Edit
Alex Trebek Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (3)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (88)  | Personal Quotes (3)  | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (pancreatic cancer)
Birth NameGeorge Alexander Trebek
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario, Alex Trebek graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Philosophy. After his first decision to become a newscaster, he joined the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company), Canada's premier network in 1961. As he was working, he helped organize national news and covered a variety of special events for CBC's radio and television divisions, receiving high praise as a broadcaster who retained his poise and composure in the toughest places. Then, in 1966, he became a Canadian game show host on Reach for the Top (1965), and stayed there for the first seven years until he migrated to the United States to host his very first game show in that country, The Wizard of Odds (1973), for NBC.

Prior to being selected as the host of Jeopardy! (1984), for syndication, he came back to NBC and hosted the revamped version of Classic Concentration (1987), which was also his second hit in his then-almost 30 year career. On this show, he received 4 Emmy nominations, but didn't win. It was canceled in 1991, when the network stopped making game show for daytime TV.

On May 17, 2002, Jeopardy! (1984) celebrated a milestone, with its 4000th episode and at the same time, received another Daytime Emmy for "Outstanding Game Show/Audience Participation," making it its 21st Emmy. Like Bob Barker, Alex Trebek broke the world record as host of TV's #1 quiz show in the country, won seven Outstanding Game Show Host Emmy Awards, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was often described as one of the Top 10 Canadians on U.S. Television.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Richard Collins II (hugsarealwaysinorder@yahoo.com)

Family (3)

Spouse Jean Trebek (30 April 1990 - 8 November 2020)  (his death)  (2 children)
Elaine Kares Trebek (25 September 1974 - 13 May 1982)  (divorced)
Children Emily Trebek
Matthew Trebek
Parents Trebek (Lagacé), Lucille
Trebek, George Edward

Trade Mark (2)

Moustache (until 2001)
His glasses

Trivia (88)

