Mariska Hargitay Remembers 'Law & Order: SVU' Co-Star Richard Belzer, Shares the Lessons He Taught Her

The actress called Belzer 'beautiful and complex' during her appearance on Thursday's 'Today.'

Mariska Hargitay is remembering her Law & Order: SVU co-star, Richard Belzer.

The beloved actor and comedian died Feb. 19 at the age of 78 at his home in southwest France. He was first introduced as Detective John Munch on the 1990s drama, Homicide: Life on the Streets, before transitioning to SVU in the same role until his last appearance in 2016.

Hargitay appeared on Thursday's Today to pay tribute to Belzer, remembering him as "a heart and soul."

Mariska Hargitay and Richard Belzer in season 15 of 'Law & Order: SVU.' - Michael Parmelee/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

"He was family and taught me so much about taking risks and creativity and trust. And he brought so much joy to the set," the longtime star told Savannah Guthrie.

"And, boy, did he love children. This acerbic, quick-witted, brilliant mind and yet he would melt at the sight of a child," Hargitay recalled. "He was just such a beautiful and complex [person]. It was such a privilege to know him."

After news of Belzer's death, Hargitay took to Instagram with a touching remembrance.

"Goodbye my dear, dear friend. I will miss you, your unique light and your singular take on this strange world," she wrote. "I feel blessed to have known you and adored you and worked with you, side by side, for so many years."

"How lucky the angels are to have you. I can hear them laughing already. I love you so very much, now and forever," Hargitay ended her emotional note.