By Paul Burton

BOSTON (CBS) –Fans of Jeopardy! will miss his calm voice, his articulate and meticulous clues, and how he challenged everyone in their living rooms and kitchens every night. Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek died on Sunday. The legendary game show host announced in 2019 that he was battling Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

“From the time I was seven or eight, I remember sitting in the living room, we would see Alex and we would call out answers,” Kelly Isenor of West Roxbury said.

Josh Levit’s ringtone is the Jeopardy! theme song. He was a contestant on the show in 2019, just after Trebek made his cancer announcement. He described Trebak as pleasant, personal, and very professional.

“Jeopardy! is the pop culture pinnacle. The first show I was on, he stopped the taping, re-read a clue that none of the three contestants could tell there was any mistake on his part but he such a perfectionist,” Levit said.

Isenor was on the show in 2007. She said Trebek was also a jokester during commercial breaks.

Alex Trebek with local Jeopardy! contestant Kelly Isenor (Courtesy Photo)

“He would be joking around with the audience, he did a little tap dance. He was the most charming, genuine person you ever met,” Isenor said.

Five-time champion Liz Murphy said Trebek leaves behind an indelible legacy.

“His legacy is inspiring curiosity and respect for knowledge throughout the world,” Murphy said.

Trebek also made being an erudite fun and cool.

“When I was in school. I was the smart kid that got picked on. I kept my mouth shut because being a smart kid gets you picked on, no one likes a know it all. But in my living room, I could shout the answers and it was empowering. I could say hey, you know what I’m really good at this and maybe being smart isn’t the worst thing in the world and that was Alex Trebek’s influence on me,” Isenor said.

And all three of these players won some serious cash on their show.

“I ended up coming home with $33,000 I used it to put a down payment on a condo in Boston,” Isenor said.

Murphy was also in the Tournament of Champions in 2010. “I won $121,000 dollars. I got to go the Amazon and buy a condo here in Cambridge,” she said.

Paul Burton

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