Judge Wapner ushered in a new era of television when his show ‘People’s Court’ debuted in 1981. The courtroom show quickly became a sensation and ushered in a whole host of hit shows, and TV judges like Judge Judy. Before the show Wapner had served as a superior court judge in LA for over 20 years.
He was hospitalized last week with breathing problems, but his condition continued to worsen. Eventuality he was taken to his home in West L.A. Friday and placed under hospice care. He passed away Sunday morning.
Judge Joseph is survived by his wife of 70 years, Mickey, and three children.