Alex Trebek in April 2009
|Born||George Alexander Trebek
July 22, 1940
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Game show host
|Spouse(s)||Elaine Callei (1974–1981)
Jean Currivan-Trebek (1990–present)
George Alexander "Alex" Trebek (//; born July 22, 1940) is a Canadian-American television personality. He has been the host of the syndicated game show Jeopardy! since 1984; before that, he hosted other game shows, including The Wizard of Odds, High Rollers, and Pitfall. Trebek has made appearances in numerous television series, usually portraying himself. A native of Canada, he became a naturalized United States citizen in 1998.
Trebek was born in Sudbury, Ontario in 1940, the son of Lucille (Lagacé), a Franco-Ontarian, and George Edward Trebek, a chef who had immigrated from Ukraine as a child. Alex graduated from Lisgar Collegiate Institute in 1957 before graduating from Toronto's Malvern Collegiate Institute in 1958, and later the University of Ottawa with a degree in philosophy in 1961. As a student at the University of Ottawa, he was a member of the English Debating Society. Interested in a career in broadcast news, he began his broadcasting career working for the CBC as a newscaster and sportscaster. Trebek specialized in national news and covered a wide range of special events for the CBC's radio and television divisions, including curling and horse racing.
Trebek's first hosting job was on a Canadian music program called Music Hop in 1963. In 1966, he hosted a high school quiz show called Reach for the Top. In 1973, he moved to the United States and worked for NBC as host of a new game show, The Wizard of Odds. A year later, Trebek hosted the popular Merrill Heatter-Bob Quigley game show, High Rollers, which had two incarnations on NBC (1974–76 and 1978–80) and an accompanying syndicated season (1975–76). In between stints as host of High Rollers, Trebek hosted the short-lived CBS game show, Double Dare (not to be confused with the 1986 Nickelodeon game show of the same name), which turned out to be both the only CBS network show Trebek hosted and the first show he hosted for what was then Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions, as well as the second season of the syndicated series The $128,000 Question, which taped in Toronto. Since the second incarnation of High Rollers premiered while The $128,000 Question was still airing and taping episodes, Trebek became one of two hosts to emcee shows in both the United States and Canada, joining Jim Perry, who was hosting Definition and Headline Hunters in Canada and Card Sharks, which coincidentally premiered the same day as High Rollers in 1978, in the United States. Trebek's Francophone side was put on display in 1978, in a special bilingual edition of Reach for the Top and its Radio-Canada equivalent Génies en herbe. In this show Trebek alternated smoothly between French and English throughout.
Like other hosts of the day, Trebek made several guest appearances as panelist or player on other shows; one of his guest appearances was on a special week of NBC's Card Sharks, in 1980, where he and several other game show hosts (including Allen Ludden, Bill Cullen, Wink Martindale, Jack Clark, Gene Rayburn, and Jim Lange) competed in a week-long round robin tournament for charity. Trebek won the tournament, defeating Bill Cullen in the finals. Trebek also appeared as a celebrity teammate on the NBC game show The Magnificent Marble Machine in 1975, as well as the Tom Kennedy-hosted NBC word game To Say the Least in 1978. Both of those shows were produced by Merrill Heatter-Bob Quigley Productions, which also produced High Rollers, the show Trebek was hosting during both of those guest appearances.
After High Rollers was canceled in 1980, Trebek moved on to Battlestars for NBC. The series debuted in October 1981 and was canceled in April 1982 after only six months on the air. In September 1981 Trebek took the helm of the syndicated Pitfall, which taped in Vancouver and forced him to commute as he had while hosting High Rollers and The $128,000 Question in 1978. Pitfall was canceled after its production company, Catalena Productions, went bankrupt, and as a result, he was never paid for that series. After both series ended, Trebek hosted a revival of Battlestars called The New Battlestars that ended after thirteen weeks, then shot a series of pilots for other series for producers Merrill Heatter (who he had worked for on High Rollers and Battlestars) and Merv Griffin. The Heatter pilots were Malcolm, an NBC-ordered pilot featuring Trebek with an animated character as his co-host, and Lucky Numbers, an attempt at a revival of High Rollers that didn't sell. For Griffin he shot two pilots for a revival of Jeopardy!, which he began hosting in 1984 and has hosted ever since.
In 1987, while still hosting Jeopardy!, Trebek returned to daytime television as host of NBC's Classic Concentration, his second show for Mark Goodson. He hosted both shows simultaneously until 20 September 1991, when Classic Concentration aired its final episode. In 1991 Trebek made broadcast history by becoming the first person to host three American game shows at the same time, earning this distinction on 4 February 1991, when he took over for Lynn Swann as host of NBC's To Tell the Truth, which he hosted until the end of the series' run on May 31, 1991.
