Richard Belzer Agreed To Join Law And Order: SVU Under One Condition


Richard Belzer is synonymous with the long-running procedural “Law and Order: SVU.” He joined the cast in the pilot episode and went on to portray Detective John Munch (a character he originated on "Homicide: Life on the Street") on and off for the show's first 16 seasons.

Belzer's quippy Detective Munch became a fan favorite, and the character arguably remains the actor's signature role. However, Belzer only agreed to join "SVU" if series creator Dick Wolf brought a specific actor on board to play his partner.

The actor Belzer fought for was Dean Winters, perhaps best known for his work as Mayhem in the Allstate commercials, and as Tina Fey's dimwitted beau Dennis Duffy on "30 Rock." Though he has excelled at comedy in his career, Winters has long been renowned for his dramatic work as well.

Unfortunately, Winters’ Detective Brian Cassidy only stayed with the show for 13 episodes in Season 1, due to Winters’ contractual obligations with HBO's "Oz." Much to the delight of “SVU” fans, Winters returned to the show in 2012 for an additional 18 episodes, with a final appearance in 2019.

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