B: July 22, 1940 in Sudbury, Ontario
D: November 8, 2020 in Los Angeles, California
Alex Trebek hosted a number of television shows in Canada during the 1960s including Reach for the Top in 1966, which pitted teams of high school students against each other. In his autobiography he credited this show with helping him develop his easy going, supportive approach, knowing how the wrong word or wrong tone could be very hurtful to the young contestants. In 1970, Trebek moved on to hosting the nationally televised Canadian game show Jackpot. He also hosted regular CBC programming like CBC Championship Curling. It was fellow Canadian, the late actor Alan Thicke, who encouraged him to move to California in 1973. He landed a hosting job on an NBC game show The Wizard of Odds, but the odds were against it and Trebek moved on to shows like Double Dare, High Rollers, Battlestars, The New Battlestars, Classic Concentration and To Tell the Truth before joining Jeopardy!, which had first hit the air waves in 1964 hosted by Art Fleming. The show had been off the air for a few years when a new reimagined version came to the small screen with Trebek as host. He went on to win six Emmy Awards for outstanding game-show host, most recently in 2019, and also received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 2011. In December of 2019 the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television announced that Trebek would be one of four recipients to be honoured with a 2020 Special Canadian Screen Award, but the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic caused those plans to be put on hold. He used his television show to announce his diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March 2019 and promised to fight on while continuing to work. “We have lost an icon,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter. In virtually all of his appearances he either played himself, or provided his voice as himself to animated productions. He was 80 when he died in Los Angeles on November 8, 2020. His last Jeopardy! episode, number 8,204, was taped in late October 2020 and originally scheduled to air on Christmas Day 2020. It was broadcast on January 8, 2021.
We only list his credits as a Host, not the various programs where he was a guest, or a presenter, or announcer or the subject of an interview or television news story.
Features & TV Movies:
White Men Can’t Jump (1992)
Finding Forrester (2000)
Gone South: How Canada Invented Hollywood (2014, documentary)
Free Guy (2021)
Pick and Choose (1971)
Super Jeopardy! (1990, 13 episodes)
Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister (2007)