Jean Currivan Trebek is one of those who has come to be called ‘lucky’ for meeting and marrying a wealthy man and is supposed to have a ‘dream-come-true life’ enjoying herself living in a huge mansion. However, it’s not that trivial when it comes to the story of Jean’s life before meeting her celebrity husband, Alex Trebek, a longtime host of the popular TV show “Jeopardy!”. Let’s try to find out who she is and why she is not a typical ‘celeb wife’.
Early life, family, religion
Born on 3 September 1963, in Huntington, New York City, USA, Jean studied in Harborfields High School from which she matriculated in 1982. There is no actual information about her family members such as siblings and parents, since Jean’s family is very religious and probably hides private matters; nowadays Jean also stays true to her religion. She is a member of the North Hollywood Church of Religious Science, and is mentioned at the site of that church as a practitioner and as the President of the Board of Trustees, having overall responsibility for the management of that organization.
Even before obtaining her celebrity surname, Jean Currivan was a hard-working, ambitious girl. She has had a successful career of a Real Estate project manager and assignment supervisor, being a valuable employee in a New York company that develops shopping plazas and hotels. She is a dedicated businesswoman who is trying hard to live her life as a mother of two kids and a productive worker at the same time. Her daughter Emily is now said to be involved in some branches of Jean’s business.
Meeting Alex Trebek
However, Jean Currivan only became famous after her marriage to Alex Trebek, the popular host of the TV game show “Jeopardy!”. Alex Trebek is a well-known person, apparently loved by his audience, and has had a hand in such projects as “High Rollers”, “The Wizard of Odds”, “To Tell the Truth”, and “Classic Concentration”.
He has been on TV since 1984 and has built a significant career, not only as a host but a welcomed movie star, being invited to such projects as “The X-Files”, “Seinfeld”, “Beverly Hills, 90210”, and making cameo appearances in such shows as “Orange is the New Black”, “How I Met Your Mother” and even “The Simpsons”. For the next couple of years he’s still signed to “Jeopardy!” so the audience will enjoy his talent for some more time.
Meeting Alex Trebek changed the life of the young New York real estate specialist, when Jean was only 24 years old; it seemed that they never noticed the difference between their age – 23 years to be precise – falling in love with each other in 1998 after first meeting at a party. Their engagement is a romantic story of an unexpected present which first looked not so very special – Trebek is said to have prepared a gift for Jean – black velvet pants and a matching bolero jacket. The simple clothes were supposed to emphasize the secret part of the gift – an astonishing ring with a sapphire surrounded by six carats’ worth of diamonds. ‘It took my breath away,’ said Jean to People magazine, ‘I mean, it was a rock.’
They married in 1990 in front of 150 guests at Los Angeles’ Regency Club, apparently a marriage that made Alex’s friends feel happy for him; after short affairs with Susan Sullivan, Stefanie Powers and Rona Barrett, Jean Currivan was that very girl Alex Trebek was looking for, as Alex’s friend Bob Murphy said to People .
It’s worth mentioning that for Alex it was a second marriage; earlier he married Elaine Callei in 1974, but they divorced after eight years in 1981, without having kids.
Married… with children
Having apparently become loving and supportive soulmates, the Trebeks have two kids – Matthew born in 1990, and Emily in 1993. Matthew is not very active on social media, but in 2015 all tabloids told the story of a grand opening of a Mexican restaurant, which Matthew invested in with the help of his mother. He is now a co-owner of that restaurant called “Oso”, located in Harlem, New York.
Emily is said to be a more open person on social media, though her Twitter and Instagram accounts are closed to random readers. She appeared in a “Jeopardy!’ special episode on Father’s Day in 2017, telling what joy it brings her to watch her dad work at home, doing carpentry, fixing sprinklers and solving electrical issues, which inspired Emily to start a career in the field of flipping houses.
Both Matthew and Emily graduated respectable universities – Emily from Loyola Marymount University in 2015, and Matt from Fordham in 2013. After “Oso” was opened, Fordham Magazine posted a long article about Matt proudly entering a successful business. ‘There was just something about the hospitality industry that I fell in love with. It’s great because it’s a very free form in that it allows you to venture out into so many different fields: design, food, drinks, music, graphic design, and even just talking to people.’ said Matthew to Fordham Magazine in 2016.
Living happily ever after
After marrying, Alex and Jean decided to leave their home at Mulholland Drive and bought a mountain in Hollywood Hill in 1990 on which to build their ‘love nest’, totalling more than 35 acres north of the Sunset Strip including 21 lots for reselling, said to have cost $1.5 million. ‘It will still cost a lot to develop,’ Trebek said, ‘but maybe I got a good deal, because the owner had a special place in his heart for the property. He wanted to build a home there for himself and his wife but didn’t, so now he’d like to see another young couple build (on the site).’ The romantic essence of that place seems to sing in harmony with the cloudless happy living of the Trebeks – they’ve apparently never given each other cause to feel jealous.
However, Alex is not getting any younger, and has faced some serious troubles with his health. In 2018 Alex underwent testing for early Alzheimer’s after displaying memory lapses , and earlier he had a long recovery period after undergoing surgery to remove blood clots in his brain triggered by a fall in October 2017. Alex is an optimist, and Jean is for sure helping him to keep his spirits high, but he claims to be ready for everything: ‘It’s natural. I’m 78. It’s not like this happened at 50,’ he said . ‘When it’s clear that it’s time for me to go, I’ll go.’
Net worth and income
When it comes to Jean Currivan’s net worth, her individual wealth is unknown, but she shares in Alex’s net worth estimated by sources at over $50 million, with annual income reportedly about $10 million. Included in the real estate the Trebeks own is a $1.92 million townhouse in Strivers’ Row Historic District Alex reportedly purchased for his son Matthew, near Matt’s Mexican restaurant ‘Oso’.
Personality and appearance
As Jean said in her interview at a photoshoot by Christina Gressianu, she didn’t do any make-up or a hairstyle, and doesn’t ever play-up her beauty. Being naturally shy, she claimed glamming up and having a camera focused on her to be a challenge. Admitting she had to take time and love herself during that photoshoot makes us understand that Jean is very down to earth, natural and open. If you look closer, you’ll notice that even being glamorous in the camera frame, Jean wears bright blue socks with funny green and yellow toes which tell as much about her personality as any honest comments Jean gives in the interview. Whether it’s a coincidence or not, in current photos Jean wears classy black and laconic soft white; looks like her color preferences didn’t change from the moment Alex proposed to her with a special gift of black pants and a black jacket.
As for her appearance, Jean is acknowledged as a very good-looking woman who doesn’t look her age. She has long brown hair and blue eyes and looks very fit, though it’s a secret as to where she gets time for exercising being so busy with her business and her family.