A Farewell to the Greats

Keira Deer

Co Editor-in-Chief

What is loss? The world learns the true meaning of loss with the recent passings of cinematic icon, Sean Connery, and long-time Jeopardy host, Alex Trebek.

     In the worldy climate that we live in at present, it is hard to take such hard hits as we have experienced recently, with the passings of such influential figures in just the past year: Kobe Bryant, Chadwick Boseman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Eddie van Halen, Regis Philbin, Little Richard — the list extends far longer than we’d ever wish.

     Recently falling upon that list are actor Sean Connery and TV host Alex Trebek. The two have been missed greatly by friends, family, and fans since their passings.

     Sean Connery, legend of the screen in the latter half of the 20th century, died on the eve of November at the age of 90. The actor was on the island of Nassau in the Bahamas when he passed away in his sleep. According to his wife of 45 years, Micheline Roquebrune, the late actor dealt with dementia in his old age.

     Connery was the first actor to portray Agent 007, James Bond, in film, appearing in seven movies in the franchise from 1962 (Dr. No) to 1983 (Never Say Never Again).

     The role of James Bond was succeeded after Connery’s retirement of the character in 1983 by multiple actors, including Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and most recently, Daniel Craig. In a statement on Connery’s death, Craig deemed the original Bond actor to be “one of the true greats of cinema,” full of “wit and charm.”

     Indeed, Connery was known for his performances in the Bond movies as a suave and charismatic secret agent. The impact he has had on the world of cinema is everlasting, as is his famous one-liner and light of the cigarette: “Bond, James Bond.”

     The Scottish actor appeared in a multitude of other films, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Name of the Rose, and The Untouchables, the last of which earned him an Oscar in the category Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1988. Among this and many other award nominations and wins, Connery was also presented with the American Film Institute (AFI) Life Achievement Award in 2006.

     Iconic TV personality, Alex Trebek, passed away on November 8, after battling stage four pancreatic cancer for over a year and a half. The Canadian born Jeopardy! host was 80 years old, and is survived by his wife of 30 years Jean, and two children, Emily and Matthew.

     Trebek appeared on a number of game shows through the decades, most popularly in the 70s and 80s, during which he sported his famous Chevron mustache and curly hair. In 1984, he took on his most well-respected responsibility of hosting Jeopardy! which he would continue to head for 37 years until his death.

     Confronted with the instability and health risk of the Covid-19 crisis, Trebek succumbed to the public’s curiosity and wrote his first autobiographical book, entitled “The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life.” The memoir revolves around different aspects of life, including marriage, success, and parenting, and was released just before his birthday in July.

     In his more recent interviews, Trebek stated clearly that he wanted the world to see who he genuinely was — a true, kind-hearted man. After releasing his diagnosis to the public in March 2019, he became outspoken with his struggle and fashioned himself as a public advocate for pancreatic cancer research.

     The three greatest champions of Jeopardy! are Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, and James Holzhauer, who gave their kind words and wishes after Trebek’s death. On Twitter, Jennings deemed the late host to be a “lovely and deeply decent man,” with Holzhauer calling him “a legend of American television.” Rutter stated “There will never be another.”

     For generations to come, we will remember both Sean Connery and Alex Trebek as modern luminaries of the screen.

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