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ET Online: 'Wheel of Fortune' Stars Pat Sajak & Vanna White Remember Late Alex Trebek

Manuela Cardiga
Jan 14, 2021
08:40 P.M.
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"Wheel Of Fortune" presenters Pat Sajak and Vanna White paid a loving tribute to their friend and colleague of over 40 years, "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek.

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Iconic "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek passed away on November 8, 2020, at the age of 80 after a long battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer. On the three month anniversary of his passing, his colleagues paid him homage.

Pat Sajak and Vanna White reminisced about their long work history with Trebek, a history that goes back 40 years, and their friendship with the legendary TV host.

Alex Trebek hosting "Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time" in January 2020 | Source: Getty Images

Alex Trebek hosting "Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time" in January 2020 | Source: Getty Images

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FOREVER LINKED

For fans, "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune," have always been connected. Both were created by Merv Griffin and initiated on NBC before syndication. And the two contests ran back-to-back - "Jeopardy!" at 8:00 pm, "WOF" at 7:00 pm.

Trebek, Sajak, and White have worked together in their respective shows since the early '80s, and share 40 years of stories, comradery, experiences, and a solid sense of family.

Some of us still remember the prank the three TV hosts played on their audiences on April Fool's Day, 1997, when Sajak unexpectedly hosted "Jeopardy!"

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Pat Sajak, Vanna White, and Alex Trebek at the Hollywood Walk of Fame in November 2019 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

Pat Sajak, Vanna White, and Alex Trebek at the Hollywood Walk of Fame in November 2019 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

GOODBYE TO ALEX TREBEK

When Trebek passed away in November 2020, White opened up about her sense of loss and her enormous admiration for the Canadian show host's professionalism. On a personal level she said:

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"Through the years, I have gotten to know his wife and his kids and he is just part of the family."

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Although he was going through grueling treatments, Trebek never stopped working and was taping episodes of "Jeopardy!" almost up until the end of his life. Sajak said:

"Alex Trebek’s courage, grace and strength inspired millions (...) I was honored to be a friend and a part of his professional family."

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The last episodes of "Jeopardy!" starring Trebek were aired in January 2021, the last on January 8, allowing fans one last fond goodbye to the man who had been part of their lives for over four decades.

Up until the very end of his life, the octagenarian had displayed the same professionalism, the same grace under pressure, and the same inimitable humor that had made him a legend in game show history.

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THE PRANK

Some of us still remember the prank the three TV hosts played on their audiences on April Fool's Day, 1997, when Sajak unexpectedly hosted "Jeopardy!" in Trebek's place with no forewarning.

That same night, Trebek unexpectedly hosted their show, with Sajak and White taking the place of the contestants. It was a historical moment, one of many fond memories Alex Trebek left behind.

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