Disease & Illness

Alex Trebek Won A Daytime Emmy For ‘Jeopardy!’ While Battling Cancer

Congratulations are in order!

“Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek, who is battling advanced-stage pancreatic cancer, won a Daytime Emmy for best game show host. He was greeted with a standing ovation at the awards ceremony on May 5.

In a gracious acceptance speech, Trebek, 78, told the crowd he was initially worried that he would get “sympathy votes” for the Emmy after his March announcement that he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. It is an often fatal form of cancer that 57,000 Americans are diagnosed with each year, according to the American Cancer Society.

“I’m not a big fan of sympathy votes,” Trebek said in his acceptance speech. “We should be judged on the merits of our work. However [I remember] last year, I had just had major surgery to remove two life-threatening blood clots. You think that would elicit a certain amount of sympathy. But I didn’t win, so maybe I’ve been worrying about the wrong thing.”

alex trebek photo
Getty Images | Ethan Miller

He then channeled actress Sally Fields, who, at the 1985 Academy Awards said, “I can’t deny the fact that you like, right now, you like me.” (Fields was accepting an award for best actress in a lead role for the film “Places in the Heart.”)

Trebek, in his speech, said: “You guys like me, and you value my work. I tell you if that’s the case, I can live with that.”

Recently, Trebek appeared on “Good Morning America” and discussed the sadness that accompanied his cancer diagnosis.

“My oncologist tells me I’m doing well even though I don’t always feel it,” Trebek said in the interview. “I’ve had kidney stones, I’ve had ruptured discs, so I’m used to dealing with pain — but what I’m not used to dealing with is the surges that come on suddenly of deep, deep sadness and it brings tears to my eyes.”

alex trebek photo
Getty Images | Handout

Trebek has won six Daytime Emmys throughout his career, and he also received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

Backstage, Trebek told reporters that “Jeopardy!” has become a special institution in America, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“[I]t has been a force for good, a force for knowledge, a force for the best kind of reality television if you think about it,” he said. “Anybody can succeed, anybody can win a lot of money, Just ask James Holzhauer.” (Holzahuer, a professional gambler, has been on a hot streak, winning $1.69 million).

Big congrats in order for Trebek and the other Daytime Emmy winners.