Tributes are pouring in for game show legend Alex Trebek following news of his death on Nov. 8 at age 80. The Twitter account for his long-running game show, Jeopardy!, announced that Trebek had died Sunday morning following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Trebek’s health struggles, which he first made public in March 2019, had prompted some fans to send love and praise to him directly in the months before his death. In November 2019, a normally unflappable Trebek got emotional as contestant Dhruv Gaur used his “Final Jeopardy” response to send the message “We [heart] Yo,u Alex.” And in an episode of Jeopardy! which aired Thursday, just three days before his death, saw contestant Burt Thakur tearing up as he told Trebek how watching the show with his grandfather had helped him learn English.
Alex's impact is immeasurable. Thank you for sharing, Burt! pic.twitter.com/XgGGwJ8GlH
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 6, 2020
“I used to sit on his lap and watch you every day,” Thakur shared. “So it’s a pretty special moment. Thank you very much.”
Upon news of Trebek’s death, Thakur, who won his game, shared a poem and wrote, “I am overwhelmed with emotion right now and my heart goes out to the Trebek family.”
When with proud joy we lift Life's red wine up
To drink deep of the mystic shining cup
And ecstasy through all our being leaps—
Death bows his head and weeps.
I am overwhelmed with emotion right now and my heart goes out to the Trebek family. #Jeopardy #alextrebek @jeopardy pic.twitter.com/klFwYw9Cau
— Burt Thakur (@albertthakur) November 8, 2020
Meanwhile, the most famous Jeopardy! champion, Ken Jennings, hailed Trebek as a “lovely and deeply decent man.”
Jennings, who is now a producer for the show that made him a household name, added, “I’m grateful for every minute I got to spend with him.”
Thinking today about his family and his Jeopardy! family—which, in a way, included millions of us.
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) November 8, 2020
Fellow “G.O.A.T.” player James Holzhauer praised Trebek as a both an “impartial arbiter of truth and facts in a world that needs exactly that” — and “an underrated rapper.”
Alex was so much more than a host. He was an impartial arbiter of truth and facts in a world that needs exactly that. He was someone you could count on to entertain you every weekday, even when his health barely allowed it. And he was an underrated rapper: pic.twitter.com/ybvp7RlvjH
— James Holzhauer (@James_Holzhauer) November 8, 2020
Brad Rutter, another popular Jeopardy! champion, said he was “just gutted” by the sad news.
Just gutted. There will never be another. RIP, Alex, and thank you so much for everything. https://t.co/4FMlgaFYvI
— Brad Rutter (@bradrutter) November 8, 2020
But Trebek of course also touched lives outside of the Jeopardy! studio. In a tribute from fellow Canadian Ryan Reynolds, it was revealed that the Ontario-born TV personality had filmed a cameo for Reynolds’s movie Free Guy “despite his battle.”
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 Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) November 8, 2020
Various celebrities and news figures also shared their reactions.
— 🅳🆁🅴🆆 🅲🅰🆁🅴🆈 (@DrewFromTV) November 8, 2020
— Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) November 8, 2020
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) November 8, 2020
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.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) November 8, 2020
RIP Alex Trebek. A true, true gentleman and courageous hero. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest 💛 pic.twitter.com/autbyxnlcs
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) November 8, 2020
Alex Trebek died today at the age of 80 after a year and a half battle with pancreatic cancer. A Jeopardy spokesperson said he was at home surrounded by friends and family. Alex was an incredibly kind man who helped make happy memories for so many families. My late husband Jay and I would always watch the show together and it still makes me smile and think of him. I am so sad to hear of his passing and I’m sending love to the Trebek family. He will always be an American treasure. 💜
A post shared by Katie Couric (@katiecouric) on
Deeply saddened by the passing of Alex Trebek. I was privileged to know him. As you might imagine, he quietly exuded poise, class, intelligence and overflowing warmth whenever he entered a room. He brought knowledge to the masses and made ‘smart’ cool. #RIPAlexTrebek https://t.co/9xpE7iOrku
— Lou Diamond Phillips (@LouDPhillips) November 8, 2020
— nope (@LilNasX) November 8, 2020
Such sad news about Alex Trebek. He was an immense talent and a class act. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
— Meredith Vieira (@meredithvieira) November 8, 2020
We mourn the loss of #alextrebek -a friend, a colleague, an icon. He graced us with warmth, wit & pure elegance, which is why we welcomed him into our homes night after night, year after year.
We are deeply saddened for his wife Jean, his family & millions of Jeopardy fans.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) November 8, 2020
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. https://t.co/B9wq95uRg4
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) November 8, 2020
Couldn't we have one nice weekend? A kind gentleman whose excellence was so consistent, it was easy to take for granted. Rest well, Mr. Trebek. https://t.co/Zq7RN6kSKk
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) November 8, 2020
— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) November 8, 2020
While Trebek is gone, his presence will continue to light up TV screens for a while yet. Sony has confirmed that episodes hosted by the iconic host, who stopped filming on Oct. 29, will air through Dec. 25, according to Variety. Plans for announcing a new host have not yet been made.
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