After hosting the classic quiz show Jeopardy! for 36 years, Alex Trebek may be the most well known game show host of all time. Unfortunately, the quiz master’s time behind the podium has come to an end. After a recent battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Alex Trebek has passed away at 80 years old.
TMZ was the first to report news of Alex Trebek passing away this weekend, and Jeopardy! made the official announcement:
Alex Trebek began his televsion career in Canada, covering national news and special events for radio and television at CBC. But he wouldn’t start garnering showbiz fame until he moved to America, making his US debut on the short-lived NBC game show The Wizard of Odds in 1973. Over the next decade he would make a career out of hosting assorted variety programs and game shows ranging from Celebrity Sweepstakes and Celebrity Bowling to Double Dare (not the Nickelodeon one), Hollywood Squares, Card Sharks and The New Battlestars. But his most famous job arrived in 1984.
Alex Trebek began hosting Jeopardy! in 1984, and here’s a clip from his debut on the series:
Alex Trebek became so famous for hosting Jeopardy! that he’s appeared as himself dozens of times on various movies and TV shows, often hosting Jeopardy!, other times merely encountered in the wild for a fun bit. He was also perfectly lampooned by Will Ferrell in Celebrity Jeopardy sketches on Saturday Night Live, and he even appeared in the final edition when Ferrell left the series on May 18, 2002.
During his tenure as host of Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek has won seven total Emmys, including one earlier this year for Outstanding Game Show Host. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and he holds the Guinness World Record for Most Game Show Episodes Hosted by the Same Presenter with more than 8,000 episodes under his belt. He was also inducted into the the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame, and he and Jeopardy! were inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
After announcing a diagnosis of Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Trebek took a break from hosting Jeopardy! in March 2019, but he was filled with hope in his fight against the disease despite acknowledging that the prognosis was not an encouraging one. After receiving treatment, Trebek returned to Jeopardy! in September 2019 and continued to host until the coronavirus pandemic put the show in hiatus. But Trebek again returned to host new episodes just a couple months ago, kicking off the show’s 37th season. He would have continued to host the show until at least 2022, but now it is unclear how the show will proceed without him.
Few have achieved the level of fame that Alex Trebek rose too. The host was also regarded as one of the nicest men in television, and if you need anymore evidence of that, he penned a memoir called The Answer Is…Reflections on My Life that was released in July this year, and all the proceeds are being donated to charity.
Our thoughts go out to the friends and family of Alex Trebek during this difficult time. Rest in peace.
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