Alex Trebek Dies; Jeopardy! Host Was 80
Alex Trebek, the beloved host of Jeopardy!, has died.
TMZ reported that Trebek passed away on Sunday after a battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
He was 80.
A spokesperson for the show confirmed the news to the outlet.
“Jeopardy is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends.”
Trebek first revealed his cancer diagnosis in March 2019 in a video announcement.
The host acknowledged that the prognosis for his illness was “not very encouraging,” but shared at the time that he planned “to fight this, and I’m going to keep working.”
“Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer,” Trebek said in a YouTube video on March 6, 2019.
“Now, normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging. But I’m gonna fight this and I’m gonna 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.”
Throughout his battle with the disease, he continued to host Jeopardy!
In an interview with Good Morning Americ earlier this year, Trebek said he wouldn’t “go to any extraordinary measures to ensure my survival” if his experimental immunotherapy treatment proved unsuccessful.
“I’ll just continue with chemo and see what happens,” he said during the interview.
“If the quality of life is not there, it’s hard sometimes to push and just say, ‘Well, I’m going to keep going, even though I’m miserable.’”
Trebek started his career in radio and television in his native Canada, but his big break came in 1984 when he landed Jeopardy!
The series remains a hit and recently returned to production after COVID-19 delays.
“Viewers have gotten used to having me there, not so much as a showbiz personality but as an uncle. I’m a part of the family more than an outside celebrity who comes into your home to entertain you,” Trebek wrote of the series in his 2020 autobiography.
Trebek is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jean, and their two children, Matthew and Emily.
He married Elaine Callei in 1974 and they divorced in 1981.
May he rest in peace.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.