Long time host of the game show “Jeopardy” Alex Trebek died November 8 at his Los Angeles home at the age of 80 as a result of pancreatic cancer. Representative of the Culver City studio where “Jeopardy” was filmed noted that Trebek spent time on a beloved swing in his back yard and was surrounded by family at the time of his death.
The cancer diagnosis was just the latest in a number of health issues that did little slow down Trebek and his schedule of taping a week’s worth of shows in just one day. He had a mild heart attack in 2007 and brain surgery for blood clots after a fall.
Trebek took over the hosting duties of the show in 1984. Original “Jeopardy” host Art Fleming also died of pancreatic cancer in 1995.
He announced to fans in March of 2019 that he had been diagnosed with an advanced stage of the disease; adding that he hoped a cure would soon be found.
Hosting “Jeopardy” for over 35 years, Trebek noted that he did not expect to retire as host of the quiz game show where contestants must respond with a question.
With weeks of shows taped together, fans of the game show will see Trebek hosting the show until December 25. The studio has not made any decisions on how they will continue…if at all…after the death of the long time host. Trekbek joked that the 98 year old Betty White should replace him; but the rumour mill speculates that “Jeopardy” GOAT Ken Jennings will take over the position.
Before coming the “Jeopardy” in 1984, Trebek served as host on “The Wizard of Odds”, “Reach for the Top”, and “Music Hop”.
While best known for his hosting duties on “Jeopardy”, Trebek is also credited as an actor in some two dozen productions including “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”, “Orange is the New Black”, “The Simpsons”, “How I Met Your Mother”, “Seinfeld”, “The X-Files”, “Beverly Hills, 90210”, “Rugrats”, and “Cheers”.
As himself, he appeared in nearly 200 productions including over 8,000 episodes of “Jeopardy”, talk shows, award shows, game shows, “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, “The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival”, documentaries, and host of the “National Geographic Bee”.
During his career, Trebek won five Emmy Awards as host of the game show; he also has a star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a star on the Walk of Fame in his native Canada.
He was born George Alexander Trebek on July 22, 1940 in Sudbury, Ontario; the son of a Ukrainian father and a French-Canadian mother. He began his broadcasting career as a staff announcer after graduating from the University of Ottawa in philosophy. He later became a readio and TV reporter before moving to the United States where he became a U.S. citizen in 1998.
Outside of “Jeopardy”, Trebek owned a vineyard and a horse farm.
Trebek is survived by his second wife of 30 years Jean and their children Emily, Matthew, and stepdaughter Nicky.
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