Alex Trebek, whose wit, pronunciation and steady hand contributed to the Jeopardy! in a juggernaut, died at the age of 80.
The beloved television presenter died early Sunday morning at his Los Angeles home.
A spokesman for the show told the outlet: "Jeopardy is saddened that Alex Trebek died peacefully at home this morning, surrounded by family and friends."
Trebek revealed a fourth stage diagnosis for pancreatic cancer in March 2019.
CNN's Brian Stelter reported that Trebeks last day in danger! The studio was on October 29th. The episodes will continue to be broadcast until Christmas Day.
Stelter added that Jeopardy! The producers said, "The show is not currently announcing any plans for a new host."
Before his death, Trebek continued to host season 37 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Trebek has more than 8,200 episodes of Jeopardy!
Alex Trebek, up on the set of Jeopardy !, died at the age of 80. Trebek was born and raised in Canada. He worked on radio and television in his home country for 12 years before moving to Los Angeles in 1973 to host The Wizard of Opportunities. It took about 10 years and many shows before he landed Jeopardy! Trebek hosted the popular quiz show for nearly 8,000 episodes in 36 years and won numerous awards for its work
Danger! released a statement Sunday afternoon on Trebek's death after the TV presenter passed away at his home
He said in September that he was responding exceptionally well to treatment and is expected to mark his two-year survival next February.
The famous host admitted that his journey was not easy and that he had to contend with bouts of "great depression" during the trial.
However, he remained optimistic about achieving two years of recovery, aided by his wife and "soul mate" Jean, in addition to the "millions of prayers" sent by well-wishers from around the world.
"The one-year survival rate for patients with stage 4 pancreatic cancer is 18 percent," he said. "I am very pleased to announce that I have just reached this mark."
"I'd be lying if I said the journey was easy," he admitted. “There were some good days, but many not-so-good days. I joked with friends that cancer won't kill me, chemotherapy will.
"There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions stopped working, and sudden, massive attacks with great depression that asked me if it was really worth fighting it."
Trebek did his best to let go of the challenging feelings surrounding his serious illness and focused on staying positive.
Alex Trebek (right) referred to his wife Jean Currivan (left) during a September interview in which he was optimistic about his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer
Alex Trebek (center) sat with colleague Brad Rutter (left) and a producer during a press conference in January about the & # 39; Jeopardy! The greatest of all time
"I was quick to brush that aside because that would have been a massive betrayal, betrayal to my wife and soul mate Jean, who gave her everything to help me survive," he said.
Trebek started out on radio and television in his native Canada and did a number of game shows in Hollywood before starting the revival of Jeopardy! Wrapped up in 1984 with the wheel of fortune and syndicated nationwide, the show became "part of American life," wrote Trebek in his 2020 autobiography.
“The audience got used to having me there, not so much as a showbiz personality, but as an uncle. I am more of a part of the family than an outside celebrity coming to your home to entertain you. & # 39;
Trebek, whose family called him "Sonny", grew up in the nickel mining town of Sudbury, Ontario. He studied philosophy out of a need to find his way through college. Trebek was bilingual and spent 12 years promoting and hosting radio and television for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in English and French before moving to Los Angeles in 1973 to host The Wizards of Odds.
He is survived by his 30-year-old wife, Jean, and their two children, Matthew and Emily. Trebek was close to his first wife's daughter, Nicky. He married Elaine Callei in 1974 and they divorced in 1981.
Despite numerous awards and recognitions, the host, whose facial hair or lack of it has led to speculation and reporting, remained humble, noting in his memoir, "I've never seen myself as special."
Above Trebek with his family at the Emmys Awards in June 2011. Next to Trebek are his 30-year-old wife Jean, his daughter Emily, the daughter of his first wife Nicky and his son Matthew. Trebek was married to Elaine Callei from 1974 until their divorce in 1981. “My relationships with Elaine and Nicky are still close. Although I never adopted Nicky – her birth father was alive at the time – I use osmosis to refer to her as my daughter, ”he wrote in his autobiography The Answer Is… Reflections on My Life. Trebek married Jean Currivan in April 1990
In the late 1920's his father, George Edward Terebeychuk, left Ukraine for Canada. After changing his last name to Trebek to match his cousin, George began working in the kitchen and cooking in Toronto and then in Sudbury, a town known for its nickel mining in Ontario.
