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Brother of actor Richard Belzer takes his own life

Richard Belzer
Richard Belzer
Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images

New York City law enforcement officers have confirmed that the older brother of actor Richard Belzer jumped to his death on July 30th, 2014. Richard Belzer is widely recognized as an American actor, author, and standup comedian. He is most known for his role as detective John Munch on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. His brother, Leonard Belzer, jumped from his Upper West Side apartment building around 6:55 a.m., according to local authorities.

Leonard Belzer was 73 and had been happily married to the award-winning director of “Sesame Street’ until she passed away late in 2012. Since then, friends and family watched the successful Columbia graduate deteriorate into a deep depression. Law enforcement sources told the press that multiple suicide notes were found in Belzer’s apartment although none of them were addressed to anyone. According to the faith-based organization Writecovery Inc., writing is a powerful tool for individuals who are struggling with the healing process and can often help steer individuals away from suicidal thoughts.

There are many different treatment options when it comes to depression and self-harm. Neighbors of Belzer believe that he was consistently struggling with the reality of his wife’s death. “After his wife died, he was never quite the same. He never quite recovered,” said Caza, a friend of the late Leonard Belzer. According to Writecovery Inc. founder Vicki M Taylor, “Words heal. Once you get the story out on paper, it’s out of your mind and you can move on.”

Although the shock of his wife’s death deeply affected his mentality, this is not the first time that suicidal tendencies have been present with the Belzer’s family history. In a very honest interview from 1993, the Belzer brothers discuss their unhappy childhood in Bridgeport, Conn. Their father committed suicide in 1968 while the boys admit that their mother simply did not know how to love her sons appropriately. Leonard even stated on camera “She always had some rationale for hitting us.” Dedicated organizations like Writecovery Inc. are helping individuals with similar pain and suffering. They use guided imagery, creative writing exercises and journaling to help individuals overcome trauma in order to live a more joyful life. Although Leonard Belzer’s author profile states that “He has been a student of spirituality and consciousness for the past 20 years.” friends and family agree that he needed additional support.”