In honor of his 90th birthday, Judge Joseph A. Wapner is returning to The People’s Court for a special episode.
Wapner was the original no-nonsense judge on The People’s Court, the first show of its kind to feature real litigants and their civil cases. The retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge decided cases for 12 years, until the show went off the air in 1993.
He was assisted in the courtroom by bailiff Rusty Burrell. Doug Llewelyn interviewed participants after the verdict, encouraging people at home, “Don’t take the law into your own hands: you take ‘em to court.”
The syndicated series return to production in 1997 and has been on the air ever since with different on-screen talent. Judges Ed Koch and Jerry Sheindlin warmed the bench for two seasons each and Marilyn Milian has been deciding the cases since 2001.
This Friday, November 13th, Milian welcomes Wapner back to the courtroom to litigate a special case. Wapner notes, “Returning to The People’s Court on the occasion of my 90th birthday is a great privilege and honor.”
Of his time on the show, Wapner believes it was a great way to educate the public and said, “It was a happy marriage of my love of the law and the entertainment industry.”
On Thursday, November 12th, Wapner will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.