Jerry Bishop, the longtime announcer for Judge Judy, has passed away at the age of 84. Gary Rosen, the publicist for the reality series, confirmed that Bishop died on Tuesday from complications resulting from heart disease, according to Deadline.
The announcer first joined Judge Judy in its first season back in 1996 and worked there until his death, where every show began with his trademark announcement. "You are about to enter the courtroom of Judge Judith Sheindlin. The people are real, the cases are real, the rulings are final. This is Judge Judy."Sheindlin herself also issued a heartfelt statement talking about Bishop's passing, calling him "the voice of our program for 24 years." She went on to speak about how well-liked he was on set. "Everybody loved him. He had a golden heart and generous spirit. I adored him and will miss him."
Bishop was born in Hartford, Connecticut on October 19, 1935. After getting his degree in broadcast journalism from Emerson College in the 1950s, he soon started working in local radio stations. By 1965, he moved to Los Angeles, where he'd eventually work at nearly a half-dozen radio stations in the area. All the way through the 1980s, Bishop was a voice heard on such influential radio stations as KFI, KIIS and KLAC.
He also did quite a bit of voiceover work during his career as well, including serving as the "voice" of The Disney Channel for nearly 15 years. He was one of three off-camera announcers for The $100,000 Pyramid and did some announcement spots for networks including ABC and NBC. Bishop's voice can also be heard in old commercials selling everything from Burger King to Bud Light. Following news of Bishop's death, Frenzy Media put together a reel of some of his best-known voicework.
Off the air, Bishop was cited by author Don Barrett for his 1995 book Los Angeles Radio People, where he shared his theory for why he'd found such a successful career as a morning DJ. "I'm not flashy on the air, and people tell me that I’m self-deprecating," Bishop explained. "But I don't believe that everything you say or do has to be fantastic [or] the greatest thing that ever happened."
Bishop is survived by his daughters, Karen Rosenbloom, Michelle Carriker and Stephanie Blume, his brother Daniel Blume, his sister-in-law Joanne Blume, three grandchildren and a niece, nephew and great-nephew. His wife of 51 years, Velma Bishop, died in 2007.