"Normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I'm going to fight this, and I'm going to keep working," Trebek, 78, said steadfastly in his video message. "And with the love and support from my family and friends, and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rates statistics for this disease."
He even undercut the devastating news with a joke, in classic Trebek fashion. "Truth told, I have to! Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years!" he said. "So help me. Keep the faith and we'll win. We'll get it done. Thank you.
Following the sad announcement, celebrities took to social media to send Trebek well wishes and words of encouragement.
Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajack wrote that "there is no one I know who is stronger and more determined, and I would never bet against him. We, and the entire country, are pulling for you, Alex."
The Sajak family is deeply saddened to hear of Alex Trebek’s struggle with cancer. Our hearts go out to him and his family. But there is no one I know who is stronger and more determined, and I would never bet against him. We, and the entire country, are pulling for you, Alex.— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) March 6, 2019
American Idol host Ryan Seacrest wrote that Trebek is "one of the greatest leaders and class acts in show business. Your level of grace, even in the face of adversity, is admirable and second to none. Stay strong and keep the faith, Alex. We are with you all the way!"
Dr. Phil wrote that he and wife Robin were "sending all of our love and prayers to Alex Trebek. He's one strong guy and will fight this!"
"Alex Trebek is hands down the person I've seen on my TV the most over the years and @Jeopardy is one of my favorite shows ever," Ike Barinholtz tweeted. "Pulling for you Alex!"
Pop superstar Cher wrote that she was "sending love and prayers to Alex Trebek," adding that the show has been a staple throughout her lifetime.
Sending Love & Prayers To Alex Trebek🙏🏻.I’ve Been Playing JEOPARDY With Him Since I Was In My 20’s,..Ahhh..30’s,— Cher (@cher) March 7, 2019
I’LL NEVER BE TOO OLD TO
SON Used To Say
”Cher…You’re Such a Kid”👧🏻
The Bachelor host Chris Harrison wrote, "Thinking and praying for fellow game show host and absolute legend Alex Trebek as he starts his fight with pancreatic cancer. God’s speed my friend."
Ken Jennings, who holds the record for longest winning streak on Jeopardy!, wrote, "One thing I know for a fact: Alex is very aware of how much he means to millions of people, and how we will be pulling for him...I hope that's a comfort."
And I hope some very good L.A. oncologists are getting ready to have their mispronunciations corrected.— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) March 6, 2019
Fan-favorite Jeopardy! contestant Buzzy Cohen, who recently appeared in the Jeopardy! All-Stars tournament, wrote, "My heart sinks. Few things have changed the course of my life the way this man and this show has. As I’ve come to know him there is nothing but love, respect, and admiration. Alex your whole jeopardy family is behind you. #TheRealJeopardyAllStar."
Another All-Star contestant, Austin Rogers, called Trebek "a fixture in the American firmament and we're all behind him. What a great man, so kind to my family and so warm to all of us contestants. Send him your love."0comments
Trebek has been the host of Jeopardy! for 35 years, starting in 1984. He has hosted a number of other shows throughout the years but Jeopardy! remains his best-known work.
Photo credit: Frederick M. Brown / Stringer / Getty