Alex Trebek by no means pretended to have all of the solutions, however the “Jeopardy!” host turned an inspiration and solace to People who in any other case are at odds with one another.
He seemed and sounded the a part of a senior statesman, impeccably suited and groomed and with an authoritative voice any politician would covet. He commanded his turf — the quiz present”s stage — however refused to overshadow its brainy contestants.
And when he confronted the problem of pancreatic most cancers, which claimed his life Sunday at age 80, he was sincere, optimistic and sleek. Trebek died at his Los Angeles dwelling, surrounded by household and buddies, “Jeopardy!” studio Sony stated.
The Canadian-born host made a degree of informing followers about his well being instantly, in a collection of temporary on-line movies. He confronted the digital camera and spoke in a peaceful, even tone as he revealed his sickness and hope for a treatment within the first message, posted in March 2019.
“Now usually, the prognosis for this isn’t very encouraging, however I’m going to combat this and I’m going to maintain working,” Trebek stated, even managing a wisecrack: He needed to beat the illness as a result of his “Jeopardy!” contract had three extra years to run.
Trebek’s demise got here lower than 4 months after that of civil rights chief and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, additionally of superior pancreatic most cancers and at age 80. Trebek had provided him phrases of encouragement final January.
In a memoir printed this 12 months, “The Reply Is … Reflections on My Life,” Trebek recommended that he’s recognized however not celebrated, and in contrast himself to a visiting relative who TV viewers discover “comforting and reassuring versus being impressed by me.”
That was contradicted Sunday by the messages of grief and respect from former contestants, celebrities and the broader public that shortly adopted information of his loss.
“Alex wasn’t simply the most effective ever at what he did. He was additionally a stunning and deeply first rate man, and I’m grateful for each minute I acquired to spend with him,” tweeted “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings. “Pondering at this time about his household and his Jeopardy! household — which, in a manner, included thousands and thousands of us.”
“It was one of many nice privileges of my life to spend time with this brave man whereas he fought the battle of his life. You’ll by no means get replaced in our hearts, Alex,” James Holzhauer, one other “Jeopardy!” star, posted on Twitter.
Current winner Burt Thakur tweeted that he was “overwhelmed with emotion.” When he appeared on Friday’s present, Thakur recounted studying English diction as a toddler from watching Trebek on “Jeopardy!” along with his grandfather.
This system movies weeks of reveals prematurely, and there was no quick reply from Sony about what number of reveals with Trebek are accomplished and if they may air.
“Jeopardy!” payments itself as “America’s favorite quiz present” and captivated the general public with a singular format by which contestants have been informed the solutions and had to supply the questions on quite a lot of topics, together with motion pictures, politics, historical past and widespread tradition.
They might reply by saying “What’s … ?” or “Who’s …. ?”
Trebek, who turned its host in 1984, was a grasp of the format, participating in pleasant banter with contestants, showing genuinely happy after they answered accurately and, on the similar time, shifting the sport alongside in a brisk no-nonsense style each time folks struggled for solutions.
“I strive to not take myself too severely,” he informed an interviewer in 2004. “I don’t wish to come off as a pompous ass and point out that I do know all the things once I don’t.”
The present was the brainstorm of Julann Griffin, spouse of the late speak present host-entrepreneur Merv Griffin, who stated she recommended to him someday that he create a recreation present the place folks got the solutions.
“Jeopardy!” debuted on NBC in 1964 with Artwork Fleming as emcee and was a direct hit. It lasted till 1975, then was revived in syndication with Trebek.
Lengthy recognized by a full head of hair and trim mustache (although in 2001 he startled viewers by shaving his mustache, “fully on a whim”), Trebek was greater than certified for the job, having began his recreation present profession on “Attain for the High” in his native nation.
Transferring to the U.S. in 1973, he appeared on “The Wizard of Odds,” “Excessive Rollers,” “The $128,000 Query” and “Double Dare.” Even throughout his run on “Jeopardy!”, Trebek labored on different reveals. Within the early 1990s, he was the host of three — “Jeopardy!”, “To Inform the Fact” and “Traditional Focus.”
“Jeopardy!” made him well-known. He received 5 Emmys as its host, together with one final June, and obtained stars on each the Hollywood and Canadian walks of fame. In 2012, the present received a prestigious Peabody Award.
He taped his every day “Jeopardy!” reveals at a frenetic tempo, recording as many as 10 episodes (two weeks’ price) in simply two days. After what was described as a light coronary heart assault in 2007, he was again at work in only a month.
He posted a video in January 2018 saying he’d undergone surgical procedure for blood clots on the mind that adopted a fall he’d taken. The present was on hiatus throughout his restoration.
It had but to usher in a substitute host for Trebek — save as soon as, when he and “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak swapped their TV jobs as an April’s Idiot prank.
In 2012, Trebek acknowledged that he was contemplating retirement, however had been urged by buddies to remain on so he might attain 30 years on the present. He nonetheless beloved the job, he declared: “What’s to not love? You will have the safety of a well-recognized setting, a well-recognized format, however you’ve got the thrill of recent clues and new contestants on each program. You may’t beat that!”
Though many viewers thought-about him one of many key causes for the present’s success, Trebek himself insisted he was solely there to maintain issues shifting.
“My job is to supply the environment and help to the contestants to get them to carry out at their highest,” he stated in a 2012 interview. “And if I’m profitable doing that, I can be perceived as a pleasant man and the viewers will consider me as being a little bit of a star. However not if I attempt to steal the limelight!”
In a January 2019 interview with The Related Press, Trebek mentioned his choice to maintain going with “Jeopardy!”
“It’s not as if I’m overworked — we tape 46 days a 12 months,” he stated. However he acknowledged he would retire sometime, if he misplaced his edge or the job was now not enjoyable, including: “And it’s nonetheless enjoyable.”
Born July 22, 1940, in Sudbury, Ontario, Trebek was despatched off to boarding faculty by his Ukrainian father and French-Canadian mom when he was barely in his teenagers.
After graduating highschool, he spent a summer time in Cincinnati to be near a girlfriend, then returned to Canada to attend faculty. After incomes a philosophy diploma from the College of Ottawa, he went to work for the Canadian Broadcasting Co., beginning as a employees announcer and ultimately turning into a radio and TV reporter.
He turned a U.S. citizen in 1997. Trebek’s first marriage, to Elaine Callei, resulted in divorce. In 1990, he married Jean Currivan, they usually had two youngsters, Emily and Matthew.
Trebek is survived by his spouse, their two youngsters and his stepdaughter, Nicky.