If you caught Jackie Fuchs’ $87,000 Jeopardy! winning streak last week but tend to channel surf during Alex Trebek’s contestant Q&A, you might’ve missed when the brilliant blonde attorney dropped a bomb. Make that a Cherry Bomb! Asked about her rock and roll past, the champ revealed that she’d been the bassist in the Runaways. Yep, Fuchs was a teenaged Merit Scholar granted early admission to UCLA but blew it off to join the fledgling girl band that paved the way for, well, just about every gutsy guitar-driven female artist on your playlist for the last 40-something years.
Fuchs believes being older than the other contestants helped her in some categories.
“I told the producers that I wouldn’t talk about it unless I made it to day three, because there’s more to me, and I wanted people to get to know my more fun, quirky side,” Fuchs—who went by Jackie Fox back in the day (1975 through 1977)—told online music mag Pitchfork. “But I had to talk about it because we have some really great fans and I thought it would be nice to acknowledge them in that way.”
Fuchs said she thinks being older than the other contestants helped her in some categories, but surprisingly, Fuchs missed a few pop-music questions. “It’s not my strongest category,” she admitted. “I was much more comfortable with fourth-century literature, and I would have been thrilled had the dreaded opera category come up.” She no doubt would’ve aced a legal category, too, having attended Harvard Law (with classmate Barack Obama).
Jackie Fuchs: Scratching the Creative Itch
But on the episode airing December 20, Fuchs was clearly not her usual on-point, buzzer-punching self. Her unexpectedly poor performance was due to a scary-serious hyperglycemic episode that she thought might have been a stroke. “I couldn’t get my hands to work,” she told TMZ. “My brain was seeing one thing and mouth was saying another.” After a break, Fuchs finished the show out of respect for her challengers.
Though her reign ended, Fuchs is still a champ in our book for her positive outlook. No longer active as a musician, she shines in her law practice and writes fiction on the side to “scratch that creative itch,” she said. “I’m just trying to figure out what act three is … and kind of just enjoying life!”