Alex Trebek in April 2009
|Born||George Alexander Trebek
July 22, 1940
Sudbury, Ontario Canada
|Occupation||Television personality, game show host, actor|
|Spouse(s)||Elaine Trebek Kares (m. 1974; div. 1981)
Jean Currivan-Trebek (m. 1990)
|Awards||Order of Canada|
George Alexander Trebek OC (//; born July 22, 1940) is a Canadian-American television personality. He has been the host of the syndicated game show Jeopardy! since it was revived in 1984, and has also hosted a number of other game shows, including The Wizard of Odds, Double Dare, High Rollers, Battlestars, Classic Concentration and To Tell the Truth. 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 is signed as a host of Jeopardy! until 2020.
Trebek was born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, in 1940, the son of George Edward Trebek, a chef who had emigrated from Ukraine as a child (and also spent his formative years in Japan, inspiring Alex's second nickname, Sai), and Lucille Lagacé (born April 14, 1921), a Franco-Ontarian. He grew up in a bilingual French-English household.
Trebek graduated from 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, and still in college, he began his broadcasting career in 1961 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.
Game show host
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. From 1967 to 1970 he was a host for the CBC, introducing classical music programs including performances by Glenn Gould. For one or two seasons he hosted a weekly skating program. 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). Double Dare turned out to be his only game show with the CBS network (he returned to CBS in 1994 to host Pillsbury Bake-Off until 1998), 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 a panellist or player on other shows. One of his guest appearances was on a special week of NBC's Card Sharks, in 1980. He and several other game show hosts, 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 Cullen in the finals. Trebek also appeared as a celebrity teammate on the NBC game show The Magnificent Marble Machine in 1975, and 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. Trebek also was a contestant on Celebrity Bowling in 1976, teamed with Jim McKrell. The duo won their match against Dick Gautier and Scatman Crothers.
After High Rollers was cancelled in 1980, Trebek moved on to Battlestars for NBC. The series debuted in October 1981, and was cancelled 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 done while hosting High Rollers and The $128,000 Question in 1978. Pitfall was cancelled after its production company, Catalena Productions, went bankrupt. 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 (for whom he had worked hosting 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 failed to sell. For Griffin, he shot two pilots for a revival of Jeopardy! This revival sold; he began hosting the revival 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 September 20, 1991, when Classic Concentration aired its final first-run episode (NBC would air repeats until 1993). 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 February 4, 1991, when he took over for Lynn Swann as host of NBC's To Tell the Truth, also for Goodson-Todman, which he hosted until the end of the series' run on May 31, 1991.
In 1994, Trebek returned to the CBS network for the first time since hosting Double Dare to host the Pillsbury Bake-Off, which he hosted until 1998.
Trebek and Pat Sajak, host of Wheel of Fortune, traded places on April Fools' Day 1997. Pat Sajak hosted Jeopardy! and Alex 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 the program, he discussed his 24-year career as the host of Jeopardy!. Revisiting Kimmel in 2011, he talked about the IBM Challenge on Jeopardy!.
Trebek also appears in many commercials for Colonial Penn Life Insurance, of which he is a "compensated endorser," and he reprised his role as host of To Tell the Truth in a 2010 advertisement for DirecTV.
On the December 18, 2014 series-finale episode of The Colbert Report, Trebek (introduced as "the one with all the answers") greets Colbert as he boards a sleigh driven by Santa Claus and Abraham Lincoln and leaves the studio for the last time.
Trebek became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1998. He married businesswoman Elaine Callei in 1974. The couple had no children and divorced in 1981. In 1990, he married Jean Currivan, a real estate project manager from New York. They have two children, Matthew and Emily.
In late 2001 during Jeopardy!'s 18th season, 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. In summer 2014, Trebek regrew the mustache for the 31st season of Jeopardy! – only to shave it off again a month into the season.
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.
On December 11, 2007, Trebek suffered a minor heart attack in his home, but returned to work as scheduled in January. He injured an Achilles tendon, requiring six weeks in a cast, while chasing a burglar who had entered his San Francisco hotel room on July 27, 2011. He suffered a second mild heart attack on June 23, 2012, but returned to work in July.
On January 4, 2018, the verified Twitter account of Jeopardy! announced that Trebek had suffered a fall and over the winter break of Jeopardy! taping, underwent surgery for a subdural hematoma. On December 15, 2017, Trebek was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after reportedly experiencing complications from his fall in October and underwent surgery to remove blood clots from his brain the following day.. Trebek required a short medical leave and returned to regular hosting duty in mid-January 2018.
Philanthropy and activism
He hosts the annual The Great Canadian Geography Challenge in Canada and previously hosted the National Geographic Bee in the United States. He hosted the National Geographic Bee until 2013. Active with World Vision Canada, a charitable organization, he has travelled 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.
In 1998, Trebek donated 74 acres of open land in north Hollywood (worth over 2 million dollars at the time) to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.
