Alex Trebek hosted over 8,000 episodes of Jeopardy! over a span of 36 years.
In March of last year, the television host announced that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. And on the morning of November 8, TMZ revealed that Trebek passed away.
A spokesperson for Jeopardy! subsequently told TMZ, “Jeopardy is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends.”
While further details have not been shared with the public, Jeopardy! has revealed that they are not announcing a new host at this time. The show also confirmed that episodes hosted by Trebek will air through December 25, 2020.
A number of celebrity friends have flocked to social media to express their grief.
John Legend wrote on Twitter, “I was obsessed with Jeopardy as a nerdy kid growing up in Ohio. I’ve loved and revered Alex Trebek since I can remember. What an iconic career. RIP Alex Trebek.”
Ryan Reynolds also posted on Twitter, writing, “Alex Trebek was kind enough to film a cameo for our film Free Guy last year despite his battle. He was gracious and funny. In addition to being curious, stalwart, generous, reassuring and of course, Canadian. We love you, Alex. And always will.”
Ryan Seacrest wrote, “Alex Trebek was like a family member who I watched every night. I remember going to the set to watch him tape a show before I started my TV career. He was a big influence and one of a kind. Rest In Peace, Alex.”
In July, Trebek spoke with ABC News about the release of his debut memoir. He shared of his time on Jeopardy, “It’s the best kind of reality television I feel. And people watch it, and if they come up with one or two correct responses in that half hour, they feel pretty good about themselves,” he said. “And that’s great.”
Asked about being replaced, he added, “I joke with the audience all the time and I say, ‘Betty White,’ because they want somebody younger, somebody funnier. Betty and I have been friends for a long, long time.”
In June, iHeart Radio reported that insiders in the Jeopardy! family had hinted at a few potential candidates to take over Trebek’s job were Pat Sajak, whose contract at Wheel of Fortune ends in 2022, and George Stephanopoulos, who hosts Good Morning America.
According to Radar, an insider said of Stephanopoulos, “For George, it’s really a dream job. The show is fun but brainy, and so beloved by its viewers. He thinks he could transition to it without a hitch. While he’s loved his time on GMA, those mornings getting up before daylight have really worn on him. So if the caveat to hosting Jeopardy! means leaving GMA, he would agree to that.”
Trebek also expressed his unending thanks to his fans. “They are the most important elements in my life outside of my family and friends… Because they have expressed their feelings about me in so many positive ways that I can’t help but be touched by what they have to say and by what I mean to them. It’s humbling,” he said. “It’s nice to be humbled.”