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Judy Sheindlin, or better known as Judge Judy, has been presiding over small claims disputes on her hit show since 1996, and 18 seasons in, she shows no sign of slowing down.
1. She’s the highest-paid TV star in Hollywood
Sheindlin is the highest-earning performer in any TV genre, according to TV Guide Magazine’s annual survey of TV star salaries. She earns $47 million per year for Judge Judy, which translates to just over $900,000 per work day (she reportedly works 52 days per year).
2. She popped the question to her husband Jerry
Judge Judy is as direct in her personal life as she is behind the bench. According to a recent profile in DuJour magazine, the first time she saw her future husband Jerry Sheindlin, “she walked up to him at the bar, put her finger in his face, and said, ‘And who is this?’ He replied, ‘Lady, get your finger out of my face.’” They struck up a relationship and when he hesitated about marriage, she whipped out her calendar and cornered him. “I did propose to him,” she told DuJour. “He tried to weasel out of it…whatever. He finally capitulated.” Her persistence paid off; the pair married in 1978 and they have five children.
3. She’s obsessed with Egg McMuffins
As the highest-paid woman on TV, Sheindlin could eat pretty much anything she wanted for breakfast. However, her breakfast of choice is Egg McMuffins, a habit she picked up during her days as a family court judge in Manhattan in the early 1990s. “I still think an Egg McMuffin is the best breakfast,” she told DuJour.
4. She keeps her mind sharp with gin rummy
In her dressing room at Sunset Bronson Studios in Hollywood, Sheindlin likes to play hands of gin rummy to stay alert. “My maternal grandmother taught me to play,” she told DuJour. “She didn’t let me win. And I don’t let my grandchildren win!”
5. Her cases are real, but the extras in the courtroom are actors
Judge Judy tries real-life small claims cases on her show, but the courtroom you see on camera is actually a simulated courtroom set. Also, most of the spectators in the gallery are paid extras who are instructed to talk amongst themselves before and after each case so that the bailiff has a reason to call out, “Order! All rise.”
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