Famous firsts

Madelynn Dake

Many major events have taken place over the course of 2020. Most importantly for the film and entertainment industry, it lost several, but in that, three of its own: Alex Trebek, Sean Connery and Chadwick Boseman. While these men affected entertainment in different ways, the one thing they all had in common was making firsts in the industry. 

Alex Trebek made history as the first person to host three game shows simultaneously, hosting “Jeopardy”, “Classic Concentration”, and the second half of the final season, of “To Tell the Truth”. He was the holder of the Guinness World Record for the most game show episodes hosted by the same person consecutively and the winner of five Daytime Emmy Awards. During 2020, he was awarded with the Academy Icon Award for his impact on audiences and his impressive legacy. 

Leslie Dake, a Xavier parent, remembers watching Trebek as a child fondly.

“‘Jeopardy’ was, in my mind, a staple. Trebek was there every afternoon… a beacon of calm, collected          intellectualism,” Dake said. 

Trebek passed away due to pancreatic cancer on November 8, 2020 at the age of 80. 

Sean Connery is another big first for Hollywood. Connery portrayed the first version of James Bond on the big screen. Connery appeared in seven total Bond movies as his run as the British spy. 

“Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more. He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in megawatts; he helped create the modern blockbuster,” Current James Bond actor Daniel Craig said.

He was awarded with the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2006. He passed away on October 31, 2020 at the age of 90. 

Chadwick Boseman became the first black superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the extremely popular film, Black Panther. The film marked a huge milestone for the industry and was nominated for Best Picture at the 2018 Academy Awards. It currently is the fifth highest grossing superhero film of all time. Boseman’s performance had an incredible impact on the black community. 

“When I saw Chadwick playing Black Panther, I saw that he was an amazing leader and he was loyal and kind. It’s so important to give dark skinned men and women roles like that in movies because dark skinned kids of all ages need to know that they are capable of incredible things no matter what anyone tells them,” Challenger said. 

Boseman was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer in 2016 and it progressed into stage four before he passed away on August 28, 2020 at the age of 43. 

While these men may have had different careers, they all were the first to reach major milestones in the entertainment industry. Trebek, Connery and Boseman may be gone, they certainly will never be forgotten.