Longtime Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak had to undergo emergency surgery for a blocked intestine. iHeartRadio. Rewind 10 Seconds. Vanna White has long been known as the letter-turning co-host on Wheel of Fortune. But, in the 36 years she’s been on the game show, I can’t recall her stepping into the role of host, that doesn’t. For the first time in 37 years, Vanna White hosted 'Wheel of Fortune' after Pat Sajak had emergency surgery. She will spend three weeks leading the game show.
Wheel of Fortune co-host Vanna White shared a heartbreaking tribute to the late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek on Instagram. Trebek died Sunday morning at age 80, following a battle with pancreatic cancer. White included a collection of photos with Trebek and her Wheel of Fortune co-host Pat Sajak, who also mourned the loss of Trebek on Twitter Sunday.
'I will cherish the many memories I have shared with Alex Trebek that date back well before either of our careers took off,' White wrote on Instagram. 'I will always be in awe of the way he faced the battle he fought so valiantly, and I’m devastated to lose my longtime friend. My heart is with his family, friends, co-workers, and fans. There will never be another Alex Trebek and he will truly be missed.'
During that time, his spot at the wheel was filled by Bob Goen, a relative unknown at the time who would go on to find greater fame as an 'Entertainment Tonight' co-host. Sajak came back, of course, and seemingly hasn't left the side of the wheel since. Hard as it is to imagine, Vanna White.
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Hundreds of White's followers also sent their condolences and shared their memories of Trebek. 'A great role model. So very sad,' one person wrote. 'He fought the hard fight. May he RIP. God bless,' another fan wrote. 'I'm so sad! Sorry for your loss!' added another Instagram user. 'He will never be forgotten. A true gentleman. A wonderful human being. We miss you, sir,' another Jeopardy! fan wrote.
Sajak, who has hosted the syndicated version of Wheel of Fortune with White since 1983, praised Trebek for his 'courage, grace and strength,' which 'inspired millions' and 'awed' those who knew him. 'A tremendous loss for his family, friends, co-workers, and countless viewers,' Sajak wrote on Twitter. 'I was honored to be a friend and a part of his professional family for all these years. A very sad day.'0comments
Trebek became close friends with the Wheel of Fortune hosts, as the shows aired back-to-back in many markets and were both produced by Sony. After Trebek announced his cancer diagnosis in March 2019, White told Closer Weekly she was supporting her friend 100 percent. 'We've known each other for over 30 years, of course,' she said in May 2019. 'And even though he's on a different show, we're still the same family so I'm there and supporting him and praying for him.' When Trebek celebrated his 80th birthday in July, White shared a throwback photo of the two together. 'Lots of memories with this longtime pal,' she wrote.
How Long Has Vanna White Hosted Wheel Of Fortune
Trebek is survived by his wife Jean and children Matthew, Emily, and Nicky. He filmed episodes through Oct. 29, just 10 days before his death. His final episode will air on Dec. 25.