Longtime "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek, who last month announced he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, tried to reassure fans of the iconic TV gameshow in a video posted Wednesday.
"Some of you may recall that at the beginning of this season, I promised you that we had some surprises in store for you," the 78-year-old host — who has won a slew of Daytime Emmy Awards since launching the syndicated version of the previously network show in 1984 — said in a YouTube video shot on set.
“Well,” he continued, of course I had no idea at that time that there were some surprises in store for me as well. So here, on the last day of taping for our 35th-anniversary season, I wanted once again to thank you for your continuing messages of encouragement and support — particularly the many cards I've received from young people. I'm touched beyond words."
He added that, "I've always tried to be straight with you and I'm not going to stop now. So despite what you may have heard, I'm feeling good, I'm continuing with my therapy and we — by we, the staff — is already working on our next season, the 36th year of 'Jeopardy!' So I look forward to seeing you once again in September with all kinds of good stuff."
The Ontario-born Trebek had revealed in a similar video on March 6 that "like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer." There are two kinds, according to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health: exocrine-cell and, with a better prognosis, neuroendocrine-cell. Trebek has not disclosed his type. "Stage 4" means the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Trebek joked at the time that he needed to survive "because under the terms of my contract, I have to host 'Jeopardy!' for three more years!"
Those who have died from pancreatic cancer include music legend Aretha Franklin, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, actor Patrick Swayze, New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and original "Jeopardy!" host Art Fleming.