As the seemingly omniscient host of the long-running quiz show Jeopardy!
, this Canada-born personality has drawn both admiration and ire. Although his detractors dub him pretentious and robotic, his fans love his consistently mild-mannered demeanor. The fact that he has appeared as himself (or some version thereof) in a number of projects, including Wrestlemania
and the first Charlie's Angels
movie, seems to imply that Trebek actually doesn't take himself that seriously. After graduating from college with a philosophy degree, Trebek became a TV and radio news correspondent in his homeland. He segued to hosting in the 1960s and took his first Stateside gig on The Wizard of Odds
in 1973. Myriad game-show gigs followed, but Jeopardy!
made him a star. During his tenure, he hosted an array of other shows and specials, including (for a brief period) three game shows---Jeopardy!
, Classic Concentration
and To Tell the Truth
---simultaneously. Except for shaving off his moustache in 2001, neither Trebek nor his signature series (which he was forced to leave briefly following a 2007 heart attack) have changed much over the years, which may just be the key to the series'---and the man's---success.Alex Trebek Fast Facts:
- Once considered becoming a priest but changed his mind after spending a summer at a Trappist monastery.
- Began career as a reporter on Canadian radio and TV in 1961 before becoming a game-show host.
- Came up with the idea of including several separate tournaments for contestants on Jeopardy!, including teens, seniors, celebrities and college students.
- Has landed bit parts (often as himself) in more than 70 movies and TV shows, including the films White Men Can't Jump (1992), Short Cuts (1993) and Charlie's Angels (2000).
- Has done numerous USO tours and won the Bob Hope Entertainment Award for his efforts in 1998.
- Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999 and was inducted into the California Broadcasting Association's Hall of Fame. Seven years later, he received a star on the Canada Walk of Fame.
- Has won five Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Game Show Host.
- Suffered a heart attack in late 2007, returning to work on Jeopardy! early the following year.
- Alex Trebek Relationships:
- George Edward Trebek - Father
- Jean Currivan Trebek - Wife
- Elaine Callei - Ex-wife
- Emily Trebek - Daughter
- Lucille Lagace - Mother
- Matthew Trebek - Son
- University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (BS in Philosophy, 1961)