One of Alex Trebek’s co-workers opened up about his final day filming Jeopardy, which took place last month. Following the sad news of the star’s passing this weekend after a battle with pancreatic cancer, one of the show’s executives shared what happened during his last time on set, just 10 days before his death.
Mike Richards, who also serves as an executive producer on Wheel of Fortune, told Extra that Alex battled through until the end, refusing to miss tapings for the long-running game show despite undergoing surgery only three weeks prior.
“His last day was actually a good day. He sat on the swing with [his wife] Jean… He was coherent…” he said.
He noted that Alex seemed to be in good spirits and took calls from his friends and family.
“In every sense of the word, he peacefully left,” the exec said, adding that Alex defied anyone who thought he wouldn’t keep hosting.
“He had surgery about three weeks ago and I thought, ‘He’s definitely not gonna be back for these tapings.’ And he would get very stern with me. He’d go, ‘No, I’ll be there.’ And — God love him — he was.”
Mike added that episodes featuring the legendary host will continue to air for six more weeks. Alex’s final episode of Jeopardy will air in December during the week of Christmas.
He revealed that one of his final episodes features a particularly poignant speech from the beloved TV personality, which he called “amazing.”
“[It’s] about coming together and being with your family that will resonate even more now,” he said.
The executive also touched on what could happen with the series going forward. He admitted that it would be impossible to replace Alex, who’s hosted for the past 36 years, but said he was always “very clear” that he wanted “the show to go on.”
“When you have a legend like that, you don’t try to fill the shoes,” he said, noting that they would try to find someone to honor his legacy.
He didn’t share any further details on who could take over the role or when.
Alex was contracted to continue hosting until 2022.
Jeopardy confirmed that the beloved star had lost his battle with cancer at the age of 80 on Twitter over the weekend. The tweet assured fans that he died “peacefully” at his home on the morning of November 8 and was surrounded by close friends and family.