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THR's Women in Entertainment 2012: Power 100

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    47. Judy Sheindlin
    Judy Sheindlin
    Star, 'Judge Judy'

    Sheindlin (aka Judge Judy), 70, has been the queen of daytime for three seasons running -- a most honorable distinction that comes with averaging 9 million viewers a day and accounts for her hefty paycheck ($45 million per year). “Not bad,” muses the onetime juvie judge who spends a mere 52 days a year in the studio hearing 10 cases a day. She signed a new contract that will keep her on the show through 2015 and launched the website WhatWouldJudySay.com.

    Moment I knew I wanted to work in the business: I spent 25 years in the family court, and I thought, “TV could be a new adventure.” Larry Lyttle, who was then president of Big Ticket Pictures, gave me the opportunity to try my craft at television.

    Toughest decision I had to make this year: Whether to dabble with the Internet and start a website.

    When I leave work each day, I can’t wait to: Take my shoes off.

    Favorite way to unwind: Work out and go to the movies.

    My indulgence: Toasted scooped-out bagel with Nova Scotia salmon, tomato and red onion, two or three times a week.

    Can’t get through my workday without: A game of gin rummy in my dressing room.

    Most surprising music in my CD collection: A lot of country.

    My proudest moments this year: To celebrate two weddings (my children), an engagement (a grandson) and a bar mitzvah (a grandson).

    Top three shows I watch: Law & Order, Modern Family andDamages. But it has to be over by 10 o’clock. By then I am fast asleep.

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