Belzer's Sgt. John Munch retires from the SVU team in next week's episode of the crime drama series, leaving the door open for his character to return.
After 14 years and more than 300 episodes, Richard Belzer is leaving "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit". A spokesperson for the long-running police procedural series confirms that the 69-year-old actor is stepping down from regular status this season.
In next week's episode, Belzer's Sergeant John Munch will retire from the SVU team after putting in his retirement papers in the most recent outing. He is going to be appointed as a special investigator for the District Attorney's office, so "the door is open" for him to appear in the future.
The show will send him off with a roast as the official synopsis for the October 16 episode says, "The SVU comes together to say goodbye to the retiring Sergeant Munch."
Sergeant Munch was first featured on NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street" in 1993 and then transferred to "SVU" when "Homicide" concluded in 1999. The character has also appeared on "Law & Order", "The "Sesame Street", "The Wire", "Arrested Development" and "30 Rock".