TVBizwire

Longtime Cast Member on NBC's 'Law & Order: SVU' Is Stepping Down Starpulse

A fixture in the cast of the long-running NBC procedural "Law & Order: SVU" is stepping down. Starpulse reports that Richard Belzer, who has been playing the character John Munch for more than 20 years -- appearing in 450 episodes of various TV series -- is exiting the show as a series regular.

Belzer, 69, will reportedly continue on the show on a recurring basis.

"On the Wed., Oct. 9, episode of 'SVU,' Munch handed in his retirement papers. The Oct. 16 episode will feature his retirement party," the story reports.

The piece adds: "Munch made his debut appearance on 'Homicide: Life on the Street' in 1993. He has also showed up on 'The X-Files,' 'The Beat,' 'Arrested Development,' 'The Wire,' 'Law & Order' and 'Law & Order: Trial By Jury,' according to The Huffington Post."

Here's a video report: