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LOS ANGELES - Rest in peace, Judge Joseph Wapner.
"The People's Court," which debuted in September 1981, helped open the doors for reality TV, including popular court shows.
Wapner entertained audiences with his opinionated personality and heard thousands of cases during his 12-year run, which ended in 1993.
Before he was a TV judge, Wapner was a judge in Los Angeles' municipal and superior courts.
He was reportedly hospitalized earlier last week for breathing problems, and his condition worsened. He returned to his Los Angeles home on Friday and was under hospice care until he passed away on Sunday.
Wapner was married to his wife, Mickey, for 70 years and had three children.