Ryan Reynolds reveals Alex Trebek filmed 'Free Guy' cameo while sick as stars, 'Jeopardy!' champs pay tribute

Erin Donnelly
·5 min read

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.

Alex Trebek has died at age 80. (Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
Alex Trebek has died at age 80. (Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

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.

“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.”

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.”

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.”

Brad Rutter, another popular Jeopardy! champion, said he was “just gutted” by the sad news.

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.”

Various celebrities and news figures also shared their reactions.

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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