In Sudbury, George was co-chef at the Nickel Range Hotel and met Lucille Lagace. They married in December 1939 because Lucille was pregnant. George Alexander Trebek was born on July 22, 1940 in a small hut just behind my grandparents' house. There was no doctor. & # 39;
His sister Barbara was born on October 14, 1941, and Trebek recalled a childhood surrounded by his extended family in Sudbury and for a time in Toronto. He often watched his uncles, who were under construction, building and painting. He also spent a lot of time with his father when he worked as a cook, writing that "the kitchen became a second home to me".
Since his mother was French-Canadian, Trebek was bilingual and he described himself as & # 39; a good student in elementary school. Got good grades. A little sh ** stirrer. & # 39;
His family called him Sonny growing up, and as a teenager he used his middle name Alex to avoid confusion with his father. This emerges from his autobiography The Answer Is … Reflections on My Life.
“I never thought about whether we were poor. We existed like everyone else. My friends and I were all just lower-middle-class kids from lower-middle-class families. We played every sport: hockey, baseball, softball, basketball, soccer. I blew my knee out while playing soccer. Some parents owned their homes. Some parents rented. We were all part of the same community. & # 39;
And while his parents took great care of each other, Trebek noticed that they were unsuitable: “Dad was a smoker and a heavy drinker. Mama was mad, and she was brighter than him. Divorce was almost unheard of in our church, but they split up, which caused me immense distress. & # 39;
Trebek spoke both English and French when he was a child in Sudbury, a town known for its nickel mining in Ontario. His Ukrainian father immigrated to Canada in the late 1920s and his mother was French-Canadian. Being bilingual helped his radio career when he first started on radio and television, as he could advertise in both languages. He worked in Ottawa for two years before being transferred to the Toronto headquarters of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation known as CBC. There he hosted the Canadian equivalent of American Bandstand, a show called Music Hop, and Trebek can be seen at the top of the show in the 1960s
Trebek stayed with CBC for 12 years and was an all-rounder. He covered sporting events like curling tournaments, introduced orchestras and ballet performances, and hosted quiz shows like Reach for the Top, where Canadian students vied for scholarships. according to his autobiography. Then he started thinking about a career in America. Through his compatriot Alan Thicke, Trebek got a job as a presenter of The Wizards of Odds in 1973 and moved to Los Angeles. Trebek topped one of the shows he hosted as high rollers in the 1970s and got thrown into the dice
A producer who worked with Trebek on High Rollers said to him, “Alex, never turn down a job. You never know if another offer will come, ”he says in his autobiography. The answer is … reflections on my life. “For a long time, as long as I could, I didn't turn down jobs. And I never doubted my talent either. I never took it personally when a show was canceled. I knew I was good. Because I had experience. & # 39; Trebek, above, in 1984, the year he was Jeopardy!
Luck and timing played a part in Trebek's endangerment !, he wrote. He once represented Chuck Woolery, who was the host of the Wheel of Fortune at the time. Merv Griffin, the Jeopardy, remembered this favor! and thought about reviving the show. Danger! was originally hosted by Art Fleming and, according to Trebek's memoir, first aired from 1964 to 1974 and then for six months in 1978. Julann Wright – Griffin's wife at the time – was the one who came up with his format: the candidate receives the answer and has to answer the question. Trebek, who was at a book signing in New York City in 1990, also produced Jeopardy! for the first three years
When his parents separated, Trebek was sent to boarding school at the University of Ottawa and he started playing. His behavior was "so unruly" that he and his father had to ask the headmaster to let him stay at school. According to his memoirs, Trebek was then a good and good student.
He tried the military to pay college but rebelled against its rules. Back in Sudbury and with no money, he completed a so-called "matriculation year" or the equivalent of a freshman university in Canada. He went to prom, but Trebek wrote that he was very shy of girls. I wasn't forward at all. You'd have to throw me into the arms of a girl and she'd have to willingly accept me for something to happen. & # 39;
Trebek studied philosophy at the University of Ottawa because it allowed him to work part time to pay for his education. "Growing up, I wanted to be either a pilot, a doctor, or a prime minister of Canada," he wrote, adding that he also thought about medicine at one point. But when he discovered radio, all of these professions fell by the wayside.
