'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.

Confirmed Cases: 145465

Reported Deaths: 2491
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin36126997
Ramsey14966377
Dakota10420139
Anoka9573156
Washington649074
Stearns647850
Scott366636
Olmsted344930
St. Louis333074
Wright282516
Clay259145
Nobles236818
Blue Earth21367
Carver19167
Sherburne189924
Kandiyohi18695
Rice174210
Mower155318
Winona136219
Crow Wing120822
Chisago11912
Benton109012
Lyon10446
Beltrami9839
Otter Tail9808
Waseca95010
Todd9337
Polk8845
Morrison8529
Steele8173
Itasca80617
Douglas8044
Nicollet78318
Freeborn7275
Goodhue68211
Le Sueur6716
Becker6654
Martin63718
McLeod6294
Isanti6196
Pine5960
Watonwan5854
Carlton5372
Chippewa4893
Mille Lacs47118
Hubbard4695
Cass4385
Wabasha4281
Dodge4200
Pipestone37217
Meeker3703
Rock3665
Brown3653
Roseau3650
Redwood31012
Yellow Medicine3096
Murray3023
Cottonwood2990
Renville28613
Fillmore2840
Wadena2743
Sibley2733
Faribault2580
Houston2492
Kanabec23610
Swift2322
Jackson2261
Pennington2221
Aitkin2142
Unassigned20354
Stevens2001
Lincoln1970
Koochiching1775
Pope1740
Big Stone1671
Marshall1611
Wilkin1484
Lac qui Parle1473
Clearwater1431
Norman1410
Lake1390
Mahnomen1342
Grant1094
Red Lake842
Traverse610
Kittson540
Lake of the Woods471
Cook200

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 124963

Reported Deaths: 1700
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk20019290
Woodbury753099
Linn6256134
Black Hawk6154102
Johnson610731
Dubuque563959
Scott501843
Story416418
Dallas364047
Pottawattamie343145
Sioux259517
Buena Vista231812
Marshall217136
Webster200915
Plymouth176731
Wapello161062
Clinton159028
Muscatine156058
Cerro Gordo154527
Des Moines153911
Crawford140015
Warren13477
Jasper124034
Carroll123113
Henry11495
Marion109211
Lee103412
Tama102138
Delaware84314
Dickinson8159
Wright7781
Boone7659
Mahaska75125
Bremer7459
Jackson7193
Harrison71217
Washington71212
Benton6782
Lyon5868
Clay5684
Louisa54915
Jones5374
Winnebago52719
Clayton5263
Winneshiek5259
Cedar5217
Hardin5187
Buchanan5155
Kossuth5020
Hamilton4945
Poweshiek49411
Floyd47211
Emmet46221
Cass4563
Iowa45610
Mills4403
Cherokee4342
Page4270
Fayette4224
Guthrie42115
Allamakee4189
Sac4174
Butler4163
Shelby4112
Franklin40118
Humboldt3833
Chickasaw3821
Hancock3796
Madison3783
Clarke3633
Grundy3526
Calhoun3374
Palo Alto3352
Osceola3100
Mitchell3021
Howard2889
Monroe27512
Union2725
Jefferson2671
Taylor2632
Appanoose2583
Monona2562
Pocahontas2532
Ida2312
Fremont2172
Lucas2146
Adair2041
Greene1990
Montgomery1977
Davis1954
Van Buren1942
Keokuk1901
Audubon1831
Decatur1700
Wayne1553
Worth1550
Ringgold1042
Adams841
Unassigned90
Rochester
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 38°
Mason City
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 50°
Albert Lea
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 42°
Austin
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 41°
Charles City
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 50°
Tracking a breezy weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events