How Late Alex Trebek Envisioned His Final Days on Jeopardy!: 'I Will Say My Goodbyes'
Alex Trebek knew his days on Jeopardy! were coming to an end — and he was prepared to say goodbye.
Trebek, who died on Sunday after a battle with stage four pancreatic cancer, previously opened up about how he wanted to bid farewell to the beloved trivia show he had hosted since 1984.
"I've kind of, in my mind, rehearsed it already, and what I would do on that day is tell the director, 'Time the show down to leave me 30 seconds at the end. That's all I want,'" he said in January during ABC's What Is Jeopardy? special. "And I will say my goodbyes and I will tell people: 'Don't ask me who's going to replace me because I have no say whatsoever. But I'm sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you have shown me … then they will be a success and the show will continue being a success.'"
Calling his sign-off a "significant moment," the television personality added of his final words: "'And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.'"
While Trebek's death was confirmed on Sunday, new episodes of Jeopardy! featuring the host will continue to air through Dec. 25, Sony Pictures Television announced.
His final day in the studio was Oct. 29 — just 10 days before his death at 80 years old. Additional plans about the future of the show have yet to be announced.
"Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends," the Jeopardy! account tweeted. "Thank you, Alex."
"Today we lost a legend and a beloved member of the Sony Pictures family," Sony Pictures Television added in a separate statement. "For 37 amazing years, Alex Trebek was that comforting voice, that moment of escape and entertainment at the end of a long, hard day for millions of people around the world."
Trebek revealed his cancer diagnosis in March 2019. "I'm going to fight this and I'm going to keep working," he said at the time, returning to work a week later.
The TV personality told viewers in August 2019 that he had finished treatment and was doing better, but a month later, he said he was once again undergoing chemotherapy.
After going on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year, production on Jeopardy! resumed over the summer. The ABC game show returned for its 37th season in September, with Trebek as host.
At the time, Trebek told The New York Times that shooting the show was invigorating. "Oddly enough, when we started taping I suddenly started to regain my strength," he said. "It's the strangest thing. It is some kind of an elixir."
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