Alex Trebek’s death on Sunday left many across the world in mourning for a man who graced their television screens for more than 35 years as the host of Jeopardy! and inspired future generations. The latter holds true for Tom Bergeron, the former Dancing With the Stars host, who shared the impact Trebek’s loss had on him.
Bergeron dug up an old photo of him and Trebek along with Aisha Tyler and Elizabeth Perkins after the trio went toe-to-toe on an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy! from 2009. “Sad news this morning,” Bergeron began his post. “His candid and courageous battle was an inspiration.” That particular episode saw Bergeron finish in third place with $14,800, well behind the $28,401 that Tyler netted. Though only briefly interacting with Trebek during that appearance, Bergeron was certainly grateful for the experience.
Across the industry, plenty of others paid their respects to the late Trebek. The 80-year-old was said to have passed away surrounded by his family after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March 2019. Among those who posted heartfelt goodbyes included Pat Sajak and Vanna White, two Wheel of Fortune personalities who worked closely together with their fellow game show host. Sajak applauded his “courage, grace and strength” for inspiring anyone who knew or watched him. “I was honored to be a friend for all these years,” Sajak concluded his post. “A very sad day.” Likewise, White said she will cherish the memories she shared with Trebek, “I will always be in awe of the way he faced the battle he fought so valiantly, and I’m devastated to lost my longtime friend.”
Trebek, who is survived by his wife Jean and their three children, will continue to be seen on the show with pre-recorded new episodes that will see his final appearance on Dec. 25. ABC stated that it has not yet begun to look for a replacement. Trebek reportedly worked up until 10 days before his death. The Canadian began hosting shows north of the border before coming to the states. A couple of years after taking on positions at multiple shows, Trebek landed on Jeopardy! in 1984. He held that position from that point forward up until his final days and even after his battle with cancer began.