Owned a Creston, California vineyard: Creston Vineyards.
Became a U.S. citizen in 1998.
Graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Philosophy.
A large oak tree smashed into the garage of Trebek's Studio City, California home during a fierce wind storm. (5 January 2003)
Father, with wife Jean Trebek, of two children: daughter Emily Trebek and son Matthew Trebek.
Hosted the National Geography Bee in the U.S. and Canada.
Owned a 700-acre Thoroughbred horse farm: Creston Farms.
Parodied by Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live (1975).
Sat on the boards of the National Geographic Society Education Foundation and the National Advisory Council for the Literary Volunteers of America.
Won the Bob Hope Entertainment Award in 1998 for his work with the USO.
His first game show, The Wizard of Odds (1973), was produced by Alan Thicke.
He framed a bounced check for $49,000, which he received from a game show he worked at in the 1980s that failed.
It was Trebek's idea to include separate competitions for teenagers, seniors, and celebrities on Jeopardy! (1984).
When he married Jean Trebek (Jean Currivan), at the ceremony he gave his wedding vow as a joke on the Jeopardy! (1984) rule of phrasing an answer as a question by saying, "The answer is ... yes".
His parents were Lucille (Lagacé) and George Edward Trebek. His father was a Ukrainian immigrant. His mother was of French-Canadian, and approximately one eighth British Isles, including Irish, ancestry.
When young, Trebek thought about becoming a priest, but changed his mind after spending a summer at a Trappist monastery. He said in an interview for the New York Sunday News, "I took a vow not only of poverty but of silence. And I'm not one to keep my big mouth shut. I enjoy talking." [February 24, 1974]
Before he was a successful game show host, he was a newscaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Network.
Was a longtime moderator for the annual National Geographic Bee in both Canada and the United States.
After having a confrontation at a Los Angeles International Airport, he sued an airline employee who said he left her with serious hand injuries. [23 March 2000]
On Friday, January 30, 2004, while driving alone on a country road near Templeton, California, where he owned a horse farm, he lost consciousness at the wheel which led him to his car crash.
Received a phone call from Regis Philbin for his final answer on Philbin's talk show and Trebek said he refused to be tested for his "brains" on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (1999).
Every day he read the movie book by Roger Ebert.
Had 2 biggest winners in Jeopardy! (1984) history with more than $80,000 cash and an automobile. One was Doug Lach, who won $85,400 in cash and car in Season 16, and the other one was: Travis Troyer, who won $83,100 in cash and car in Season 19.
Sang a couple of lines from one of The Bee Gees' songs.
Hosted two game shows that made it big in his 35+ year run, all three behind Bob Barker, Wink Martindale and Bob Eubanks, making him one of the youngest game show hosts in history. He was still hosting Jeopardy! (1984), which has been a ratings bonanza in syndication, when he passed away. The other show was Classic Concentration (1987) for NBC, which he hosted for five years.
As a teenager, he was a garbage man in Cincinnati, but moved back to his native Canada in 1961 to finish college and to become a news anchor.
His father, George Edward, was an alcoholic.
His hosting duties on Jeopardy! (1984) were carried on most of the CTV networks in Canada but it still ranks #2 behind Wheel of Fortune (1983), in ratings in most U.S. markets where both programs are often in tandem. (2003)
Was a spokesman for World Vision.
Trebek's association with Merv Griffin Enterprises began ironically with Wheel of Fortune (1975). A few years before Jeopardy! (1984), Trebek was hosting another show on NBC and received a call from Wheel of Fortune's producer Nancy Jones asking if he would substitute for Chuck Woolery who had suddenly become ill. Trebek taped a week of wheel shows in 1980.
He purchased a house so he could use its tennis court. In the 1990s it was rented by Pete Rose and his wife Carol, who had to get the landlord (Trebek) to fix the house's electrical and plumbing problems.
Lived next door to Ed Begley Jr..
Proposed to wife Jean Trebek (Jean Currivan) on her birthday, 12 September.
His friend Wayne Brady appeared on Jeopardy! (1984), a year after Trebek appeared on Brady's own talk show, just before both were nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award. Brady has won more Emmys than Trebek, for Outstanding Daytime Talk Show Host. Trebek was nominated for Audience Participation in a Game Show and Outstanding Game Show Host.
Was a frequent traveler.
Though he was good at pronouncing words in many different languages, he had difficulty with Welsh and Hawaiian.
Owned a pair of different homes: one in Beverly Hills and the other in the San Fernando Valley.
Enjoyed collecting and drinking wine, training and bred thoroughbred racing, golfing, and hosting quiz shows.
In 2001, Trebek shaved his mustache during the first few weeks of the 18th season of Jeopardy! (1984). He had the mustache for over 30 years.
Graduated from Malvern Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Hospitalized after suffering a minor heart attack at his home on December 10, 2007.
On Jeopardy! (1984), he had 3 biggest winners: one was college graduate, Brad Rutter, who won $3,270,102, in the Tournament of Champions, including $55,102 during Brad's 5 appearances on the show, software engineer, comic book and movie collector, and game show contestant, Ken Jennings, who won $3,022,700, also in the Tournament of Champions, including $2,520,700, during his 74 appearances on the show, and college graduate and author, David Madden, who won $442,400, including $432,400, during his 19 appearances on the show.
Appeared on the final week of Family Feud (1976), which was hosted by Richard Dawson.