It took a little while to get into the business. Trebek remembered that he had auditioned well but was not hired due to lack of experience. "Perhaps my rebellious period has kept me from taking no for an answer," he wrote, then applied to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, known as the CBC. "I still have the audition tape."
He was hired for a temporary summer position and then filled on other vacations. The CBC offered Trebek a full-time position, which he accepted, but on the condition that he graduated from university first.
After graduation, he worked in Ottawa for two years before being transferred to the CBC's national headquarters in Toronto in the early 1960s. He hosted the Canadian equivalent of American Bandstand, a show called Music Hop. The program was his first taste of "celebrity," he recalled. He had done live TV in Ottawa but wrote: “No matter how much experience you have, live TV is always a challenge. If you screw up on TV – which I did – you better learn how to redeem yourself …
"The mess on live television taught me an important lesson about show business: learn to laugh at yourself."
Trebek was an all-rounder at CBC for 12 years. He covered sporting events like curling tournaments, the introduction of orchestras and ballet performances, and hosted quiz shows like Reach for the Top, where Canadian students competed for scholarships to share his memories. He started thinking about a career in America.
Enter his Canadian compatriot Alan Thicke.
Trebek met Thicke when he hosted a variety show called After Noon and Thicke appeared on it. Known for his role as Jason Seaver on the hit TV show Growing Pains in the 1980s and early 90s, Thicke was also a songwriter who composed TV theme songs and produced several shows. Thicke, who now lives in Los Angeles, called Trebek about a new game show he was working on called The Wizard of Odds.
In 1973 Trebek was hired to host The Wizard of Odds, but left the CBC after another 13 weeks. He moved to LA. "I wasn't sad to leave Canada," he wrote, adding that his sister Barbara also lived there. "Back then it really felt like a small town …
& # 39; I was in pig heaven. I've been where things happened. The center of the entertainment industry. Not making a lot of money, but enough to comfortably survive in a new apartment. I had a great time. & # 39;
& # 39; It just happened to Jean. Sometimes you know Sometimes you look at something, you look at someone and you know. I mean, you've heard stories from people who met within half an hour and decided, "I knew this would be the person I would end up with." And that was the case with Jeanie. I wasn't looking for love But with Jean I recognized at stomach level that there was someone here who would complete me as a person, ”wrote Trebek about his wife Jean in his memoir The Answer Is… Reflections on My Life. The couple had been married for 30 years, traveled the world and ran a charitable foundation together. They can be seen above at the opening of a show in Hollywood in May 1990
When Trebek met Jean Currivan, he was already hosting Jeopardy! and divorced. Currivan was in the accounting department for one of his friends the weekend they were introduced. & # 39; She was the most charming person I had ever met; not only polite, but also exudes a warmth that shows character and spirituality. And she was gorgeous. & # 39; When his friend invited Trebek to a dinner party, he asked Currivan to be there too. Then we started dating. I don't know if Jeanie was as instantly sure about me as I was. I think at first she might have thought I was a bit of an idiot, ”he wrote. The couple above in 1995
The couple married in April 1990 and had their first child, Matthew that year. Their daughter Emily was born in 1993. "We always had dinner together, which is very different from what I grew up with," he wrote. “To be honest, I followed Jean in parenting. She is the calming influence. She has a more understanding personality than me. It is not rigid. & # 39; In his book, he remembered his children doing their homework or playing games after dinner. & # 39; You haven't seen Jeopardy! very often. Watching television wasn't a must for them. They knew their father was hosting a television quiz show. & # 39; Above the couple in 2014
In The Answer Is… Reflections on My Life, Trebek wrote, “The hardest thing about fatherhood is that it introduced an element of fear into my life. When you're a bachelor, you do all sorts of stupid, daring things. You don't fear too much for your life. You don't worry about anything. But when you're married and have a family, you worry. & # 39; Above Matthew, Emily, Trebek, Jean and Nicky, his first wife's daughter
33-year-old Trebek was the "talented newcomer to radio" who made connections and attended dinner parties. In his memoirs he wrote about the fact that he had no vice: not smoking, drinking, or using drugs. “I don't really drink that much. After seeing my father drink, I never cared, ”he recalled.
So he decided to “add more salt” to his language, wrote Trebek and joked in his memoirs about the “revelation” he swears.
