Even though Alex Trebek is quite the busy man these days, he still took the time to introduce one of his favorite films, and discuss a very memorable and romantic trip he once had with his wife of almost 30 years.
On Saturday, April 13, the 78-year-old attended the Wuthering Heights panel during TCM Classic Film Festival, and was more than happy to talk about the classic 1939 movie, although he did say that he was “reluctant” to do so “as I have other things going on in my life, as you know, and I didn’t know if I would have enough time doing proper research to give an introduction to the film.” He was referring to his pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
He added, “And then they told me what film they wanted me to introduce, I completely changed my mind because Wuthering Heights happens to be one of my 3 favorite films of all time.”
The iconic film was adapted from the Emily Bronte novel of the same name, and the Jeopardy! host revealed he “made it a point to go to Haworth [village in West Yorkshire] and visit the home of the Bronte family.” And he of course took his love, Jean.
“When I was engaged to my present wife Jean, whom I had, uh, indoctrinated into the Wuthering Heights story, I took her to Yorkshire and to Haworth. By then they had expanded the parsonage into a small museum and gift shop,” the TV personality said. “And Jeannie and I did what Heathcliff and Cathy [characters in the novel] do. We walked the moors. I picked Heather. We made the long trek to an old abandoned home, which had a brass plaque on it, identifying it as Top Withens. And the message on the plaque stated: ‘Although this abandoned home bears no resemblance to the home depicted in Wuthering Heights, it is thought by many to have been some kind of inspiration to Emily Bronte when she was writing about life on the moors.'”
Alex continued, “Jeanie and I started walking back towards town and we were hit by a rain storm. The rain was coming down sideways. We were drenched but we found shelter in an old abandoned sheep shed and while we were there waiting for the rain to stop, we carved our names in the stone and just like Heathcliff and Cath we enjoyed ourselves there. (crowd erupts in laughter) No, no don’t go there.”
He added, “I was thinking of one of the lines from the movie and the book, ‘whatever our souls are made of, yours and mine are the same’ and that’s the way Jeannie and I think of ourselves and that’s like Heathcliffe and Cathy.” So beautiful!
The pair have two children together — Matthew, 29, and Emily, 26 — the latter perhaps named after the author? Alex is so head over heels for his wife that he even told People that “if I’d just met Jean in my 20s we could have had a longer life together.”