Alex Trebek, the celebrated game show host who enchanted millions of Jeopardy! viewers for nearly four decades, passed away on Sunday morning. His death occurred approximately two years after the TV personality first announced the diagnosis of late-stage pancreatic cancer and promised to continue to host Jeopardy! even though he was receiving treatment.
The quiz show issued a statement on Sunday afternoon with the news of Trebek’s death, saying he died peacefully with his relatives at home. The statement resulted in an immediate outpouring of tributes that underscored Trebek’s enduring mark on pop culture, as well as some questions about who will be his successor on Jeopardy!
Some suggested Ken Jennings, the memorable participant of Jeopardy! who is currently considered the highest-earning game show contestant in U.S. history. Jennings was one of many who gave commemorative speeches after Trebek’s passing on Sunday. In most of the comments circulating in the social media, it was pointed out that Trebek’s legacy is irreplaceable and likely to remain so regardless of who is chosen to play the role of host.
Trebek offered his own choice for a successor last July during a Good Morning America interview promoting his memoir “The Answer Is”: Reflections on my life.
“I joke with the audience all the time, and I say ‘Betty White’ because they want someone younger, someone funnier,” Trebek said, noting that he and the comedian “have been friends for a long, long time.
Sony Pictures, which produces Jeopardy!, said on Newsday Sunday in Washington that the company does not yet intend to announce details about a new host. However, it confirmed to Variety that the show, with Trebek as host, will continue to broadcast previously recorded episodes until Christmas Day this year. His last day of shooting in the studio was October 29.
The production company celebrated Trebek’s long Jeopardy! career in a statement on Twitter.
“Today we lost a legend and a beloved member of the Sony Pictures family,” the statement began. “For 37 amazing years, Alex Trebek was that comforting voice, that moment of escape and entertainment at the end of a long, hard day for millions of people around the world.
Today we have lost a legend and a beloved member of the Sony Pictures family. For 37 amazing years, Alex Trebek was that comforting voice, that moment of escape and entertainment at the end of a long, hard day for millions of people around the world. pic.twitter.com/aLTb8sWWGh
– Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) November 8, 2020
Trebek was asked to host Jeopardy! until 2022 and shared his eagerness to resume the series over the summer. At about the same time, he won a daytime Emmy award for outstanding game show hosts, while the show itself received awards for outstanding game show and outstanding announcement of the daytime commercials. Trebek received seven Daytime Emmy Awards throughout his time on the show.