The One Regret Alex Trebek Had About Meeting His Wife

Everyone aspires to live life with no regrets, but it rarely pans out that way. You might think that one exception to that would be Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, who died after a battle with pancreatic cancer, at age 80. Trebek all but said those words in an interview last year, about his diagnosis: "I've had one hell of a good life. And I've enjoyed it," he said (per Hollywood Reporter). Trebek's five-decades-long career as the host of one of America's most popular and longest-running game shows was deeply rewarding to him; and of course, there was his marriage of three decades to his wife, Jean Currivan, whom he adored. And yet, Trebek does have a regret about his marriage: that he did not meet and marry Jean earlier.

"I'm pretty satisfied with my life, but my wife, Jean, and I have been together almost 29 years, and I was thinking about President Bush when he died, and all the comments about his life, about what a nice guy he is, and how he and his wife had been together 73 years," Trebek told People in 2019. "I thought, oh my gosh ... if I'd just met Jean in my 20s, we could have had a longer life together." The couple does have a 24-year-age difference, though, so Trebek added, "I guess if I'd met her when I was in my 20s, she wouldn't have been born yet."

Jean has a regret about her marriage to Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek isn't the only one with regrets; Jean is weighed down by a regret as well — and unlike her husband's sweet and touching comment about wishing he'd met her when he was younger, hers is devastatingly tragic. A healer by profession, Jean said that she wishes she'd forced Trebek to eat a healthier diet, and takes some of the blame for his illness. "It's when I see him in pain and I can't help him. And when he doesn't eat right. When he has too much diet soda," she said (per CheatSheet). 

Certainly, though, Jean bears no responsibility for her husband's cancer. And Trebek never blamed Jean; if anything, he said she was heroic for dealing with his moods. "It's always tough for caretakers, because she has to deal with her worrying about my well-being," Trebek explained (via Good Housekeeping). "I'm not always the most pleasant person to be around when I'm experiencing severe pain or depression, and she has to tread lightly around me."