The Wizard of Opportunities, focused on math, lasted a year. In 1974 Trebek put on a show called High Rollers, a game about throwing the dice. In September he also married Elaine Callei, a former Playboy rabbit he met in Toronto.
She hosted a few television programs, including a daily talk show, which was groundbreaking for how openly she addressed sexual issues. She was married before and had a daughter named Nicky. It was around six when Elaine and I met, and sweet when everyone comes out, ”he wrote.
The newlyweds bought a house on Mulholland Drive, and Callei invited Trebek's mother, Lucille, to live with them on the property and raise Nicky. Trebek wrote that it was a "wonderful arrangement".
Trebek and Callei were married until 1981. “I didn't know what was expected of me as a husband. Elaine and I were both too reluctant to give up our respective points of view, and neither were we willing to compromise, ”he said, according to an unauthorized biography, Who is Alex Trebek ?, by Lisa Rogak.
Trebek wrote that their divorce was amicable and that his mother Lucille continued to look after Nicky. He brought a house across from them. In his memoir, he noted, “My relationships with Elaine and Nicky remain strong. Although I never adopted Nicky – her birth father was alive at the time – I refer to her as my daughter through osmosis. & # 39;
Professionally, Trebek fought for a permanent appearance in the 1970s. “My career in those early years in Los Angeles was a bit unpredictable and unusual. I have been offered to host jobs for all types of shows. & # 39;
In addition to The Wizard of Odds and two Stints High Rollers, he hosted Double Dare, a show in which doctoral students competed against each other in isolation cabins, battlestars and pitfalls.
'This has been a difficult time in my life. My father had cancer and Elaine and I had just divorced. I needed the money for my new house. The job was supposed to pay me $ 49,000, which was a fair amount of dough back then, ”he wrote of Pitfall, which aired in the early 1980s.
He was paid for the first 13 weeks of the show, but his second check for the next part of the time was not cleared. He posted this check on the wall behind his desk.
“If you've lost the count by now, that's seven jobs in ten years. I've never been frustrated with the lack of continuity over those years. That's just business. For all the shows that are hits, there are a dozen more that are not. I was just happy to have a job. There's a lot to be said when you're in the entertainment industry …
"When I was invited to host another show, this one called Jeopardy !, I was ready."
Trebek recalled in his memories a childhood surrounded by his extended family in Sudbury and for a time in Toronto. He often watched his uncles, who were under construction, building and painting, and spent time in the kitchen with his father, who was a cook. Trebek studied philosophy at the University of Ottawa because classes were held in the mornings to free the afternoons and evenings for work. He wrote, "I had no money, and neither did Dad, so I had to pay for my way through school with part-time jobs like processing tax forms for the Canadian Revenue Service." Above Trebek in an undated photo, probably in the late 1950s or early 1960s
During his studies, he worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and after graduating had a full-time position. After 12 years at CBC, he moved to Los Angeles in 1973 to host The Wizards of Odds. In September 1974 Trebek married Elaine Callei, a former Playboy bunny he met in Toronto. She hosted a few television programs, including a daily talk show, which was groundbreaking for how openly she addressed sexual issues. She was married before and had a daughter named Nicky. It was around six when Elaine and I met, and sweet as everyone else, ”he recalled in his memoir. Above the couple in an undated photo. They divorced in 1981
Over the years Trebek has been asked about retirement and who should replace him as host. He wrote: & # 39; Danger! will good. It doesn't matter who the host is. It's a quality program … there are other hosts who can do as good a job as me. I think danger! can go on forever. & # 39; Trebek joked that Betty White should replace him. The audience wants someone who is younger, someone who is funnier. Betty and I have been friends for a long, long time, ”he told Good Morning America in July 2020. Above Trebek and White in 1982
Luck and timing played a part in Trebek's endangerment !, he wrote. While hosting Battlestars – a show where celebrities competed against each other and resembled Hollywood Squares – he agreed to represent Chuck Woolery on Wheel of Fortune. Woolery, who hosted the show from 1975 to 1981, was in the hospital. Pat Sajak has hosted Wheel of Fortune since 1981.
This favor was remembered by Merv Griffin, the famous talk show host whose production companies were the forces behind Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! Were. Griffin wanted Jeopardy! Revive, which, according to Trebek's memoir, first aired for six months from 1964 to 1974 and 1978 again.