In 2016, Trebek donated $5 million to the University of Ottawa to fund the Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue, the objective of which is "to expose students to a wide range of diverse views, through speeches, public panels, events and lectures by University of Ottawa researchers, senior government officials and guests speakers from around the world." Trebek's gifts to the university, which at the time totaled $7.5 million, also fund a Distinguished Speaker Series, which has included a presentation by Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee, introduced by Trebek. In 2017, Trebek funded the Alex Trebek Leadership Award at the University of Ottawa, an annual $10,000 award to a summa cum laude graduate who has also demonstrated community leadership.
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).
As of June 13, 2014, Trebek has held a Guinness World Record for "the most gameshow episodes hosted by the same presenter (same program)" for having hosted 6,829 episodes of Jeopardy!, overtaking previous record holder Bob Barker.
On May 4, 2015, Trebek's alma mater, the University of Ottawa, named its alumni hall in his honour, as a benefactor to the university.
On June 30, 2017, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada by Governor General David Johnston for "his iconic achievements in television and for his promotion of learning, notably as a champion for geographical literacy."
Television and film appearances
- 1963–1964: 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
- 1974–1976, 1978–1980: High Rollers (NBC)
- 1976–1977: Double Dare (CBS)
- 1976–1980: Stars on Ice (CTV)
- 1977–1978: The $128,000 Question
- 1980–1981: Wall $treet
- 1981–1982: Pitfall
- 1981–1983: Battlestars
- 1983: Malcolm (pilot)
- 1983: Starcade (pilot)
- 1984–present: Jeopardy!
- 1985: Lucky Numbers (pilot)
- 1987: VTV-Value Television – co-host with Meredith MacRae
- 1987–1991: Classic Concentration
- 1989–2013: The National Geographic Bee national finals
- 1990: Super Jeopardy!
- 1991: To Tell the Truth (1990–1991) – from February to May 1991
- 1993: The Red Badge of Courage/Heart of Courage – Canadian-produced show highlighting brave individuals
- 1996–1998: 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
- 2017: Game Changers – host and executive producer
- 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! (episode 8.14 – "What Is... Cliff Clavin?")
- 1990: Predator 2 – as himself, the host of Jeopardy! (voice)
- 1990: The Earth Day Special – as himself, the host of Jeopardy!
- 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! show #1656
- 1993: The Larry Sanders Show – as himself, the minister who marries Hank Kinsley (episode 2.15 - "Hank's Wedding")
- 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: Blossom – as himself, the host of Jeopardy! (episode 5.14 – "Who's Not on First")
- 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 himself (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: Baywatch - as himself, the host of Jeopardy! (episode 9.8 - "Swept Away")
- 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: Charlie's Angels (film) – 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)
- 2002: Saturday Night Live – himself
- 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)
- 2010: How I Met Your Mother – himself in "False Positive"
- 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.
- 2014: Hot in Cleveland – as himself and Park Ranger Alex Trebek
- 2014: Delta Air Lines – as himself, seen raising hand after being asked if the passengers have any questions toward the end of a Delta safety video.
- 2014: The Colbert Report (series finale) – as himself, "the man who knows all the answers", in Santa's sleigh.
- 2015: The Amazing Race Canada – as himself/season 3 pit stop greeter
- Note: Some sources list birth name as Giorgi Suka-Alex Trebek, including "Alex Trebek". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on September 21, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "Alex Trebek Biography: Game Show Host, Philanthropist (1940–)". Biography.com (FYI / A&E Networks). Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "Who Is Alex Trebek?"[permanent dead link], CBS Los Angeles biography, April 20, 2007. URL retrieved September 21, 2007
- Wagmeister, Elizabeth (May 2, 2017). "Pat Sajak, Vanna White, Alex Trebek Sign on for Two More Seasons of 'Wheel of Fortune,' 'Jeopardy'".
- Trebek, Alex (August 4, 2008). "August 4, 2008 Program". Q (Interview). Interview with Jian Ghomeshi. CBC. Archived from the original on October 30, 2008. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
- D'Zurilla, Christie (June 24, 2012). "Alex Trebek, host of 'Jeopardy!,' resting after heart attack at 71". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 24, 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.
- "Top 10: Things You Didn't Know About Alex Trebek, Starring Alex Trebek". AskMen. September 22, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "This University of Ottawa alumnus is honoured for his outstanding TV career. Who is Alex Trebek?". University of Ottawa. June 17, 2011. Archived from the original on September 12, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
- "CBC Championship Curling". TVArchive.ca. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
- "CBC Archives". CBC News. Archived from the original on May 21, 2011.
- Columbia TriStar Television; Harry Friedman, producer; Dick Carson, director (April 1, 1997). "April Fool's Day Special". Wheel of Fortune. Syndicated.
