Stu Billett, ‘The People’s Court’ Creator, Dies at 85

He also produced “Love Stories,” “Superior Court,” “Moral Court,” “Family Medical Center,” “So You Think You Got Troubles” and comedy-dating show “Bzzz!”

The People's Court
The People's Court

Stu Billett, the producer and creator of the iconic courtroom TV show “The People’s Court,” died Friday. He was 85.

Per a spokesperson for “The People’s Court,” Billett “passed away from natural causes in Los Angeles” and was “surrounded by his loving family” at the time of his passing.

Billett and his producing partner Ralph Edwards launched “The People’s Court,” starring Judge Joseph Wapner, in 1981. The program is widely considered to have pioneered the reality/court television genre.

The original iteration of “The People’s Court” ran from 1981 to 1993. The show was revived in 1997 and is still in production at this time, currently starring Judge Marilyn Milian. 

Billett won four Daytime Emmys for the show in his role as executive producer.

“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 statement from “The People’s Court” rep continued.

Prior to joining the entertainment industry, Billett served in the United States Marine Corps. and later attended New York University.

After graduating from college, Billett became a producer’s assistant on several TV shows. He then became an associate producer on Johnny Carson’s “Who Do You Trust?” show.

Outside of “The People’s Court,” Billett is best known for developing and executive producing the television shows “One in a Million” for Merv Griffin Productions, “Love Stories,” “Superior Court,” “Moral Court,” “Family Medical Center,” “So You Think You Got Troubles” and the comedy-dating series “Bzzz!”

Billett is survived by “his loving wife of more than 40 years along with his children and many grandchildren,” per “The People’s Court’s” statement.