Gone, but not forgotten. Jeopardy! paid tribute to longtime host Alex Trebek in first show back following his death on Sunday, November 8.
At the top of the Monday, November 9, episode, executive producer Mike Richards opened the show, sharing that Trebek had died at age 80 over the weekend.
“This is an enormous loss for our staff, crew, for his family, for his millions of fans. He loved this show and everything it stood for. In fact, he taped his final episodes less than two weeks ago,” Richards said, holding back tears. “He will forever be an inspiration for his constant desire to learn, his kindness and for his love of his family. We will air his final 35 episodes as they were shot. That’s what he wanted. On behalf of everyone here at Jeopardy!, thank you for everything Alex. This is Jeopardy!”
At the end of the episode, a message flashed across the screen: “Dedicated to Alex Trebek. Forever in our Hearts. Always our Inspiration.”
Ahead of the Monday episode, the game show announced it would be honoring the late star, who died on Sunday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. “Today’s show features a special message on behalf of everyone in the Jeopardy! family. 💜,” the show’s official Twitter page wrote, noting that the host had taped shows through December 25. “They will air as he intended, in his honor.”
One day prior, Jeopardy! confirmed Trebek’s passing after his nearly two-year cancer fight.
“Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” the announcement read via Twitter. “Thank you, Alex.”
Fans of the hosting legend, including Pat Sajak, Vanna White, Carrie Ann Inaba, mourned the loss of Trebek via social media.
“Alex Trebek’s courage, grace and strength inspired millions and awed those of us who knew him,” the Wheel of Fortune host, 74, tweeted. “A tremendous loss for his family, friends, co-workers and countless viewers. I was honored to be a friend and a part of his professional family for all these years. A very sad day.”
White, 63, said she will “cherish the many memories” she’s shared with the late star, noting she will “always be in awe of the way he faced the battle he fought so valiantly, and I’m devastated to lose my longtime friend.”
The Dancing With the Stars judge, 52, paid tribute to Trebek via Instagram, writing, “Today the light of life dims with the loss of one of the brightest lights … Alex Trebek you will be missed dearly.”
The longtime television host publicly revealed in March 2019 that he suffered from stage IV pancreatic cancer.
“Now, normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m gonna fight this,” he said in a YouTube video at the time. “I’m gonna keep working and with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.”
The Canada native detailed his battle with the disease in his memoir, The Answer Is, which was published in July.
“I’ve lived a good, full life, and I’m nearing the end of it. I know that,” he wrote.
Trebek is survived by his wife, Jean Currivan, and their two children, Matthew, 30, and Emily, 27.
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