- "Exclusive: Alex Trebek to Guest Star on How I Met Your Mother". TVGuide.com. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
- Hot in Cleveland
- List of Hot in Cleveland episodes
- Hot in Cleveland (season 5)
- Guinness World Records (June 13, 2014). "'Jeopardy!' star Alex Trebek sets record for most game show episodes hosted". Guinness World Records. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
- Hillary Busis (December 19, 2014). "'The Colbert Report' wraps up with an immortal, star-studded finale". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
- "Alex Trebek Biography". Monstersandcritics.com. Archived from the original on December 11, 2008. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
- "Alex Trebek: Biography". TVGuide.com. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
- Schindehette, Susan (July 30, 1990). "Host of ABC's New Super Jeopardy!, Newlywed Alex Trebek Got the Answer Right With, "Will You Marry Me?"". People. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "J! Archive – Show #5365, aired Friday, December 28, 2007 – Contestant interveiew". December 28, 2007. Archived from the original on January 1, 2008. Retrieved December 31, 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. March 16, 2007. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
- "Alex Trebek Brings His Mustache Back: See theJeopardy! Host's New (Old) Look". People Magazine. Time Inc. September 9, 2014. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
- "Alex Trebek shaves mustache again after Jeopardy! fan vote". WTHR. Dispatch Broadcast Group. September 13, 2014. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
- "Rebas Gold Horse Pedigree". pedigreequery.com. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Jeopardy! official web site Alex Trebek announcement". December 11, 2007. Archived from the original on December 13, 2007. Retrieved December 11, 2007.
- Jablon, Robert (December 11, 2007). "Trebek Hospitalized With Heart Attack". Associated Press. Archived from the original on December 13, 2007. Retrieved December 11, 2007.
- "Interview with Alex Trebek". The Ellen DeGeneres Show. January 18, 2008. Archived from the original on December 9, 2008.
- "Lucinda Moyers, Alex Trebek's Burglar, Won't Face Three Strikes". AOL News. Associated Press. December 6, 2011. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- Budman, Scott (July 27, 2011). "Trebek: "I Left My Cash in San Francisco" Famous host talks robbery at Google". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- "'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek hospitalized with mild heart attack". Washington Post. June 24, 2012. Archived from the original on June 2, 2015. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
- Yahr, Emily (July 24, 2012). "Alex Trebek back on 'Jeopardy!' set after recovering from heart attack". Washington Post. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
- "Trebek Fall".
- McCarthy, Tyler (4 January 2018). "'Jeopardy!' on hiatus while Alex Trebek recovers from brain surgery". Fox News. Reuters.
- "An Update from Alex".
- World Vision's website says Trebek has been a sponsor of the charity since the early 1980s ("Bid on the Jeopardy set!" Archived February 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., World Vision website, 2002). His travels publicizing the charity's work include trips to Zambia ("Alex Trebek to Visit Zambia with World Vision" Archived February 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. World Vision website, June 21, 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)
- USO (March 22, 2007). "'Jeopardy!' Host Alex Trebek to Visit Troops on USO/AFE Tour to Japan and Okinawa". PRNewswire. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
- "Alex Trebek Gives 74 Acres of Open Land to Conservancy". latimes. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "American Foundation for the Blind Presents 2001 Access Awards". American Foundation for the Blind. February 2001. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
- Laura Eggertson, Alex Trebek gift supports big thinking; Tabaret. Retrieved 2017-12-02. Trebek credits the influence of his wife Jean on his approach to philanthropy. As quoted by Eggertson, “She has taught me the value of looking outside of yourself in a charitable way, helping others either financially or personally — and never expecting anything in return.”
- Kelly Haggart, Education grad receives Alex Trebek leadership award; University of Ottawa Gazette, August 3, 2017. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
- "Canada's Walk of Fame inductees announced". CTV Television Network. March 8, 2006. Retrieved June 20, 2012.[permanent dead link]
- "Bios – Alex Trebek". jeopardy.com.
- "2010 Royal Canadian Geographical Society Gold Medal". rcgs.org. Archived from the original on May 27, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
- "All winners of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society Gold Medal". rcgs.org. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
- "Daytime Emmy Awards honor Pat Sajak, Alex Trebek". CBS News. June 20, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
- Maloney, Michael (June 17, 2011). "Daytime Emmy wheel spins for Sajak, Trebek". Variety. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
- "Jeopardy! star Alex Trebek sets record for most game show episodes hosted". Guinness World Records. June 13, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- Kennedy, John R. "'Jeopardy' host Alex Trebek awarded Guinness World Record". Global News. Retrieved 2017-01-27.
- Loop, Emma (May 5, 2015). "Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek has building at the University of Ottawa named in his honour". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- "Governor General Announces 99 New Appointments to the Order of Canada". Governor General of Canada. June 30, 2017. Archived from the original on June 30, 2017.
- Booth, John (October 10, 2011). "The 15 Geekiest Episodes of PBS's Arthur". Wired. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alex Trebek.|
|Host of High Rollers
Wink Martindale in 1987
|Host of To Tell The Truth
John O'Hurley in 2000
|Host of Concentration
Art Fleming 1964–75, 1978–79
|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