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Our Kind of Renaissance Woman: Rock Star, Lawyer, Writer, and now…Jeopardy!Champ

Recent Jeopardy! champ, Jackie Fuchs, has another claim to fame? Bass guitarist in the teen girl group The Runaways with Joan Jett.

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

Jackie Fuchs, standing at far right behind Joan Jett, during her days as part of The Runaways.

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 No longer active as a musician, she shines in her law practice and writes fiction on the side to “scratch that creative itch,” she said.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!” 



By Nina Malkin


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