Alex Trebek, Iconic ‘Jeopardy’ Host, Dies At 80 From Pancreatic Cancer
Alex Trebek, the iconic Jeopardy host, died Sunday morning of pancreatic cancer at 80 years old, the official Jeopardy Twitter confirmed.
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
“Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” the tweet announcing his passing reads. “Thank you, Alex.”
Trebek had hosted the famous series since 1984, and, despite his cancer diagnosis, announced that he planned to continue hosting until 2023 in a video posted to both YouTube and Twitter.
“Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer,” Trebek said in the March 2019 video. “Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working. And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease. Truth told, I have to! Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years! So help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done. Thank you.”
Trebek continued to film episodes of Jeopardy until just October 29, so new episodes hosted by him will continue to air until December 25. He’ll also make an appearance in Ryan Reynolds‘ upcoming film, Free Guy.
Alex Trebek was kind enough to film a cameo for our film Free Guy last year despite his battle. He was gracious and funny. In addition to being curious, stalwart, generous, reassuring and of course, Canadian. We love you, Alex. And always will.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) November 8, 2020
Since his passing, Jeopardy contestants and creators alike have been mourning his death by posting their experiences with him on the show.
“He was a legend of the industry that we were all lucky to watch night after night for 37 years,” Mike Richards, the show’s executive producer, said in a statement to ABC News. “Working beside him for the past year and a half as he heroically continued to host Jeopardy was an incredible honor. His belief in the importance of the show and his willingness to push himself to perform at the highest level was the most inspiring demonstration of courage I have ever seen. His constant desire to learn, his kindness and his professionalism will be with all of us forever.”
I was on JEOPARDY! twice. In 1998 I was on the first ever Back to School special. Alex Trebek was so nice to 15+ 10-11 year olds — my nightmare.
— 17 Minute Rain Delay (@KendraJames_) November 8, 2020
“I was on JEOPARDY! twice,” contestant Kendra James tweeted. “In 1998 I was on the first ever Back to School special. Alex Trebek was so nice to 15+ 10-11 year olds — my nightmare. I wore a too shiny silver shirt from Limited Too, which Alex kept joking (kindly) about needing sunglasses to look at. RIP.”
“Genuinely cannot say enough about what that first random appearance did for me,” James followed up in a later tweet. “Every kid got sent home with the same prizes, with the exception of the winner’s $$ total. So JEOPARDY! was how I got my first personal computer in my bedroom.”
Alex wasn’t just the best ever at what he did. He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I’m grateful for every minute I got to spend with him. pic.twitter.com/CdHCcbqmp2
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) November 8, 2020
“Alex wasn’t just the best ever at what he did,” Jeopardy champion and current consulting producer Ken Jennings tweeted. “He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I’m grateful for every minute I got to spend with him.”
“Thinking today about his family and his Jeopardy! family—which, in a way, included millions of us,” Jennings finished.
Hundreds of fans also mourned Trebek’s death, and LEGO, DeviantArt, and PBS’s Arthur all posted artistic tributes to him.
RIP Alex Trebek. A true, true gentleman and courageous hero. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest 💛 pic.twitter.com/autbyxnlcs
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) November 8, 2020
— Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) November 8, 2020
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) November 8, 2020
Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Alex Trebek this morning. A face and voice that welcomed generations of viewers from household televisions, Trebek will be missed. #InMemoriam
— DeviantArt (@DeviantArt) November 8, 2020
Thank you, Alex Trebek. Elwood City misses you already ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Dow9oLvFq1
— Arthur Read (@arthurpbs) November 8, 2020