This morning, it was reported that Jerry Bishop, Judge Judy's iconic announcer, passed away on Tuesday (April 21). Jerry was 84 years old and had been working with Judy Sheindlin since 1996 up until the very end of his life. "Jerry Bishop has been the voice of our program for 24 years. Everybody loved him. He had a holden heart and a generous spirit. I adored him and will miss him," Judy said in a statement.
At first, people thought Judge Judy died.
People initially saw the name "Judge Judy" trending and immediately thought America's TV Queen of Justice had passed away. After all, Judy has been around forever and is 77 years old. Plus, it's not like 2020 hasn't been a trash fire, so maybe we just expect ongoing tragedy at this point. People took to Twitter to express how relieved they were when they found out Judy hadn't died (although we are still very sad about Jerry!). "Just had to reread an article that said judge Judy died but it was her announcer which still sucks though," one person tweeted.
Another Twitter user retweeted an outlet reporting Jerry Bishop's death and wrote, "Why is Judge Judy's picture here instead of the person [who] died? They knew exactly what they were doing when they published this." (The answer to that question is that the outlet most likely couldn't find a legal photo of Jerry to use so they went with Judy's like how we did, but we can totally see how that would be misleading!)
Other tweets just expressed anguish over the fact that they either thought Judge Judy was really dead or temporarily thought she was dead. It's all just very traumatizing. We simply CANNOT lose Judge Judy right now. Someone please put her somewhere very safe.
What was Jerry Bishop's cause of death?
Jerry Bishop died of heart disease, although it's not specified what kind, exactly. According to the CDC, coronary heart disease is the most common one, and kills 18.2 million Americans who are over the age of 20.
What will happen to Judge Judy?
Judy announced that Judge Judy's 2020-2021 season would be its last, since she's working on a new series called Judy Justice. It was meant to premiere sometime in 2021. For now, it's unclear if that's still the case, especially given the current circumstances. We also don't know whether Jerry was meant to continue working with her (most likely so, since they'd been colleagues for 24 years).
For now, we can breathe a huge sigh of relief that Judy is alive and well. But we will spend the day mourning Jerry Bishop's passing. Without Jerry, Judge Judy wouldn't have been the show we all know and love and grew up with. RIP Jerry.