Industry veteran Richard Belzer has retired. According to Us Weekly:
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fans were thrown for a loop on the Wednesday, Oct. 9 episode of NBC's hit, but it wasn't just because of the drama's intense cop-rape storyline. After 15 seasons, it was revealed that beloved SVU mainstay Richard Belzer (Sgt. John Munch) would leave the series as a full-time costar.
On the October 9, 2013 conclusion of the show, Capt. Cragen tells Olivia Benson that "Munch put in his papers," and she is shocked.
Belzer has been a part of the Law & Order cast since 1993. He will be missed.