RIP. Alex Trebek has died at 80 years old. The former TV presenter, who was most famous for hosting the long-running game show Jeopardy!, passed away on Saturday, November 7, following a lengthy battle with stage four pancreatic cancer.
The show made an official statement on Twitter, saying: “Jeopardy is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends.”
Star Trek actor William Shatner was one of the first celebrities to lead the tributes for Trebek, after taking to his own Twitter page, saying: “Very sorry to hear the news about Alex Trebek. Condolences to his family.”
“His belief in the importance of the show and his willingness to push himself to perform at the highest level was the most inspiring demonstration of courage I have ever seen,” the show’s executive producer, Mike Richards, continued.
“His constant desire to learn, his kindness, and his professionalism will be with all of us forever.”
Trebek first announced his battle with pancreatic cancer back in March 2019 and immediately started chemotherapy. Despite his health battle, however, he continued to host Jeopardy! — a position he had fronted since 1984.
In an interview with Good Morning America earlier this year, Trebek remained confident that he would overcome the genetic disease, though he further mentioned that his battle certainly hadn’t been easy.
“I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one. There were some good days, but a lot of not-so-good days.
“I wish I had known sooner that the persistent stomach pain I experienced prior to my diagnosis was a symptom of pancreatic cancer,” he said in the video. “Other common symptoms can include mid-back pain, unexplained weight loss, new onset diabetes and the yellowing of the skin or eyes.”
When Trebek started chemotherapy, he said he was “optimistic,” despite losing just over 12 pounds while doctors recommended him to continue further chemo treatment.
Despite his cancer diagnosis, Trebek was still signed on to host the game show until 2022 but joked: “Truth told, I have to! Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years!”
In a statement made to BuzzFeed News, Jeopardy! episodes hosted by Trebek will continue to air through December 25, a spokesperson revealed, adding that his last day in the studio was on October 29.
The Hollywood icon, who appeared in well over 8,200 episodes of Jeopardy!, is survived by his wife of 20 years, Jean Currivan Trebek, and their three children: Matthew, Emily and Nicky.
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