Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek dead at 80

National

LOS ANGELES (NEXSTAR) — “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek has died after battling pancreatic cancer for nearly two years, according to the popular show. He was 80.

“Jeopardy is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex,” read a tweet from the Jeopardy account.

Trebek was a master of the format, engaging in friendly banter with contestants and appearing genuinely pleased when they answered correctly. He was also able to move the game along in a brisk no-nonsense fashion whenever people struggled for answers.

The longtime Jeopardy! host had been battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He first announced the news to viewers in March of 2019.

Trebek said he had no plans to retire and continued to host the game show.

Trebek recently announced he had been responding “exceptionally well” to treatment and hoped to mark his two-year survival in February.

The experimental immunotherapy treatment Trebek received was the same used by former Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada in his fight against pancreatic cancer. The 80-year-old Reid said his disease is in remission.

Trebek said he had difficult days, calling his wife, Jean, a “saint” for her unwavering support as he’s faced moments of sadness and depression.

Trebek was the host of “Jeopardy!” since 1984. The quiz show resumed taping in September after shutting down during portions of the coronavirus pandemic. His his last day in the studio was October 29. Jeopardy! producers say episodes featuring Trebek will continue to air through December 25, 2020.

“Today we lost a legend and a beloved member of the Sony Pictures family,” said Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, in a news release. “Alex was that comforting voice, that moment of escape and entertainment at the end of a long, hard day for millions of people around the world.”

Trebek hosted the show for nearly 37 seasons, setting a Guinness World Record for hosting the most episodes of a single game show.

The Canadian-born host was more than qualified for the job, having started his game show career on “Reach for the Top” in his native country.

Moving to the U.S. in 1973, he appeared on “The Wizard of Odds,” “Classic Concentration,” “To Tell the Truth,” “High Rollers,” “The $128,000 Question” and “Double Dare.”

Over his career, Trebek won 7 Emmys and was honored with Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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