• Richard Belzer, known for starring in “Law & Order” as Detective John Munch, has died at 78. All details revealed.

  • He was married to a former Playboy model for 38 years and loved her daughters like they were his own.

  • The actor lived in a mesmerizing house and showed his happy life with his wife, stepdaughters, and granddaughter.

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The actor known for playing Detective John Munch in “Law & Order,” Richard Belzer, has passed away at the age of 78. The actor is survived by his wife, Harlee McBride, and his two stepdaughters, Jessica Erin Benton and Shannon Bree Benton.

Bekzer’s close friend, Bill Scheft, confirmed his passing, writing that the “Homicide” star died in his home in France. According to Scheft, Richard passed away surrounded by his family. The writer also mentioned that Munch suffered from numerous health issues before his death.

Richard Belzer in "Homicide: Life on the Street," 2010 | Source: Getty Images

Richard Belzer in “Homicide: Life on the Street,” 2010 | Source: Getty Images

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In 1983, Richard was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which inspired the actor to host an HBO comedy special focusing on cancer and the after-effects of the disease. The SNL comedian Laraine Newman commented on Richard’s death, lamenting the loss of her dear friend. She applauded his skill and expressed her sadness at losing her friend.

When Harlee married Richard, the actor happily took the two girls in as his own.

Richard Belzer and Harlee McBride at St. Regis Hotel in New York City, New York, United States, 2003 | Source: Getty Images

Richard Belzer and Harlee McBride at St. Regis Hotel in New York City, New York, United States, 2003 | Source: Getty Images

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Richard’s career kicked off in 1993 when he starred as Munch on the show “Homicide: Life on the Street.” After the character proved to be successful, the actor continued to play Munch on “Law & Order.” After landing the role in “Law & Order,” the actor starred in the show for more than a decade.

How Did Richard Marry a Model and Become a Stepdad?

Richard met his wife in 1981 on a blind date. The two had lots in common, and they started dating after they met. Richard and Harlee were together for the next four years and only married in 1985. They only said their vows after Richard was declared cancer-free. The actor had fought the disease for years, finally beating it in 1985.

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The actor showed off his impressive garden, which sported tons of beautiful trees and flowers.

Richard Belzer and Harlee McBride at The Marriott Marquis on November 12, 2007 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Richard Belzer and Harlee McBride at The Marriott Marquis on November 12, 2007 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Harlee was a once-divorced, ex-Playboy model with a brief acting career of her own. She had starred in “Young Lady Chatterley,” which gained her some notoriety. However, she had never made it big. Instead, Harlee was a full-time mother of two daughters, whom she shares with her ex-husband, Garth Benton.

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When Harlee married Richard, the actor happily took the two girls in as his own. He was an excellent stepdad, treating the girls like his own children. That said, parenting didn’t come naturally to Richard at first. The actor and his brother, Len Belzer, were raised by an abusive mother who often took her frustrations out on her two boys.

Richard Belzer and Harlee McBride in New York, 2005 | Source: Getty Images

Richard Belzer and Harlee McBride in New York, 2005 | Source: Getty Images

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In contrast, Richard loved his father dearly but was traumatized when he found him after a suicide attempt and saved his life. Nonetheless, these experiences didn’t keep Richard from being a doting stepdad to Jessica and Bree. The actor wrote to his family in his autobiography, saying, “I greatly appreciate and will cherish you always.”

Richard’s Family Home Is Incredibly Beautiful

After finding success as an actor, Richard invested in a lovely property in the south of France, where he, his wife, and their two kids spent a considerable amount of time. Richard opened up about his home life, saying his wife takes responsibility for many aspects of the house. He complimented her:

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“My wife is a master gardener who loves to toil the soil, an interior decorator of supreme taste, and an astounding cook, among other things for which I am eternally grateful.”

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Besides Jessica and Bree, Richard and Harlee had two other family members — two dogs named Django and Bebe. The actor is also the proud grandfather of his stepchildren’s kids. Through the years, Richard has proudly presented his home to his fans through images posted on Twitter.

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The actor showed off his impressive garden, which sported tons of beautiful trees and flowers. The property also has lovely little brick garden paths that take wanderers around the garden. Richard’s kitchen has tremendous views of the plants he and Harlee painstakingly planted, and the couple often enjoyed a meal outside.

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The house is built from stone and has multiple windows to brighten the inside. Richard showed off a large sunroom where he and Harlee often went to read. The interior sported archways and antique masonry, while the kitchen dazzles with quaint tilework. Richard and Harlee often enjoyed candlelit meals in their lovely cavernous home.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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