Jerry Bishop, a Los Angeles radio veteran who served as the announcer for TV’s syndicated smash Judge Judy since its first season in 1996, has died at 84. Bishop died April 21, the show’s publicist Gary Rosen said.
Bishop was the show’s announcer up until his final days, spanning thousands of episodes of the daytime strip that is set to wrap next year.
“Jerry Bishop has been the voice of our program for 24 years,” star Judy Sheindlin said in a statement. “Everybody loved him. He had a golden heart and generous spirit. I adored him and will miss him.”
Born on October 19, 1935, in Hartford, CT, Bishop had a long career in radio and voice-over work before joining Judge Judy, starting at WDRC Hartford, CT. He later worked at WRKO Boston before moving to San Diego and eventually to Los Angeles. In 1965, he began a long career in L.A. radio, starting at KLAC and including stops at KFI, KKDJ, KIIS and KGIL. He also had a stint at KFMB in San Diego.
In his book Los Angeles Radio People, Don Barrett cites a quote Bishop gave to the Los Angeles Times in the mid-’70s: “I’m not flashy on the air, and people tell me that I’m self-deprecating,” the DJ said. “But I don’t believe that everything you say or do has to be fantastic … the greatest thing that ever happened.”
During and after his radio days, Bishop also branched out into voice-overs, doing commercials for such major brands as Budweiser and Burger King and voicing promos for NBC and ABC. He also had a 15-year run as the “voice” of Disney Channel. He also was the of-camera announcer for The $10,000 Pyramid for a while in the 1980s.
Bishop is survived by his daughters, Karen Rosenbloom, Michelle Carriker and Stephanie Blume; brother Daniel Blume; sister-in-law Joanne Blume; three grandchildren; and a niece, nephew and great-nephew.