The Heartbreaking Death Of The People's Court Creator Stu Billett

Many of us grew up with televised court shows playing in the background during sick days at home from school. Shows like "Judge Judy" and "Judge Joe Brown" wouldn't exist without the creation of "The People's Court" (via The Wrap). The show was created by a man named Stu Billett, who pioneered the court television brand with his producing partner, Ralph Edwards.

Aside from being one of the first successful court shows, "The People's Court" has long been wildly popular. It comes in second place on IMDb's most popular court shows list, outranked only by "Judge Judy." Much of the show's success can be traced back to its creator, Billett.

Tragically, the pioneering TV creator passed away on Friday in Los Angeles (per TMZ). According to a spokesperson for "The People's Court," Billett died of natural causes at the age of 84. He was surrounded by his loving family as he passed, the source added. 

Stu Billett is remembered as a TV producing powerhouse

According to Deadline, Stu Billett's work on "The People's Court" began in 1981. The show originally featured Judge Joseph Wapner and ran from 1981 until 1993. It would eventually return in 1997 and is still going strong today. Fans are crazy about the current judge, Marilyn Milian, who took over when the show came back on the air. Billett served as executive producer during the show's return and would earn four Daytime Emmys for his role on the production team (via Deadline).

Billett wasn't only known for his ability to create and produce courtroom shows, though. He also produced everything from "Love Stories" to "Superior Court," "Moral Court," "Family Medical Center," "So You Think You Got Troubles," and even a dating show called "Bzzz!" (via The Wrap).

Billett's passing is a loss felt by many in the TV industry. According to TMZ, "The People's Court" team shared that Billett was a "kind and remarkable man who made a great impact on the lives of so many people, and he will be missed tremendously." The outlet added that he is survived by his wife, whom he was married to for more than 40 years, as well as his children and grandchildren.