Judge Joe Wapner of 'The People's Court' dies

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The People's Court judge Joe Wapner stands in front of the sign by the studio where the show tapes. (KTRK)

Judge Joseph Wapner, the prolific host of "The People's Court" died Sunday. He was 97.

Wapner's show was ground-breaking at the time, bringing court proceedings to daytime television. It debuted in 1981.
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It would open the floodgates of television shows to feature courtrooms. That trend continues today with no fewer that four that are currently in production, some nearly 35 years later.

Wapner was an actual judge before moving to television. His son would also become a judge, serving on the bench. Frederick N. Wapner enrobed as a Municipal Court judge in Los Angeles in 1989.

IN MEMORIAM: Celebrities and notable figures who have recently passed away
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