'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek honored as ultimate gamer after his death

Kate Feldman, New York Daily News
·4 min read

Alex Trebek, the inquisitive, charismatic “Jeopardy!” host, was remembered fondly from all corners of the globe Sunday after he died following a battle against pancreatic cancer.

“It was one of the great privileges of my life to spend time with this courageous man while he fought the battle of his life,” James Holzhauer, who remains the third-highest earner on the game show, tweeted. “You will never be replaced in our hearts, Alex.”

The 80-year-old game show host challenged contestants for decades after its revival in 1984, delighting viewers with his quirks and quizzes that made the show a family affair.

“Just gutted. There will never be another. RIP, Alex, and thank you so much for everything,” contestant Brad Rutter tweeted.

“Alex wasn’t just the best ever at what he did. He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I’m grateful for every minute I got to spend with him,” record-breaker Ken Jennings, who now serves as a consulting producer, tweeted. “Thinking today about his family and his Jeopardy! family — which, in a way, included millions of us.”

On Thursday’s pre-recorded episode, contestant Burt Thakur tearfully thanked Trebek for his impact.

“I learned English because of you,” Thakur told Trebek after winning $20,400. “My grandfather who raised me, I’m gonna get tears right now. I used to sit on his lap and watch you every day.”

“This is an enormous loss for the ‘Jeopardy!’ staff, crew and all of Alex’s millions of fans,” executive producer Mike Richards said in a statement. “He was a legend of the industry that we were all lucky to watch night after night for 37 years. Working beside him for the past year and a half as he heroically continued to host Jeopardy’! was an incredible honor. His belief in the importance of the show and his willingness to push himself to perform at the highest level was the most inspiring demonstration of courage I have ever seen. His constant desire to learn, his kindness, and his professionalism will be with all of us forever.”

“Heartbroken,” Josh Gad tweeted.

“Greatest host of one of the greatest shows of all time who passed away sadly after a long battle with cancer … Who was Alex Trebek?” Armie Hammer tweeted. “RIP Mr. Trebek. Thank you for always being there at the end of the day to take my mind off things.”

“Part of our lives for decades, he taught us about so many things and now Alex Trebek has gone from us,” Nancy Sinatra tweeted. “Sending love to his family and friends. We will miss you, sir. Godspeed.”

“Being a player on ‘Jeopardy’ was thrilling and terrifying,” NBC correspondent Kelly O’Donnell tweeted with photos from her turn on the show. “Alex Trebek made that day truly memorable with his kindness, good humor and infectious love of the trivia game with all its intricacies. Saddened to learn of his passing. Rest well Mr. Trebek.”

“Alex Trebek was like a family member who I watched every night,” Ryan Seacrest wrote. “I remember going to the set to watch him tape a show before I started my TV career. He was a big influence and one of a kind. Rest In Peace, Alex.”

“Like many of you, Jeopardy played every night in our apt as a kid,” “Hamilton” star Javier Muñoz wrote. “Alex Trebek was just part of the family. I grew up with him. I’m thankful he was home and surrounded by love.”

“Alex Trebek, you brought us so much knowledge, both important and fun, through the years,” George Takei tweeted. Your final battle with cancer was heroic, and we are heartbroken that it has taken you from us. I’ll take ‘Great TV Personas of Our Time’ for $800. The heavens have all the answers now.”

“Alex Trebek was kind enough to film a cameo for our film Free Guy last year despite his battle,” Ryan Reynolds tweeted. “He was gracious and funny. In addition to being curious, stalwart, generous, reassuring and of course, Canadian. We love you, Alex. And always will.”

“A kind gentleman whose excellence was so consistent, it was easy to take for granted,” Jimmy Kimmel wrote.

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