Glimpse into 'Law & Order: SVU' Richard Belzer's 34-Year-Long Marriage
Richard Belzer has been married to a former Playboy model and actress since 1985.
The actor's first two marriages were to Gail Susan Ross and Dalia Danoch, both of which ended in divorce. In 1981, he met Harlee McBride, a divorcee with two daughters, on a blind date, according to PEOPLE.
"When I met him, I was cynical about men and life, but he’s somebody I’ve grown to trust and feel comfortable with."
McBride had been seen in Playboy magazine. She's best known for starring in "Young Lady Chatterley." Belzer survived testicular cancer in 1983, and two years later, he tied the knot with McBride.
“Cancer is a cosmic slap in the face,” the actor said. “You either get discouraged or ennobled by it.”
His wife McBride added: “Richard softened me a lot. When I met him, I was cynical about men and life, but he’s somebody I’ve grown to trust and feel comfortable with. Marriage relaxed him too.”
According to Belzer, he learned so much from McBride about children.
“Early on, when the girls did something wrong, my impulse was to lash out because my mother would beat the s—t out of me with straps," he said. "My anger at the kids never came out, but I could feel it. Harlee taught me that loving a child is unconditional, no matter how bad they are.”
The actor’s younger stepdaughter, Bree, chimed in: “In junior high, he always seemed a lot more hip than everyone else’s parents. Other fathers were bald or insurance salesmen, and here’s Richard in black with the shades and a full head of hair going, ‘Yeah, sure, babe.’"
Belzer is best known for his role as John Munch on the NBC police drama series "Homicide: Life on the Street" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." He portrayed the character for over two decades from 1993 to 2016.
As a child, Belzer depicted his mom as physically abusive. He even declared that his career in comedy started when he tried to make his mother laugh to distract her from hurting him and his sibling.
Belzer became an occasional film actor in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He is noted for small roles in several films, including "Fame," "Café Flesh," "Night Shift," and "Scarface."
Belzer often showed up on TV during the 1990s. He was a regular on "The Flash" as an anchorperson and correspondent.