Following Law & Order: SVU veteran Richard Belzer’s death on February 19, Mariska Hargitay dedicated her self-directed episode “King of the Moon” – which aired on February 23 – to Belzer.
If you watch any Law & Order shows, you know that each episode’s end credits begin with “Executive Producer Dick Wolf” or something along those lines.
For “King of the Moon”, Hargitay decided to begin the credits differently, having them read, “In Memory of Richard Belzer”.
Although Belzer had made his final appearance as Detective John Munch in 2016, he was still a huge part of the series, having been there at the start of the show in 1999 and appearing in 326 episodes in total.
Amid the release of the episode that was dedicated to her late co-star, Hargitay sat down with Today and talked about who Belzer was to her.
“He was family, and taught me so much about taking risks and creativity and trust. And he brought so much joy to the set,” she said, adding, “It was such a privilege to know him.”
In an Instagram post she shared on the day of his death, she wrote, “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.”
Law & Order: SVU will air its season 24 finale on March 23.