Trebek and Pat Sajak, host of Wheel of Fortune, traded places on April Fools' Day 1997. Sajak hosted Jeopardy!, and Trebek hosted Wheel of Fortune with Sajak's wife, Lesly, as Trebek's co-host. Sajak and Wheel of Fortune co-host Vanna White played contestants at the wheel, with winnings going toward charities.
Trebek appeared on Celebrity Poker Showdown in 2005. He came in second place in his qualifying game, losing to Cheryl Hines. On May 9, 2008, Trebek was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, on which he discussed his 24-year career as the host of Jeopardy! Another appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live was in 2011 of when he talked about the IBM Challenge on Jeopardy!
Trebek is expected to retire from Jeopardy! at the end of Season 32 (2015–2016), after having completed a long tenure with the program. The show's production company, Sony Pictures Television, has considered Matt Lauer to be his replacement for the 2016–2017 season; the Today lead anchor's name is said to be at the top of SPT's list of candidates for next-generation Jeopardy! hosts, which also includes Anderson Cooper, Brian Williams, Ryan Seacrest, and Dan Patrick.
In late 2001, during Jeopardy!'s season 18, Trebek shaved the mustache that he had worn for over 30 years. He wore a fake mustache for the first half of the April 1, 2008, episode as an April Fools' joke.
Trebek owned and managed a 700-acre (2.8 km2) ranch near Paso Robles in Creston, California, known as Creston Farms, where he bred and trained thoroughbred race horses. Trebek's colt, Reba's Gold, is the stakes-winning son of Slew o' Gold.
Health and personal incidents
On January 30, 2004, Trebek escaped major injury after falling asleep behind the wheel of his pickup truck while driving alone on a rural road in the Central Coast town of Templeton, California, returning from a family home in Lake Nacimiento. The truck sideswiped a string of mailboxes, flew 45 feet over an embankment, and came to rest against a utility pole in a ditch. Trebek was not cited for the accident and returned to work taping Jeopardy! the following Tuesday.
On December 11, 2007, Trebek was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after suffering a minor heart attack in his home. He was released on December 15, 2007. Trebek returned to the production of Jeopardy! as scheduled on 14 January 2008, to tape the Teen Tournament.
Trebek was robbed in a hotel room in San Francisco on July 27, 2011. While hosting the National Geographic World Championship he told a crowd at Google's HQ that he "snapped an Achilles tendon early Wednesday morning, while chasing a burglar at a San Francisco hotel." He woke up to sounds of a woman in his room going through his things. He said he then got out of bed, put on his underwear and chased the robber down the hall. During the chase, Trebek was injured, but he hobbled back to his room to call security, and the woman was apprehended. The woman arrested was Lucinda Moyers, who had been convicted of four previous burglaries since 1990. Trebek says all was recovered except cash and a bracelet (a gift from his mother). He was expected to be in a cast for close to six weeks.
Trebek suffered a second mild heart attack on June 23, 2012. However, he returned to the Jeopardy! set on July 24 for filming of the 29th season, after recovery from his heart attack. The 29th season began airing on 17 September.
Honors and awards
He hosts the annual National Geographic Bee in the United States and The Great Canadian Geography Challenge in Canada. Active with the World Vision charitable organization, he has traveled to many third world countries with World Vision projects, taping reports on the group's efforts on behalf of children around the world.
Trebek and the entire Jeopardy! crew became involved with the USO in 1995 and have appeared on several military bases throughout the world, both in an attempt to find contestants and as a morale booster for the troops.
The American Federation for the Blind in 2001 awarded Trebek with one of six Access Awards for his role in accommodating notable Jeopardy! champion Eddie Timanus.
In the 2003 film S.W.A.T., Trebek's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is shown when a convict (Olivier Martinez) is handcuffed after being pinned down by the S.W.A.T team.
In March 2006, it was announced that he would receive a star on Canada's Walk of Fame. He is the second game show host to be inducted (the first being Monty Hall of Let's Make a Deal and the third being Howie Mandel of Deal or No Deal). His star is located on King Street West near those of the Crazy Canucks and Eugene Levy.
On November 4, 2010, Trebek received the Royal Canadian Geographical Society's Gold Medal for his contribution to geographic education and the popular study of geography. Previous recipients of this award include the author and anthropologist Wade Davis (2009), Peter Gzowski (1997), and Mary May Simon (1998), among others.
