian, well-known for his insult-laden routines. Belzer was 78 years old. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.