We’re still mourning the loss of Alex Trebek, but it is some solace to hear his passing was peaceful.
The longtime game show host died on Sunday after battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards told the Today Show that the beloved TV personality spent his last hours exactly the way he’d hoped. Richards explained:
“Even in his book, he described that he wanted his final day to be sitting on his swing next to his wife, Jean, and kind of watching the horizon and he got to do that. … He was coherent, he wasn’t in pain and the fact that he had a nice final day makes all of us in the Jeopardy! family feel much better.”
That’s extremely comforting to hear — it makes us feel better, too.
Richards went on to memorialize Trebek, saying:
“He was incredibly hard-working. He cared about the show. He cared about the importance of the show that it helped people want to be smarter. He made that cool — he made wanting to be smart cool. … The greatest thing about him was how much he loved his family. Of all the things he did and all the things he accomplished, the greatest thing to him was his family and his love of his life.”
Friends, fans, and former contestants alike have paid tribute to the Jeopardy! icon. One clip in particular went viral in the wake of his death: recent champion Burt Thakur explaining the impact Trebek had on his life.
There may not be a better clip than this one that sums up Alex Trebek’s impact pic.twitter.com/QnMjwOYyK9
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) November 8, 2020
Thakur also spoke to Today about the time he spent with his idol. He shared:
“First of all, to walk up on that stage like I saw as a little kid. He comes out and is an absolute gentleman and professional. He was so witty and funny. Alex Trebek is a significant reason why I am the way I am.”
Despite his ongoing cancer battle, the 80-year-old continued to tape the show until October 29, less than two weeks before his death. Spending time with Trebek during those final episodes, Thakur observed:
“As opposed to bowing his head and wincing, he kept on keeping on. It was this mentality that this is something bigger than myself. This is something that matters. To not lose his cool and have a defeated attitude, cloaked with a mantle of humility… It’s something we can all learn from.”
“My wish is for people to honor him by letting go of hate in their heart today. If they have someone who matters to them, let them know.”
That’s a message we can all get behind — and one we’re sure Alex would have approved of. We’ll continue to keep him and his family in our thoughts.
[Image via Nicky Nelson/WENN]
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