“I’m just an ordinary judge from California.”

Today we are celebrating the life of yet another part of Hollywood history, Judge Joseph Wapner. Wapner was an American judge and television personality, and he was the first star of the reality courtroom series “The People’s Court”.

Judge Wapner had served for 20 years on the California Municipal and Superior Courts before becoming the occasionally irascible, highly watchable star of “The People’s Court,” a daytime series on which real-life plaintiffs and defendants from California small claims courts would argue their cases before him.

A decorated veteran of World War II, Judge Wapner ran his television courtroom from the show’s debut in 1981 to the end of its original run in 1993 with stern, mesmerizing discipline, cutting off onscreen complainants who displeased him and threatening to levy unspecified penalties on those who dared to interrupt him.

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