In a video message, “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek told fans he will continue to fight and “beat the low survival rate statistics.”
Legendary “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek announced his diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer Wednesday, sending a shock wave through a community of fans and hosting counterparts who have watched Trebek in their living rooms for decades.
Trebek, 78, who has been at the helm of the syndicated game show since 1984, vowed to “fight” the disease after revealing his diagnosis Wednesday.
His announcement elicited many words of encouragement and well wishes.
Sony Pictures Television Chairman Mike Hopkins, the production company behind “Jeopardy!,” told USA TODAY that, “If anyone can beat this it’s Alex. He has our full support as he tackles this challenge head-on.”
“Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak said his family is “deeply saddened to hear of Alex Trebek’s struggle with cancer.”
“Our hearts go out to him and his family. But there is no one I know who is stronger and more determined, and I would never bet against him,” he tweeted shortly after Trebek’s announcement. “We, and the entire country, are pulling for you, Alex.”
Ken Jennings, who won the most “Jeopardy!” games (74) ever and appeared on the just-completed “Jeopardy! All-Star Games,” compared Trebek to legendary broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite.
“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,” he wrote.
In a series of tweets, Jennings acknowledged that Trebek is “very aware of how much he means to millions of people, and how we will be pulling for him.”
He joked: “And I hope some very good L.A. oncologists are getting ready to have their mispronunciations corrected.”
Brad Rutter, who headed the All-Star team that just won Tuesday, referred to the beloved host as “Uncle Alex.”
“Oh my God. If anyone can beat this, you can,” he tweeted. “Sending heartfelt good thoughts and best wishes for a speedy and full recovery. We love you, Uncle Alex!”
“The Bachelor” host Chris Harrison tweeted, “Thinking and praying for fellow game show host and absolute legend Alex Trebek as he starts his fight with pancreatic cancer. God’s speed my friend.”
Maria Shriver said she’s joining “millions” of fans sending prayers.
“So brave, inspiring, honest and yes, he even added hopeful. #AlexTrebek is a TV legend,” she tweeted. “Love when someone asks for our prayers. I don’t know Alex but I’ll be praying ‘cause I know prayers work.”
Comedian and “The Masked Singer” judge Ken Jeong sent all his “love, thoughts and prayers,” calling Trebek his “hero.”
Dr. Mehmet Oz, from “The Dr. Oz Show,” tweeted, “Stay strong, friend.”
Robert Iger, the CEO of The Walt Disney Company, quoted Winston Churchill: “Never, never, never, never give up!”
Actor Josh Gad sent along his “thoughts and prayers,” adding “you will beat this.”
Comedian Dane Cook called Trebek the “true daily double and the ultimate Jeopardy! champion in my eyes.”
“I just want to say to Alex Trebek I know you can kick cancer’s ass,” he tweeted. “Lots of positive energy coming your way from so many sir.”
Sports television personality Stephen A. Smith revealed that “Jeopardy!” was his “momma’s favorite show ever.”
“Saddened right now. Just wanted to extend my thoughts and prayers to Trebek, wishing him all the best,” he tweeted, adding the hashtag #DontEverGiveUp.
Television personalities, hosts and celebrities were not the only ones crushed by the news. Fans of Trebek and “Jeopardy!” also wished the game-show host a speedy recovery.
User @LawjarpTweets stuck to the classic “Jeopardy!” format, answering, “This veteran game show host is going to kick pancreatic cancer’s ass,” with “Who is Alex Trebek?”
User @Allegedly_G called Trebek a “national treasure.”
User @jessiemaltin reflected on the impact he had on her family: “This made me cry. #AlexTrebek truly is an institution. He’s been coming into our homes for 35 years, a ritual for my family and so many others. Thinking happy thoughts for you sir.”
User @JenAnjuGrossman said she’s “heartbroken.”
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