Television and film appearances
- 1963–64: Music Hop
- 1964: Vacation Time – Co-host
- 1966-70: CBC Championship Curling - Announcer
- 1966–73: Reach for the Top
- 1969: Barris & Company – Co-host/Announcer (pilot)
- 1969: Strategy
- 1971: Pick and Choose
- 1972: Outside/Inside
- 1973: T.G.I.F. – Announcer
- 1973: The Wizard of Odds
- 1974–76, 1978–80: High Rollers (NBC)
- 1976–77: Double Dare (CBS)
- 1976–80: Stars on Ice (CTV)
- 1977–78: The $128,000 Question
- 1980–81: Wall $treet
- 1981–82: Pitfall
- 1981–83: Battlestars
- 1983: Malcolm (pilot)
- 1983: Starcade (pilot)
- 1984–present: Jeopardy!
- 1985: Lucky Numbers (pilot)
- 1987: VTV-Value Television – Co-host with Meredith MacRae
- 1987–91: Classic Concentration
- 1989–2013: The National Geographic Bee national finals
- 1990: Super Jeopardy!
- 1991: To Tell the Truth (1990–91) From February to May 1991
- 1993: The Red Badge of Courage / Heart of Courage – Canadian-produced show highlighting brave individuals
- 1996–98: The Pillsbury Bake-Off
- 1997: Wheel of Fortune – April Fools' Day episode (also a substitute host in August 1980)
- 1999: Live from the Hollywood Bowl – annual live broadcast
- 1987: Mama's Family – as himself, the host of Jeopardy!
- 1988: For Keeps – as himself, the host of Jeopardy!
- 1988: Rain Man – as himself, the host of Jeopardy!
- 1990: Cheers – as himself, the host of Jeopardy!
- 1990: Predator 2 – as himself, the host of Jeopardy! (voice)
- 1991: WrestleMania VII – as himself, a ring announcer and interviewer
- 1992: The Golden Girls – as himself, the host of Jeopardy! (episode 7.16 – "Questions and Answers")
- 1992: White Men Can't Jump – as himself, the host of Jeopardy!
- 1993: Short Cuts – as himself, the host of Jeopardy!
- 1993: Groundhog Day – as himself, the host of Jeopardy!
- 1993: Larry Sanders Show – as the minister who marries Hank Kinsley
- 1993: Rugrats – as Alan Quebec, the host of "Super Stumpers" (episode 2.37 – "Game Show Didi")
- 1995: The Nanny – as himself, the host of Jeopardy! (episode 3.2 - "Franny and the Professor")
- 1995: Beverly Hills, 90210 – as himself, the host of Jeopardy!
- 1995: Jury Duty – as himself, the host of Jeopardy!
- 1996: The X-Files – as a Man in Black who Agent Mulder thought looked "incredibly" like Alex Trebek (episode: "Jose Chung's From Outer Space")
- 1996: Seinfeld – as himself, the host of Jeopardy! (episode 8.9 – "The Abstinence")
- 1996: The Magic School Bus – Announcer (voice) (episode 2.6 – "Shows and Tells")
- 1997: The Simpsons – as himself, the host of Jeopardy! in "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace" (Voice)
- 1998: The Weird Al Show – as himself, the Host of Jeopardy! (voice)
- 1998: Mafia! – himself, riding on a parade float
- 2000: Finding Forrester – as himself, the host of Jeopardy!
- 2000: Saturday Night Live – himself
- 2000: Arthur – as Alex Lebek, the host of Riddle Quest
- 2000: Pepper Ann – as himself (2 episodes)
- 2006: Family Guy – as himself, the host of Jeopardy! in "I Take Thee Quagmire" (voice)
- 2008: The Bucket List – as himself, the host of Jeopardy! (voice)
- 2013: How I Met Your Mother – himself in "P.S. I Love You"
- 2013: Delta Air Lines – as himself, answering a Jeopardy-like question in the final segment of Delta's Holiday-themed safety video.
- "Who Is Alex Trebek?", CBS Los Angeles biography, 20 April 2007. URL retrieved 21 September 2007
- D'Zurilla, Christie (24 June 2012). "Alex Trebek, host of 'Jeopardy!,' resting after heart attack at 71". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 June 2012. "Trebeck turns 72 on July 22."
- Alex Trebek YKO Los Angeles. "Now, jump ahead about 20 years.... my father is still a chef, and he's getting feelings of nostalgia for the Old Country. He would like to go back and visit Ukraine."
- "This University of Ottawa alumnus is honoured for his outstanding TV career. Who is Alex Trebek?". University of Ottawa. 17 June 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- "CBC Championship Curling". TVArchive.ca. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
- NewspaperARCHIVE.com - Search old newspaper articles online
- "CBC Archives". CBC News.[dead link]
- Columbia TriStar Television; Harry Friedman, producer; Dick Carson, director (1 April 1997). "April Fool's Day Special". Wheel of Fortune. Syndicated.
