Before Alex Trebek died Sunday at the age of 80 due to stage 4 pancreatic cancer, the beloved Jeopardy! host agreed to film a cameo for Ryan Reynolds' upcoming movie, Free Guy. The actor paid tribute to Trebek on Twitter Sunday, sharing his memory of working with the late game show host for the new movie, which has yet to announce a release date.
"Alex Trebek was kind enough to film a cameo for our film Free Guy last year despite his battle," the Canada-born actor wrote on Twitter after news of Trebek's death broke. "He was gracious and funny. In addition to being curious, stalwart, generous, reassuring and of course, Canadian. We love you, Alex. And always will."
In a new trailer for Free Guy, released last month, Trebek appears briefly as himself, asking Jeopardy! contestants a question about Reynold's character in the movie. "This character in the video game Free City has been turning heads by being the good guy," Trebek says, responding pointedly to the correct answer, "Who is he or she?"
Jeopardy! confirmed on Sunday that Trebek died over a year after he announced he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2019. "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 tweeted, earning a flurry of tributes from people whose lives have been changed by Jeopardy!.
Prior to his death, Trebek released a memoir titled, The Answer Is …: Reflections On My Life, discussing his career, family life and cancer battle. In July, he shared on Good Morning America that his cancer treatment was going well, and that he fully expected to be around to celebrate two years since his diagnosis in 2021.
"My doctor has told me that he is counting on me celebrating two years of — survivorship past the diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer. And that two years happens in February," said Trebek at the time. "So I expect to be around ‘cause he said I will be around. And I expect to be hosting the show if I am around."
“I’ve said to myself, ‘Hey, you — you better start getting your affairs in order,’" he continued. "And I know exactly what I need to do, but I have yet to do it. So there’s something in the back of my mind that says, ‘Woah, hold on a second, host, breathe. Maybe you’re gonna be around for a little while longer,' and that would be so nice."