Jerry Bishop, the veteran radio personality who was the off-camera announcer for the courtroom television show “Judge Judy,” died Tuesday after a brief illness. He was 84.
Bishop’s death was confirmed by his granddaughter Allison Rosenbloom, who said he suffered from heart complications and kidney failure.
Bishop, a resident of Bel-Air, had a career as a radio personality in Los Angeles for three decades. He got his start in radio at Hartford, Conn., station WDRC and moved to the West Coast in 1963, landing at KCBQ in San Diego. Two years later he moved to Los Angeles to join KLAC.
Bishop joined KFI in 1969, when it was the top “middle of the road” format station in the Los Angeles market. During his five-year stint there, he co-hosted “Sports Phone,” a call-in program that preceded the station’s broadcasts of the Los Angeles Dodgers games. He later moved to KIIS, where he partnered with Tom Murphy to host the “Tom and Jerry Show” in 1979.
Bishop launched a successful voice-over career in the mid-1970s, serving as announcer for the syndicated game show “Cross-Wits” and the NBC variety series “Dick Clark’s Live Wednesday.” He was heard on commercials for several national brands and did on-air promos for ABC, NBC and the Disney Channel.
Bishop signed on to “Judge Judy” when it first launched 24 years ago and remained a familiar fixture during its run as the most-watched show in daytime. Rosenbloom said he recorded his final voice-over session for the program several weeks ago before he entered the hospital.
“Everybody loved him,” Judge Judy Sheindlin said in a statement. “He had a golden heart and generous spirit. I adored him and will miss him.”
Bishop was born Gerald Blume on Oct. 19, 1935, in Hartford. He earned a degree in broadcast journalism at Emerson College before he embarked on his radio career. He married Velma Joan Leventhal in 1956. She died in 2007.
Along with Allison Rosenbloom, Bishop is survived by his three daughters, Karen Rosenbloom, Michelle Carriker and Stephanie Blume, grandchildren Brandon Rosenbloom and Zachary Carriker, and a brother, Daniel Blume.