When you hear the name Alex Trebek, the first thing that people think of is Jeopardy! The beloved TV star kept fans entertained with his loveable personality on the hit game show up until his death in November 2020. But exactly how long did the host quiz people on their knowledge of multiple topics? It’s time for you to find out!
In 1984, the TV personality was offered the role of host of what is now one of the most popular game shows ever — and the rest is history. However, this wasn’t his first gig as a host. Before stumping his contestants with questions on Jeopardy!, Alex hosted The Wizard of Odds in 1973. The following year, Alex became the man behind the podium for another game show: High Rollers. But that wasn’t it!
The game show legend continued his hosting duties with a short stint for Double Dare (no, not the Nickelodeon version), and then he hosted Pitfall. He would be at the helm for various other programs before landing the job that would make him a household name. Prior to Alex becoming the host of Jeopardy!, Art Fleming was the original face of the show.
Since that moment, fans have been delighted to see Alex on the small screen for the last 36 years. The Hollywood hunk was expected to continue hosting through 2022, according to a new contract he signed, Deadline reported, but Alex tragically died at age 80 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
“Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex,” the show’s verified Twitter account confirmed in early November 2020. Days after Alex’s death, his longtime wife, Jean Currivan Trebek, took to Instagram to share her gratitude for all the fans.
“My family and I sincerely thank you all for your compassionate messages and generosity,” the mourning wife captioned a loving photo from the couple’s wedding day. “Your expressions have truly touched our hearts. Thank you so very, very much. Many Blessings to all, Jean Trebek.”
Before his death, Alex kept a positive outlook on life as he continued hosting Jeopardy! while receiving treatment for his cancer, which he was diagnosed with in March 2019. The Emmy winner often kept fans up to date on his prognosis.
When asked how much longer he planned on starring on Jeopardy! in late 2019, Alex said he would do it as long as he is capable. “I will keep doing it as long as my skills do not diminish, and they have started to diminish,” he shared with Canada’s CTV News.
“I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving,” he continued. “But there will come a point when [fans and producers] will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s OK.’”
Even though he knew his road was coming to an end, Alex said he wasn’t “afraid of dying” because he’s grateful for all he’s accomplished. “I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life,” he explained. “If it happens, why should I be afraid that?”
Fortunately for fans, Alex filmed his last episodes for the show’s 37th season before his death. Jeopardy! plans to honor Alex’s legacy by airing his final episodes during the week of January 4.