‘Jeopardy!’: Alex Trebek on His 1 Career Regret

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek has had an incredible life with a legendary career that has spanned five decades, a happy marriage and family, and satisfying volunteer efforts.

The television personality naturally has regrets, as anyone would, of his life, and he shared a specific remorse that has remained with him enough to discuss at the topic of missed opportunities.

Alex Trebek of 'Jeopardy!'
Alex Trebek of ‘Jeopardy!’ | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

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Alex Trebek’s unusual courage in the face of cancer

Trebek, speaking with ABC News in 2019, shared how he found out about his diagnosis and his feeling that, what to another person would be earth-shattering news just wasn’t to him. In fact, he didn’t tell his wife, Jean, of thirty years, “as quickly as I could have” because it simply wasn’t “devastating” to him.

Jean and Alex Trebek

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“Throughout my life, I’ve always wondered about how courageous a human being I was,” Trebek said about living with cancer. “I just look at it as it’s a part of life. Does that mean I’m courageous because I’m dealing with it? No. I could be scared to death and I’d still have to deal with it.”

Trebek’s tremendous gift to his alma mater

Trebek donated $2.1 million to the Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue at his alma mater, the University of Ottawa, in 2019. His previous donations of over $7 million dollars in the past established The Dialogue center in 2017, according to the university.

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The Forum for Dialogue gives students, according to a press release by Trebek at that time, “the unique opportunity to grow and learn outside the classroom by listening to some of the most prominent researchers, professionals, and dignitaries in Canada, and that is truly important.”

The ‘Jeopardy!’ host’s 1 regret

As for the regret the 79-year-old described in a conversation with the Television Academy Foundation in 2007, it was an opportunity left unrealized. Specifically, it was his desire to act that the host abandoned as his game show career climbed from success to success.

“My one regret would be that I never pursued acting,” he said at that time, “because that was my earliest ambition, to be an actor. But I auditioned for an acting job, there was a drama being produced by the CBC, when I was a staff announcer. And I auditioned for the head casting director at the CBC.”

Apparently, Trebek underwhelmed the casting director enough to encourage him to keep his day job.

“And after the auditions, he said, ‘Well, that was, that was pretty good. But, I wouldn’t give up your broadcasting career,'” Trebek recalled. “So maybe that was prophetic good advice, because I think it’s worked out pretty well in broadcasting.”

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