Broke his leg on July 27, 2011 as he was chasing a female burglar who had broken into his San Francisco hotel room. Suspect was later apprehended by police.
Was a fan of Julie London's music.
Suffered a mild heart attack on June 23, 2012 and was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for observation.
He was a political independent, describing himself as socially liberal and fiscally conservative.
Best known by the public as the host of Jeopardy! (1984) and Classic Concentration (1987).
Ranked #3 as GSN's Top 10 Game Show Hosts of All Time.
Replaced football player Lynn Swann as the final host of the revamped version of To Tell the Truth (1990).
Graduated from University of Ottawa High School (Oblates of Mary Immaculate - OMI) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1957.
As a student at the University of Ottawa, he was a member of the English Debating Society.
Was employed at Mark Goodson Productions from 1976 to 1977 and again from 1987 to 1991.
Filled in for Charles Gibson on Good Morning America (1975) for a week.
Attended Monty Hall's 90th birthday party attended at the Los Angeles Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles, California, on 25 August 2011.
Long before Brian Haley would be a stand-up comedian, he was one of Trebek's contestants on Classic Concentration (1987).
Worked with game show announcer Gene Wood on both game shows: Double Dare (1976) and Classic Concentration (1987).
Had missed two episodes of To Tell the Truth (1990), because he was rushed to the hospital, where Jean gave birth to a baby boy, Matthew, early in 1991, hence, he asked Mark Goodson to substitute for him.
Trebek was one of four game show hosts to have emceed a game show in the United States and another in Canada; the other three were Howie Mandel, Geoff Edwards and Jim Perry.
Was employed by Heatter-Quigley Productions (later Merrill Heatter Productions) from 1974 to 1983.
His mother, Lucille (Lagacé) Trebek, celebrated her 90th birthday in 2011.
Worked with game show announcer Charlie O'Donnell on both game shows: The Wizard of Odds (1973) and To Tell the Truth (1990).
Was Merv Griffin's and Bob Murphy's first choice as host of Jeopardy! (1984), who eventually hired Trebek on the spot, after subbing for an ailing Chuck Woolery on Wheel of Fortune (1975).
Formerly the member of the National Advisory Council for Volunteers of America.
Attended the 2007 funeral of Merv Griffin.
Ranks fourth behind Bill Cullen, Tom Kennedy and Wink Martindale, in the number of game shows hosted at 12, with Bob Eubanks and Geoff Edwards both trailing that record, by 4, at 8.
His mother, Lucille (Lagace) Trebek, had Alex, when she was 19 years old.
The American Federation for the Blind in 2001 awarded Trebek with one of six Access Awards for his role in accommodating notable Jeopardy! (1984) champion Eddie Timanus.
Revealed on an episode of "Jeopardy" that he didn't ski, after a contestant recounted his terrifying experience hanging upside down from a chairlift.
His favorite author was Mark Twain.
Was a spokesperson for Colonial Penn Life Insurance, based in Philadelphia, for over 18 years.
Ranked #10 on Life's 15 Best Game Show Hosts.
Like fellow game show hosts, Bob Barker, Bob Eubanks, Bill Cullen, Gene Rayburn, Geoff Edwards and Wink Martindale, Trebek was known to be a very busy television personality.
Like fellow game show hosts Bob Eubanks, Jim Perry, Chuck Woolery Dick Clark, Pat Sajak and Bert Convy, Trebek was one of the game show emcees to host a game show both in daytime and in nighttime.
On Sunday, December 20, 2015, underwent successful knee surgery.
Was the second choice to host the revamped version of Classic Concentration (1987) for NBC, when unfamiliar game show host/comedian Ray Combs, who was Mark Goodson's first choice to emcee the show, had auditioned and lost. Combs would later host the revamped version of Family Feud (1988) for CBS, the following year, which was also produced by Goodson.
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 many others. [4 November 2010].
His alma mater, the University of Ottawa, named its alumni hall in his honour, as a benefactor to the university. [4 May 2015].
He 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! (1984), overtaking previous record holder Bob Barker. [13 June 2014].
Was an avid ice skater.
On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, Trebek announced on social media video posts from the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube sites that he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Friends with Mary Hart.
Upon his death, he was cremated and his ashes returned to his family.
Hosted Jeopardy! (1984) from its debut in 1984 until his death in 2020 without a substitute host, except on April Fool's Day 1997 (when he and Pat Sajak of Wheel of Fortune (1983) switched shows for a day) and for two episodes when Jean Trebek was giving birth to their son, Matthew, in 1991. His last day of taping episodes of "Jeopardy" was October 29, 2020. He died 11 days later on November 8, 2020.
Had a sense of humor. Once, in the category of movie titles, He read out, 'In this film, a couple are killed by poisonous spiders while watching Wheel of Fortune. Serves them right!'.
The film that he admired the most was How Green Was My Valley (1941).
Just after his mother's (Lucille Marie Lagacé Trebek) 95th Birthday, in 2016, she passed away, only 3 months later on July 11, of the same year.

Personal Quotes (3)

We are trying to entertain the audience. We happen to do it by enlightening and educating them. [January 10, 1988]
"I have learned quite a bit, but it's not like you know enough about the topics to lead a discussion at a cocktail party." - On the question if hosting the show has expanded his knowledge.
[When asked if he missed Bob Barker's final show in 2007]: I was doing some electrical work in an attic today.

Salary (1)

Jeopardy! (1984) $10,000,000 per year

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro Pro Name Page Link

Contribute to This Page


Recently Viewed