Alex Trebek has died at the age of 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He’s best known to TV viewers as the long-running host of the game show Jeopardy!
Alex Trebek Passed Away
“Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex,” read the Jeopardy! official Twitter account.
Born George Alexander Trebek on July 22, 1940, in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, Trebek attended University of Ottawa where he studied philosophy. He found success hosting numerous game shows including The Wizard of Odds, Double Dare, High Rollers, Battlestars, Classic Concentration, and To Tell the Truth.
But, it was, of course, his run on Jeopardy! that made Trebek a household name. He earned 31 Daytime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Game Show Host, taking home the statuette seven times in the years 1989, 1990, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2019, and 2020.
In 1966, Trebek got his start with the Canadian game show Reach for the Top. “That’s where I got my feet wet with experience that would benefit me later with game shows,” he told Variety in 2011 after he found out he was being given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys. “When I found out I was getting this [award], I said, ‘Well, if you hang around long enough and don’t screw up, they’ll do nice things for you,'” Trebek quipped.
In the 1970s, he started hosting game shows in the U.S., landing the Jeopardy! job in 1984. “I make contestants feel comfortable,” Trebek said, “and I don’t let them get away with anything if they ever try to slow things down to maximize their lead.”
Trebek and Jeopardy! both became further enshrined as TV icons after being spoofed on Saturday Night Live. Will Ferrell played Trebek in the satire of celebrity editions of the quiz show. Often cast as himself in various projects, Trebek quipped he wouldn’t mind taking on a fictional part. “Maybe an ax murderer on a sitcom?” he joked.
In May 2019, Trebek sat down with broadcast journalist Jane Pauley on CBS Sunday morning to talk about his Stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis. He intentionally made Pauley laugh during the serious interview by using a particular tone when describing his condition. “Why are you making me laugh?” she asked. “Well, what else are you going do to?” he replied.
On the charitable front, Trebek lent his support to World Vision, which aided the rebuilding of Haiti after an earthquake. “I feel extremely fortunate to have made it a priority in my life to help others who are in need,” he said.
Alex Trebek is survived by Jean Currivan-Trebek and three children, Matthew, Emily, and Nicky. Entertainment Hub sends sincere condolences to Trebek’s family and loved ones at this difficult time.
Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex. pic.twitter.com/Yk2a90CHIM
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 8, 2020
Alex Trebek, the beloved “Jeopardy!” host, has died after a battle with pancreatic cancer, the show announced Sunday. He was 80 years old
Jane Pauley spoke to Trebek back in May 2019 on #SundayMorning while he was working through crippling pain https://t.co/lNvTQjlV53 pic.twitter.com/WSzQ6MaRfJ
— CBS Sunday Morning 🌞 (@CBSSunday) November 8, 2020
Sad news this morning. His candid and courageous battle was an inspiration. #RIPAlexTrebek pic.twitter.com/OoU50Q84KF
— Tom Bergeron (@Tom_Bergeron) November 8, 2020