Alex Trebek worked on Jeopardy's set! up until 10 days before passing away on Sunday morning. The official press release noted that Oct. 29 was his last day in the studio. The 80-year-old was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March 2019 and was surrounded by his family and friends after peacefully passing away.
A fixture in Culver City, California, Trebek hosted more than 8,2000 shows over 37 seasons. The final episode with him in the helm will air on Dec. 25. The show announced that it has not yet begun its search for his replacement. Trebek had spent 18 months hosting the show following his diagnosis. Through it all, he never let his disease prevent him from showing up for work. Trebek opened up about his life in his memoir, “The Answer Is … Reflections on My Life,” which came out this year. In an interview on Good Morning America ahead of the book’s release, Trebek noted that he has his good and bad days, but never let it carry into his performance on the show. “I’m good at faking it,” Trebek said of those bad days. “There have been tough moments… but when it’s time to go, it’s time to go.”
Immediately after TMZ reported his death, an outpouring of tributes was shared across social media from all of those he impacted over the years. Among the first to comment were Ken Jennings, one of the show's top winners and someone who recently began to work behind-the-scenes for this latest season. Calling him the best at what he did, Jennings said he was a “lovely and deeply decent man” and someone he was grateful he got to spend time with. Likewise, James Holzhauer, another legend of Jeopardy!, said it was among the best privileges in life to “spend time with this courageous man.” Like many have expressed, Holzhauer said Trebek would “never be replaced in our hearts.”
Trebek also built up quite the bond with Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak. Together, the two graced television screens for nearly 40 years simultaneously. Sajak took over his position in 1983 and even had a Guinness World Record as the longest career as a game show host for the same show. “I was honored to be a friend and a part of his professional family for all these years,” Sajak wrote on Twitter, also complementing his courage and strength to inspire everyone who watched him.