- Shain, Michael (14 March 2013). "Jeopardy! considering Matt Lauer as next host: I'll take 'Soft Landings' for $1,000, Alex". New York Post.
- Andreeva, Nellie (15 March 2013). "Brian Williams and Dan Patrick Considered for Alex Trebek Replacement on Jeopardy!; Matt Lauer and Anderson Cooper Also In Mix". Deadline Hollywood.
- "Exclusive: Alex Trebek to Guest Star on How I Met Your Mother". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 18 November 2010.
- "Alex Trebek Biography". Monstersandcritics.com. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
- "Alex Trebek: Biography". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- "J! Archive - Show #5365, aired Friday, December 28, 2007 - Contestant interveiew". 28 December 2007. Archived from the original on 1 January 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2007. "I'm sure there were as many heartwarming stories as there were wacky adventures associated with the carrying of the torch. I carried it in Florida."
- "Jeopardy Top Ten Memorable Moments - Best Jeopardy Moments". Gameshows.about.com. 16 March 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- Rebas Gold Horse Pedigree
- "J! Archive - Show #5012, aired Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - Contestant interview". 30 May 2006. Retrieved 29 December 2006. "I got you beat. When I fell asleep at the wheel, my pickup flew 45 feet."
- "'Jeopardy!' host Trebek in car crash". Associated Press. 31 January 2004. Archived from the original on 22 March 2007. Retrieved 29 December 2006.
- "'Jeopardy!' host hopes to return Tuesday". Associated Press. 2 February 2004. Archived from the original on 29 November 2006. Retrieved 29 December 2006. See also .
- Albiniak, Paige (16 December 2007). "Alex Trebek Released from Hospital: Jeopardy! Host Heads Home to Recuperate from Heart Attack". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 12 February 2008. "Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek was released from Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Hospital Saturday [December 15]..."
- "Jeopardy! official web site Alex Trebek announcement". 11 December 2007. Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2007. "Alex Trebek, host of Jeopardy!, has had a minor heart attack. He is resting comfortably in a Los Angeles hospital, and he will be back in the studio for the next scheduled tapings in January."
- Jablon, Robert (11 December 2007). "Trebek Hospitalized With Heart Attack". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2007.
- "Interview with Alex Trebek". The Ellen DeGeneres Show. 2008-01-18. http://boards.sonypictures.com/boards/showthread.php?t=35092. "We've got our Teen Tournament coming up in two weeks. We just taped that. I went back to work, felt great doing it."
- "Lucinda Moyers, Alex Trebek's Burglar, Won't Face Three Strikes". AOL News. Associated Press. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- Budman, Scott (27 July 2011). "Trebek: "I Left My Cash in San Francisco" Famous host talks robbery at Google". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- "‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek hospitalized with mild heart attack". Washington Post. 24 June 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2012.[dead link]
- Yahr, Emily (24 July 2012). "Alex Trebek back on ‘Jeopardy!’ set after recovering from heart attack". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- World Vision's website says Trebek has been a sponsor of the charity since the early 1980s ("Bid on the Jeopardy set!", World Vision website, 2002). His travels publicizing the charity's work include trips to Zambia ("Alex Trebek to Visit Zambia with World Vision" World Vision website, 21 June 2007) and Uganda ("Celebrities Supporting World Vision", World Vision Canada website). World Vision's website says that Trebek "been regularly involved with World Vision and is often seen on the organization's television shows" (World Vision Canada website, ibid)
- "Canada's Walk of Fame inductees announced". CTV Television Network. 8 March 2006. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- "Bios - Alex Trebek". jeopardy.com.
- "2010 Royal Canadian Geographical Society Gold Medal". rcgs.org. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
- "All winners of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society Gold Medal". rcgs.org. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
- "Daytime Emmy Awards honor Pat Sajak, Alex Trebek". CBS News. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- Maloney, Michael (17 June 2011). "Daytime Emmy wheel spins for Sajak, Trebek". Variety. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- Booth, John (10 October 2011). "The 15 Geekiest Episodes of PBS’s Arthur". Wired. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alex Trebek.|
- Alex Trebek at the Internet Movie Database
- Alex Trebek at the Notable Names Database
- Alex Trebek's Charity Work
- Q&A with Alex Trebek
- Alex Trebek at the Wikiquote
|Host of High Rollers
Wink Martindale in 1987
|Host of To Tell The Truth
John O'Hurley in 2000
|Host of Concentration
Art Fleming 1964–1975, 1978–1979
|Host of Jeopardy!
|Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host
tie with Bob Barker in 1990
|Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host
|Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host
|Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host
|Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys
with Pat Sajak