'Jeopardy!' Host Alex Trebek Announces Cancer Diagnosis


Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, 78, has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, he said in a video posted on YouTube on Wednesday.

“Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer,” Trebek, who’s been hosting the game show for 34 years, said in the video.

“Now, normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this and I’m going to keep working and with the love and support from my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease."

Related: Pat Sajak, Vanna White, Alex Trebek Renew Contracts Through 2022

Even under these trying circumstances, Trebek’s sense of humor was intact: “Truth told, I have to because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years, so help me. Keep the faith and we will win.”

Trebek has hosted Jeopardy!, which is produced by Sony Pictures Television and distributed by CBS Television Distribution, for 34 years. Jeopardy! first premiered in broadcast syndication in its current iteration since 1984. He is currently under contract to host the show through the 2021-22 season.

“If anyone can beat this, it’s Alex. He has our full support as he tackles this challenge head-on,” said Mike Hopkins, chairman, Sony Pictures Television, in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers of support go out to Alex and his family. We have no doubt that he will fight this with the tenacity and grace for which he is known,” said CBS Television Distribution, also in a statement.

Healing wishes immediately went out on social media in support of the game-show host, who has two children with wife Jean Currivan.

"I've said this before but Alex Trebek is in a way the last Cronkite: authoritative, reassuring TV voice you hear every night, almost to the point of ritual," tweeted Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings.

On Tuesday, Jennings and others finished up Jeopardy!'s $1 million All-Star tournament with Brad Rutter's team winning the big prize. 

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.