The entertainment world suffered a heartbreaking loss on Sunday, when it was announced that Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek has passed away at the age of 80. Trebek's long-running role on the game show helped him become a bit of a pop culture icon, one who only became more revered amid his battle with pancreatic cancer. As a result, Trebek has made cameo appearances in countless movies and television shows -- including the upcoming Ryan Reynolds-led film Free Guy. On Sunday, Reynolds took to Twitter to pay tribute to Trebek, calling the personality "gracious and funny", and remarking that "We love you, Alex. And always will."
Alex Trebek was kind enough to film a cameo for our film Free Guy last year despite his battle. He was gracious and funny. In addition to being curious, stalwart, generous, reassuring and of course, Canadian. We love you, Alex. And always will.— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) November 8, 2020
Trebek's cameo in Free Guy first showed up in the film's second official trailer, which was released back in October. The sequence showed Trebek hosting an in-universe episode of Jeopardy!, in which he asks a contestant about Reynolds' character in the film.
Trebek hosted Jeopardy! for over three decades, continuing to do so even after publicly announcing his cancer diagnosis in March of 2019. In the year and a half that followed, Trebek continued to update fans on his condition -- as well as the emotional struggles he felt while undergoing that journey.
"Now I'd be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one," Trebek previously shared in a video update. "There were some good days but a lot of not-so-good days. I joked with friends that the cancer won't kill me, the chemo treatments will. There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned and sudden, massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on. But I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal - a betrayal of my wife and soulmate, Jean, who has given her all to help me survive. It would have been a betrayal of other cancer patients who have looked to me as an inspiration and a cheerleader of sorts, of the value of living and hope, of my faith in God and the millions of prayers that have been said on my behalf."
Our thoughts are with Trebek's family, friends, and fans at this time.