Alex Trebek, the long-time gameshow host of Jeopardy!, was a solid rock in the stormy seas of TV. Yet in all his years, one thing shook his sturdy nature more than anything: when he met his future wife, Jean Currivan. She revealed a new side to Trebek that not even dedicated fans had witnessed before — and it made them love him even more.
Trebek’s easy charisma and razor wit made him a natural fit as a game show host; he took to the role like a duck to water. When he first moved to the U.S. from Canada in 1973 Trebek brought his magic to The Wizard of Odds. But he also charmed viewers and contestants alike, presenting a number of other shows in the genre, including The $128,000 Question and The New High Rollers.
Of course, you probably know Trebek for his most famous role as presenter of the revived game show, Jeopardy! His popularity wasn’t limited to his career, though. Fans couldn’t get enough of Trebek’s private life, so they enthusiastically followed his relationships, too. Not that he was a wild man on the date scene: they were probably more enamored with his commitment to marriage.
Ups and downs
You see, Trebek had two long-term marriages. He had an eight-year relationship with his first wife, journalist Elaine Kares Trebek, after which he had a brief liaison with Kathy Simmons and dated Beverly Adams for three years. But those two relationships weren’t meant to be. Instead, he connected with another woman at a party in 1988: Jean Currivan, the next future Mrs. Trebek.
Jean worked as a real estate project manager at the time, so you can imagine how nerve-wracking it must have been to get involved with a TV game show host! In 1990 she told People magazine, “I was afraid I’d mispronounce my own name! But Alex is really down-to-Earth. He’s much more casual than he is on the show.”