Our beloved and longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek revealed that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
In a heartfelt video message, the 78-year-old TV personality told the world that he will be taking a brief break from the game show to focus on his health.
“I have some news to share with all of you, and it’s in keeping with my longtime policy of being open and transparent with our Jeorpardy! fan base, said Trebek. Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Now, normally the prognosis for this is not encouraging, but I’m going to fight this. And I’m going to keep working 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 rates statistics for this disease. Truth told, I have to, because, under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years. So help me! Keep the faith, and we’ll win. We’ll get it done. Thank you.”
The Canada native has hosted the iconic game show since 1984, but was formerly a newscaster in Canada for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Trebek gained much of his success by hosting a live music show and eventually a high school quiz show, called “Reach for the Top,” TMZ reports. After moving to the U.S. in 1973, Trebek became the game show host for NBC’s show “The Wizard of Odds.” He went on to work several other game shows before booking his gig with Jeopardy! in the 80s. Trebek transformed the revival show into his own and has hosted the program ever since.
At one point, Trebek admitted to Harvey Levin that he was looking to retire, but then signed another contract to host through 2021-2022. In 2018, Trebek took a break from the show to have surgery for blood clots on his brain after a tragic fall. ‘Jeopardy!’ never aired any episodes with a guest host. He also suffered mild heart attacks in 2007 and 2012, according to TMZ.