'Jeopardy' host has pancreatic cancer

Alex Trebek says he will keep working as he battles the disease.

Posted: Mar 6, 2019 7:43 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek said he has been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer but intends to fight the disease and keep on working.

In a video posted online Wednesday, the 78-year-old said he was announcing his illness directly to "Jeopardy!" fans in keeping with his long-time policy of being "open and transparent."

He's among 50,000 other American who receive such a diagnosis each year, Trebek said. Normally, the "prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I'm going to fight this, and I'm going to keep working."

Trebek said he plans to beat the disease's low survival rate with the love and support of family and friends and with prayers from viewers.

He lightened the difficult message with humor: He said he must beat the odds because his "Jeopardy!" contract requires he host the quiz show for three more years.

"So help me. Keep the faith and we'll win. We'll get it done," he said, his voice calm and steady.

Trebek, a native of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, has been host of the syndicated quiz show since 1984. He and his wife, Jean Currivan, have two children.

Ken Jennings, a longtime "Jeopardy!" player who took part in the show's "All-Star Games" that ended Tuesday, posted a tweet in which he compared Trebek to the late TV journalist Walter Cronkite.

"I've said this before but Alex Trebek is in a way the last Cronkite: authoritative, reassuring TV voice you hear every night, almost to the point of ritual," Jennings wrote.

Trebek has gone online before to get out word about his health. In January 2018, he posted a video announcing he'd undergone surgery for blood clots on the brain that followed a fall he'd taken. The show was on hiatus during his recovery.

In 2007, he was hospitalized for about a week after suffering what was described as a minor heart attack.

The show has yet to bring in a substitute host for him — save once, when he and "Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak swapped their TV jobs as an April's Fool prank.

In a Twitter post, Sajak wrote "there is no one I know who is stronger and more determined, and I would never bet against him. We, and the entire country, are pulling for you, Alex."

Trebek, the smoothest of TV game show hosts, admitted to a case of nerves during rehearsals in January for the show's first-ever "All-Star Games," a team-play tournament that made new demands on its host.

"This will probably start me drinking again," he joked.

Although Trebek had publicly toyed with the idea of retiring, he instead renewed his deal in 2018 with Sony Pictures Television for three more years, through the 2021-22 season.

In the January set interview with The Associated Press, Trebek discussed his decision to keep going with "Jeopardy!"

"It's not as if I'm overworked — we tape 46 days a year," he said. But he noted he's been working on TV for more than 50 years and was, as he put it, "78-and-a-half now. I'm slowing down."

"It's logical to start thinking about retiring," he said. "And I will someday, when I feel I've lost enough of my abilities and am messing up a little too much, or it's no longer any fun."

"And it's still fun," he said.

Trebek, who holds a philosophy degree from the University of Ottawa, was a TV and radio reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. before moving to the United States. He became a U.S. citizen in 1998.

He's won five Emmys as best game show host and received a lifetime achievement award from the TV academy in 2011.

Created by entertainer-producer Merv Griffin, "Jeopardy!" debuted as a NBC daytime show in 1964 with host Art Fleming and ran for more than a decade before going into syndication. The version with Trebek shifted the show largely into early evening slots.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 770246

Reported Deaths: 8661
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1537491923
Ramsey63444980
Dakota57071526
Anoka54052520
Washington33690331
Stearns28419253
St. Louis23735361
Scott21652160
Wright21388171
Olmsted18144120
Sherburne15515115
Carver1366556
Clay1025399
Rice9985131
Blue Earth966659
Crow Wing9518109
Chisago837263
Kandiyohi835197
Otter Tail8061105
Benton7477111
Beltrami658079
Mower645541
Douglas629190
Goodhue619985
Itasca618885
Winona611854
McLeod595770
Steele585825
Isanti573074
Morrison557767
Becker534862
Polk512879
Freeborn487642
Nobles481652
Lyon456356
Carlton446866
Nicollet434454
Pine428532
Cass425745
Mille Lacs416967
Brown411547
Todd400036
Le Sueur386332
Meeker356854
Waseca327331
Martin326336
Wabasha29538
Hubbard292744
Dodge273510
Roseau265227
Fillmore243812
Redwood240443
Wadena238429
Houston231117
Renville228549
Faribault220630
Pennington217227
Sibley211612
Cottonwood197128
Kanabec192230
Chippewa190340
Aitkin184043
Watonwan171112
Pope16148
Yellow Medicine157220
Rock155319
Jackson147315
Koochiching138619
Clearwater136618
Murray135011
Swift134619
Marshall134520
Pipestone133427
Stevens124911
Lake109521
Wilkin102814
Lac qui Parle98524
Mahnomen90312
Norman8789
Big Stone7974
Grant7869
Lincoln7845
Kittson61122
Red Lake5899
Unassigned538124
Traverse5165
Lake of the Woods4764
Cook2460

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 474151

Reported Deaths: 6785
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk74657729
Linn29194394
Scott24733274
Black Hawk20335358
Woodbury19207244
Johnson17988100
Dubuque15834229
Pottawattamie14276200
Dallas14109108
Story1288551
Warren774296
Cerro Gordo6951110
Webster6950111
Clinton6929101
Des Moines667594
Marshall641885
Muscatine6352113
Wapello5936137
Jasper578279
Lee565689
Sioux565676
Marion508191
Buena Vista491746
Plymouth463487
Henry389847
Jones370861
Washington366856
Benton359257
Bremer357168
Boone350937
Carroll346353
Crawford339347
Mahaska322856
Dickinson301052
Clay279133
Buchanan279039
Jackson273546
Kossuth271873
Hardin270249
Tama264976
Fayette260649
Delaware258546
Cedar249526
Page249328
Wright243645
Hamilton233954
Winneshiek233338
Floyd221845
Harrison217777
Madison216925
Clayton214558
Poweshiek211741
Iowa208029
Butler206638
Cass201557
Jefferson201040
Mills199929
Allamakee194753
Cherokee193844
Lyon192941
Hancock187639
Winnebago186633
Calhoun186116
Appanoose180850
Shelby178439
Louisa171052
Grundy168537
Humboldt167727
Emmet167146
Franklin164628
Mitchell164043
Union162637
Chickasaw159318
Sac157924
Guthrie155434
Montgomery142342
Palo Alto142032
Clarke141328
Keokuk139635
Monroe134335
Howard128222
Ida118641
Greene116315
Davis115225
Lucas113724
Pocahontas111423
Monona108738
Worth10818
Adair105335
Osceola94017
Fremont86111
Van Buren84221
Decatur82612
Taylor79713
Wayne74824
Ringgold67727
Audubon66814
Adams5095
Unassigned380
Rochester
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 40°
Mason City
Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 33°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 35°
Austin
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 37°
Charles City
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 35°
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Remembering Ted Benda

Image

Century girls' swim team makes it to true team state

Image

Creepy doll cocktail party

Image

Northern Lights Festival postponed

Image

Locally grown onions

Image

Pine Island home destroyed

Image

Full Weather 10/23/2021

Image

FULL Weather 10/22/21

Image

'Nerdinout Con' kicks off at Mayo Civic Center

Image

Ear of Corn tower is people's choice winner

Community Events