Wednesday, 29 March, 2017

Joseph Wapner, Judge on 'The People's Court,' Dies at 97

Getty Images Getty Images
Sammy Stanley | 27 February, 2017, 00:17

Judge Marilyn Milian, the show's first female and non-Caucasian leader, has held the reins of The People's Court since that point and began her 15th year as the show's officiant back in September of 2016. He passed away on Sunday morning.

Joseph Wapner, the judge of the reality show The People's Court, died Sunday after suffering from breathing problems, theAssociated Press reports.

Wapner's People's Court run marked the beginning of arbitrating small claims on the small screen, as he hosted the show for a dozen years from 1981 to 1993.

Joseph Wapner was the California-born son of immigrants - his mother as Russian and his father was from Romania.

The People's Court paved the way for many other court shows, including Divorce Court, Judge Mathis, Judge Judy and more.

Before becoming a TV judge, Wapner served as an Los Angeles County Superior Court judge for 20 years, according to TMZ.

The opinionated and craggy Wapner was an instant success and producers rushed to copy-cat the format and create more reality-based TV court shows - like Judge Judy - geared to afternoon viewers.

In 2009, shortly before his 90th birthday, Judge Wapner received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Two years after he retired, he got the job as the presiding judge for The People's Court.

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