To his dying day, TV courtroom pioneer Judge Joseph Wapner resented the current queen of the bench, Judge Judy Sheindlin, an insider told RadarOnline.com. The reason why? He thought she was overpaid!
During 12 seasons presiding over The People's Court, Judge Wapner — who died at age 97 on Feb. 26 — created the mold for TV jurists, but believed he didn't get his proper due for his pioneering role.
"He thought Judge Judy Sheindlin was a pretender. But in his more candid moments, he confessed that it was really the money that bugged him," claimed a source.
Wapner was a former judge with the Los Angeles County Superior Court, and the first in a long line of judges to ascend to the TV bench.
The People's Court went into syndication in 1981, and RadarOnline.com can reveal he didn't earn nearly as much as some of his successors!
"The judge was barely worth $15 million when he died, a nice number, to be sure. But that's nothing close to the $47 million Judge Judy earns in a single year," the source explained.
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"She's worth almost $300 million! And in some ways, she owes it all to Wapner for blazing that trail," said the source. "It was a bitter pill for Joe to swallow."
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