Alex Trebek Filmed a Cameo in Ryan Reynolds' Free Guy Before His Death: 'He Was Gracious,' Actor Says
On Sunday, Reynolds, 44, shared a heartfelt tribute to Trebek on Twitter, revealing that the longtime Jeopardy! host filmed a role in the upcoming sci-fi film, which has yet to have a release date due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"Alex Trebek was kind enough to film a cameo for our film Free Guy last year despite his battle," the actor wrote on Twitter. "He was gracious and funny. In addition to being curious, stalwart, generous, reassuring and of course, Canadian. We love you, Alex. And always will."
In the latest trailer for Free Guy, released in October, Trebek appears briefly as the host of Jeopardy!, reading a clue about Reynolds' character in the film. "This character in the video game Free City has been turning by being the good guy," Trebek says.
Jeopardy! confirmed on Sunday that Trebek died over a year after he was first diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in March 2019.
"Jeopardy is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex," the show tweeted.
In a somber video message to fans shared March 6, the ABC game show host vowed to “fight” the disease and continued working on the game show, which he hosted for 35 years. “Now normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this and I’m going to keep working,” he said at the time.
In May 2019, Trebek exclusively told PEOPLE that his prognosis was looking up, and he was in “near remission,” according to his doctors. “It’s kind of mind-boggling,” he said. “The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory … some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.”
“I’ve gone through a lot of chemotherapy, and thankfully that is now over,” he said. “I’m on the mend and that’s all I can hope for right now.”
In September 2019, Trebek announced that he had to undergo chemotherapy again.
“I was doing so well and my numbers went down to the equivalent of a normal human being who does not have pancreatic cancer, so we were all very optimistic,” Trebek said on Good Morning America. “They said, ‘Good, we’re gonna stop chemo, we’ll start you on immunotherapy’ and I lost about 12 pounds in a week and my numbers went sky-high, much higher than they were when I was first diagnosed.”