Danger! should be paired with wheel of fortune. Trebek accepted the job and the first episode with him aired on September 10, 1984. Trebek recalled the challenges of those early years and how the show "struggled to get people to watch".
When Trebek met Jean Currivan, it was Jeopardy! was on steady footing. Currivan was in the accounting department for one of his friends the weekend they were introduced. & # 39; She was the most charming person I had ever met; not only polite, but also exudes a warmth that shows character and spirituality. And she was gorgeous. & # 39;
When his friend invited Trebek to a dinner party, he asked to include Currivan as well. Then we started dating. I don't know if Jeanie was as instantly sure about me as I was. I think at first she might have thought I was a bit of an idiot. & # 39;
The couple married in April 1990 and celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2020.
“I have another framed picture in my office, near the game show producer's framed check that stiffened me. Jeanie gave it to me. It's a line from our favorite film, Wuthering Heights: "Whatever our souls are made of yours and mines, they are the same." That's how I see our relationship. We are one soul in two bodies. & # 39;
Shortly after they were married, they had their son Matthew in 1990 and daughter Emily in 1993. He wrote, “The hardest thing about fatherhood is that it brought an element of fear into my life. When you're a bachelor, you do all sorts of stupid, daring things. You don't fear too much for your life. You don't worry about anything. But when you're married and have a family, you worry. & # 39;
He noted in his book that Jeopardy! He had two long days a week to spend time with his family. And they always ate dinner together, unlike when he grew up.
His father George died after Trebek's divorce from his first wife in the 1980s, and his younger sister Barbara died of breast cancer in 2007. His mother Lucille, who lived with Trebek on his property, died at the age of 95.
Trebek published his cancer diagnosis in early 2019, writing that there were moments he wished he hadn't. Even so, he was touched by the support he received from Jeopardy! Viewers about the disease and over the decades. “I really can't say enough how grateful I am for the fans of our show. I try to show that gratitude as much as possible, ”he wrote.
After almost 8,000 episodes of Jeopardy! and honored with several awards including Emmys, he wrote that he would like to be remembered. & # 39;First and foremost as a good and loving husband and father and also as a decent man who did his best to help people do their best. Because that was my job. That's what a host is supposed to do. & # 39;
& # 39; Our writers and researchers were at Jeopardy! that's how long I often joke that working for the show is an annuity. You're always working on questions, ”he wrote. The answer is … reflections on my life. “The writers, God bless them, are really astute. They won a lot of Emmys and they deserved them. You can take a mundane fact and make it very entertaining. & # 39; The show won 35 Emmys. Above Trebek on the set for the 28th season of Jeopardy! in September 2011
During the two long days, Trebek recorded the quiz show. He wrote that he was in the studio at 6 a.m. and had gone through all the notices for the five shows that day. He circled all of the clues he wanted to talk about at the 9am production meeting. Then it was makeup and getting dressed. “Before the show starts, I'll be backstage trying to figure out what to say when I go out. Since I don't want to repeat myself at the opening of the show, I try to find different ways of greeting the audience … your job is to keep it fresh, keep it alive and keep your viewers interested. What's going on? “, It says in his memoir. Trebek, above, at the 33rd annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles in April 2006
Trebek announced he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early 2019 and wrote about chemotherapy in his memoir. Above, he and Jean talk about the diagnosis and their difficult treatment on ABC News. "I don't know what I would do without her," he wrote of Jean. “What I discovered in all of this is how difficult it is for caregivers and family members who care for the sick. Jean is not complaining, but I do worry about the toll it will take on her. I worry, as does Matthew and Emily. & # 39;
Trebek with his family: his son Matthew, Nicky, the daughter of his first wife and his daughter Emily. In his memoirs he wrote: “I am the typical product of my generation: a hard-working breadwinner who looks after his family; performs all the repairs he can do around the house; likes to watch TV; and thinks a simple dinner of fried chicken, broccoli, and rice is okay, thank you very much. & # 39;
Alex Trebek, above, in 2012. The host volunteered for charitable purposes, made donations for purposes and universities and founded a charitable foundation with his wife Jean. He wrote: “Curiosity has always been a very important factor in my life – across all subjects. It's a thirst for knowledge. I have a standard motto, and it's very short: "A good education and a kind heart will serve you well for a lifetime." In his memoir, he wrote that he was not afraid of dying. "I have lived a good, fulfilling life and I am nearing the end."
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