Richard Belzer -a good friend died yesterday –
Belzer died at his home in Beaulieu-sur-Mer on February 19, 2023, at age 78
Richard Belzer was a friend of mine and later he became a client. We were good friends. We talked for hours and hours about life, his work and our mutual world of conspiracies. I represented Jim Marrs, author of Crossfire, the Plot to Kill Kennedy, Alien Agenda, and Rule by Secrecy among many other conspiracies books. Richard was Jim’s biggest fan. He was full of questions and always great company. He never met a conspiracy that he couldn’t work with, figure out, or delve deeper. Whenever Jim was in New York City, we always made time to chat with Richard.
I visited Richard’s home in Bozouls, France for “breaks from the stress of Manhattan” and it was peaceful and great food and wine.
The first trip was different than later trips when I’d travel alone. It was late May and Richard had completed Homicide Life on the Street season shoots and was ready to head to France. He’d asked me many times to visit but New York sucks your energy and even so, it is a hard place to leave. At the urging of my daughter, staff and friends, I said, okay.
First-class on-Air France was the plan.
We arrived at the Kennedy airport, and Richard said, “I’m going to be moving fast because I don’t want to be stopped to discuss Munch, my character, John Munch, you know how crazy that can be.”
I had been with quite a few “stars” and understood, but none that actually ran- as in running, full out, running through airports. Most of the ones I’d been with would have a fast-paced walk, eyes straight ahead kind of thing. I said fine, I understood.
People yelled out to him, “Hey Munch” as soon as we got to Kennedy Airport. And Richard was waving and running.
I had no idea that man could run. Really run! I was huffing and puffing trying to keep up. He’d flown this route and plane so often that everyone knew him and we went through luggage, tickets, and boarding, like greased lightning. I was out of breath most of the time. Every time anyone yelled out, “Hi Munch” he’d wave as he kept on track, destination bound.
We flew to Paris, an overnight flight, seven plus hours, and then had to change planes in Paris-from De Gaulle airport we caught a taxi to Orly airport to fly to Toulouse to catch a train to Rodez. He’d explained to me it was a hard job making all the connections and that I’d have to sprint to keep up with him. I told him my sprinting days were over, but I’d try.
We practically “ran” through customs, and outside (on my hurting feet and my tired legs) of De Gaulle airport and got a taxi to take us to Orly, where we ran to catch the plane, just as it was closing the doors. In an hour and a half, we were in Toulouse where we took another taxi to catch a train to Rodez. After three to four hours on the train to Rodez, we’d be picked up by a driver to his house by the river.
We made it to the taxi stand in record time. I’m deciding I’m never flying with Richard again until I do a strenuous dedicated workout to prepare.
We get in the taxi. Fall back against the seats. He is saying, “hurry, hurry,” to the cab driver, “we need to get to the train.”
I’m concentrating on catching my breath.
Richard takes a deep breath and starts to laugh throwing his head back and really guffawing – I am totally perplexed.
He pulls his coat sleeve up then his shirt sleeves up and then pulls out bags of pot. He looks at me with a big smile. Like a magician, not done yet, he pulls his shirt up and has more plastic bags of pot around his waist – and even now, wasn’t done yet. He pulls his pants legs up and I see bags of pot held with rubber bands.
So here we are in a taxi in Toulouse zooming to the train station and Richard looks half-dressed and laughing.
I’m in total shock realizing the real reason he was running.
I had a lovely visit and made plans to visit again-which I did, but on my own.