Jeopardy! is syndicated across the country and remains one of the most popular game shows on air, alongside fellow Sony Pictures Television production Wheel of Fortune. In March 2015, Trebek signed on to host Jeopardy! through 2018.
On January 4, it was announced that the Canadian-born Trebek would be taking a hiatus from hosting the show as he needed to undergo brain surgery. In December, Trebek was diagnosed with a condition called subdural hematoma. He is “expected to make a full and complete recovery,” according to Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The 52-year-old Currivan is Trebek’s second wife. He was previously married to Elaine Trebek Karens from 1974 to 1981. Trebek and Currivan have two children, Matthew and Emily.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Currivan Was ‘Really Nervous’ When She First Met Trebek, Who Is 26 Years Older Than Her
Jean Currivan Trebek was only 26 when she and Trebek married in 1990. The Huntington, New York native told People Magazine in 1990 that they met at a party two years before. She was “really nervous” about dating Trebek, she told the magazine.
“I was afraid I’d mispronounce my own name! But Alex is really down to earth. He’s much more casual than he is on the show,” Jean told People.
People reported that Trebek proposed to Jean on her 26th birthday. He gave her black velvet pants and a matching jacket, and she thought that was it. However, he surprised her by proposing with a 16-carat sapphire ring, surrounded by diamonds. “It took my breath away,” Jean told the magazine. “I mean, it was a rock.”
Trebek told People that their age gap did concern him at first, but he then decided, “The hell with it. We’ll make it work.”
“I can understand why he was cautious about being with a younger woman,” Jean told People. “So I didn’t try to push him. We just took it one day at a time.”
At the wedding, People reports that Trebek had some fun with the proceedings. “The answer is… yes,” he said, referring to Jeopardy!‘s answer-question format.
2. Before Their Wedding, Trebek Bought a Mountain in the Hollywood Hills to Build Their Dream Home
Before their wedding, The Los Angeles Times reports, Trebek bought a mountain for $1.5 million. The property north of the Sunset Strip covered 35 acres and he planned to build their dream home there.
“I don’t know yet what style house I will build,” Trebek told the Times. “We both like modern architecture and French chateaus, so who knows? But it will be a collaborative effort with my fiancee, Jean Currivan . . . and it will be a monster.”
Trebek told the Times that he enjoys having his homes built from scratch. “I built my chalet in Canada and renovated three or four houses, so I can do a lot of the work myself, but we’ll have to wait until after the rainy season to start grading. We’ll probably start about the time we get married,” Trebek said at the time.
Before Trebek tied the knot, he lived at a home he built on Mulholland Drive in 1984, reports Zillow. He owned that home until 1996, when he sold it. As of 2013, he owns a home in Studio City, notes Zillow.
3. Currivan Is a Member of the North Hollywood Church of Religious Science
Trebek told The Week in a 2014 profile that Jean is very serious about religion. She attends the North Hollywood Church of Religious Science and many of her church friends are at the center of his social life.
In fact, the church’s website lists Jean as a practitioner who took part in a Wednesday Evening Taize Service on January 11, 2017. She started the service with a “singing bowl meditation.”
4. Currivan Invested in Her Son Matthew’s Mexican Restaurant in New York
Jean and Trebek’s son Matthew isn’t interested in television. Instead, he is returning to Jean’s roots by living in New York. In May 2016, The New York Post reported that the 25-year-old Matthew has opened a Mexican street-food restaurant called Oso in Harlem. While his dad didn’t invest in the venture, his mother did.
“I’m much more like my mom,” MAtthew told the Post. “My mom and I are much more reserved and shy, and my dad and my sister are a little more outgoing and [want] to be the entertainment people.”
Matthew owns a building at 140th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, which his father bought. Oso’s chef, Cassandra Rhoades, lives in the building. The Post reported in July 2015 that the building cot $1.92 million.
“We try to create a family with our staff because we’re so small,” Matthew told the Post. “Jeopardy has that same feel.”
Their daughter, Emily Trebek, graduated from Layola Marymount University in 2015.
5. Being in Front of the Camera Is Not in Currivan’s ‘Comfort Zone’
Matthew mentioned this in his interview with the Post and a 2013 video with photographer Christina Gressianu shows that being in front of a camera isn’t in Jean’s comfort zone.
“I came to do something to get out of my comfort zone. Being in front of a camera definitely does that for me,” Jean says in the video. “And glam-ing up, having to put on make-up and having to focus on me is a challenge.”
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