Before Jeopardy! star Alex Trebek’s death on Nov. 8, 2020, the beloved host was actually good friends with Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Reynolds. While the two may seem like an unlikely duo, it looks like they bonded over their Canadian heritage and their mutual love of the family-friendly game show. In fact, the pair were so close that Trebek even played a part in Reynolds’ action/comedy film Free Guy.
“Alex Trebek was kind enough to film a cameo for our film Free Guy last year despite his battle,” the actor wrote on Twitter, referencing Trebek’s long battle with pancreatic cancer. “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 a trailer for Free Guy released in October 2020, Trebek can be seen in his iconic role as the fearless leader of Jeopardy!, reading a question about Reynolds’ Free Guy character. “This character in the video game Free City has been turning heads by being the good guy,” Trebek says in the clip. Keep scrolling for more details about Reynolds and Trebek’s friendship.
Alex Trebek's death hit home for pal Ryan Reynolds
Following Alex Trebek’s death, Ryan Reynolds opened up about the loss of his friend during a virtual appearance on Extra in November 2020. “It forces you to look around a little bit and see the people and the faces that are in our lives every day and really remember not to taking them for granted,” he said.
Reynolds revealed he had spoken to Trebek just two months before his passing. Describing their last interaction as “amazing,” Reynolds shared that they were chatting about the actor appearing on Jeopardy! to deliver clues for a category. “It was a conversation about one of the shows he had coming up. I had been on the show a number of times, he was asking me about perhaps coming on again,” Reynolds explained to the outlet. “I was shooting in Atlanta and was unable to do it … When you speak with people like that that you grew up watching and suddenly you are talking to them on the phone, you start to reflect.”
Of course, Reynolds never imagined that would be his last conversation with Trebek. “You just never know; tomorrow is not a given. Hug them tight, the people in your life,” he said. “It was really shocking and sad. Obviously, he was sick and it wasn’t totally, wildly unexpected. It’s still heartbreaking nonetheless. It’s absolutely gut-wrenching.”
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