Alex Trebek, longtime "Jeopardy!" – Host, dies on the age of 80
Alex Trebek, who runs the popular quiz show "Jeopardy!" For more than 30 years he has died on Sunday with the neat charm and a touch of the schoolmaster's severity. He was 80 years old.
Trebek, who announced in 2019 that he had pancreatic cancer, died in his California home surrounded by family and friends. "Jeopardy!" Studio Sony said.
The Canadian-born host, who provided fans with direct information on his health, spoke in a calm, steady tone as he revealed his illness and hoped for a cure, in a video posted on March 6, 2019.
In the video, Trebek said that he was joining the 50,000 other Americans who receive such a diagnosis each year and that he realized the prognosis was not encouraging.
But Trebek said he intended to fight it and keep working, even joking that he got the disease because of its "danger!" The contract ran for another three years. Less than a week later, he opened the show with a message confirming the outpouring of kind words and prayers he had received.
"Thanks to – believe it or not – hundreds of thousands of people who have tweets, texts, emails, cards and letters and wish me all the best," said Trebek. "I am a lucky guy."
"Danger!" billed itself as "America's Favorite Quiz Show," wowing the public with a unique format in which attendees were given answers and asked questions on a variety of topics, including movies, politics, history, and popular culture.
They replied with the words "What is …?" or "Who is …?"
Trebek, who hosted in 1984, was a master of format who kept friendly jokes with participants, seemed genuinely satisfied when they answered correctly, and at the same time pushed the game forward in a brisk, matter-of-fact manner when people were fighting for answers.
He never pretended to know the answers himself when he really didn't, and reached out to the show's experts to determine if a somewhat vague answer had gotten close enough to be considered correct.
"I try not to take myself too seriously," he told an interviewer in 2004. "I don't want to cut off as a pompous ass and point out that if I don't, I'll know everything."
The show was the brainstorming of Juann Griffin, the wife of late talk show host Merv Griffin, who one day suggested that he create a game show where people got the answers.
"Danger!" Debuted on NBC in 1964 with Art Fleming as a presenter and was an instant hit. It lasted until 1975, then was revived in syndication with Trebek.
Trebek has long been characterized by full hair and a mustache (although in 2001 he terrified viewers by shaving his mustache "on a whim"). He was more than qualified for the job after starting his career as a game show on "Reach for the Top" in his homeland.
In 1973 he moved to the United States and appeared in "The Wizard of Odds", "High Rollers", "The $ 128,000 Question" and "Double Dare". Even during his run on "Jeopardy!" Trebek worked on other shows. In the early 1990s he hosted three – "Jeopardy!", "To Tell the Truth" and "Classic Concentration".
"Danger!" made him famous. He won five Emmys as a host and received stars on both Hollywood and the Canadian Walk of Fame. In 2012 the show won a prestigious Peabody Award.
He took his "Jeopardy!" shows up to 10 episodes (worth two weeks) in just two days at breakneck speed. After suffering a minor heart attack in 2007, he was back at work in just a month.
In January 2018, he posted a video announcing that he had undergone surgery for blood clots in the brain following a fall he suffered. The show was suspended during his recovery.
It had to find a replacement presenter for Trebek – except once when he and "Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak swapped TV jobs as an April Fool's joke.
In 2012, Trebek admitted he was considering retiring, but was told by friends to keep going so he could reach 30 years on the show. Still loving the job, he explained, "What is there not to love? You have the security of a familiar environment, a familiar format, but you have the excitement of new leads and new candidates in each program. You can't beat that!" ""
Although many viewers viewed him as one of the main reasons for the show's success, Trebek himself insisted that he was only there to keep things moving.
"I will be featured as the host of" Jeopardy! ", Not a star," he said in a 2012 interview. "My job is to provide the participants with the atmosphere and support so that they can perform at their best," he said. "And if I can do that, I'll be perceived as a nice guy and the audience will consider me a little star."