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7 Heartbreaking Details From Alex Trebek's Final "Jeopardy!" Days, Revealed by Insiders

Friends, family, and colleagues open about the host’s final months in a new podcast. 

After losing battle with pancreatic cancer, Alex Trebek passed away on November 8, 2020. During the newest episode of This Is Jeopardy! The Story of America's Favorite Quiz Show podcast, the beloved host's family and coworkers offered fans a behind-the-scenes look into his final 20 months on the show while battling Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. What they had to say was completely heartbreaking. 

A Producer Allegedly Found Him Crying in Pain Before Tapings

LOS ANGELES - MAY 5: Alex Trebek at the 2019 Daytime Emmy Awards at Pasadena Convention Center on May 5, 2019 in Pasadena, CA

Producer Rocky Schmidt maintained that after Trebek announced his diagnosis, he would check on him between tapings. Sometimes he would find him crying in pain on the floor of his dressing room and offer to cancel the next taping. "Just give me a minute. Just give me a minute," Alex would say. Soon he would come out. "Somehow, he rallied," he said. 

He Allegedly Struggled to Walk


Schmidt recalled watching Trebek struggling to get to a conference room table for the show's morning meeting, thinking he wouldn't make it to his seat."Then he would leave and go to get made up and ready for the show, and everybody would look at each other and go, 'I don't know if we're going to be taping today,'" he said. 

He Allegedly Looked "Blue-ish Brown"

HOLLYWOOD - APRIL 28: Alex Trebek in the press room at The 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Kodak Theatre on April 28, 2006 in Hollywood, CA.

His makeup artist, Sandy Goodman, revealed that she once received a call from Schmidt, telling her that Trebek was receiving treatment and his appearance would change. He looked "blue-ish brown," she said, adding that she "neutralized" his complexion, using an orange base over his skin.

He Allegedly Had to Wear Wigs and Lost So Much Weight They Would Be Too Big on Him


Trebek lost his hair due to treatment and was forced to wear wigs made for him. However, eventually, he lost so much weight they didn't fit. "He grumbled about that," said Harry Friedman, an executive producer on the show. "And he said, 'Oh okay, wait till I'm well, and I don't have to do this anymore.'"

He Allegedly Could No Longer Drive


Trebek had trouble allowing others to help him. His daughter, Nicky Trebek, said he insisted on driving himself home from the set, even after his health deteriorated."Literally, if you drive home, Dad, it's pure stupidity," she recalled saying. "All right," he said, caving. "You take me."

Support From Fans "Buoyed Him for Months"


According to his wife, Jean, the support of his fans and contestants on the show "buoyed him for a few months," she said during the podcast.

He Allegedly Knew He Was Dying at His Final Taping


On Oct. 29, 2020, Trebek filmed his final show. "We'll see you again next week," he said. On the drive home, Nicky asked him: "Are you going to go back?" He responded: "I don't think so, Nick." He died ten days later.

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