50 Things You Didn't Know About Vanna White
Vanna White left home at an early age to pursue her dream of becoming a star. Her dreams didn't come true right away, as she found out that Los Angeles was a tough city. However, her luck changed when she got the role of hostess on Wheel of Fortune in 1982. The show completely changed her life; she is still on the game show today, forty years later.
Vanna Was Born Vanna Marie Rosich
Vanna Marie Rosich was born in 1957 to Joan Marie and Miguel Angel Rosich. Sadly, her parents divorced when she was a baby, and she was raised by her mother and her stepfather, Herbert White Jr. Her biological father abandoned Vanna after the divorce.
When Vanna was eleven years old, she had to undergo an appendectomy. While she was healing from the procedure, she watched a lot of television and started to become interested in acting.
The First Letter That Vanna Ever Turned On Wheel Of Fortune Was 'T'
The first letter that Vanna White ever turned on the Wheel of Fortune board was T. For fifteen years, Vanna had to physically turn each letter as they were called out. However, in 1997, the puzzle board was changed to a computerized board, and she no longer had to turn the numbers.
Instead, she touches the square, and the letter shows up. In addition, the new board allowed for filming to be quicker because they didn't need to physically change out the puzzle.
She Was A Struggling Actress
Before starring on the Wheel of Fortune, Vanna was a down-on-her-luck actress who was trying to make it in Hollywood. She was a struggling actress in Hollywood for two years until she got the audition for Wheel of Fortune.
"I was so nervous because I wanted this job so badly. My knees were shaking; my mouth was quivering; I could hardly talk." ----- Vanna White. Merv Griffin saw something special in Vanna and hired her for the job.
Vanna Never Wears The Same Dress Twice On Wheel Of Fortune
Vanna White has worn more than sixty-five hundred evening gowns on the Wheel of Fortune. She always wears beautiful dresses, from sequin evening gowns to satin cocktail dresses. Interestingly, she has never worn the same dress twice on the show.
However, being a fashion icon is not an easy job because she has to go to fittings every two weeks and try on forty to sixty dresses. Vanna does not get to keep any of the dresses that she wears on the show.
Guinness Book Of World Records
Vanna White earned herself a spot in The Guinness Book of World Records as 'Television's Most Frequent Clapper.' She claps roughly six hundred times per episode, which averages out to twenty-eight thousand claps every season.
Her job is to turn the letters on the board as the contestants guess them. Then, she claps as the contestants spin and tries to win, successfully solve the puzzle, or win a big prize.
Vanna Knows The Answer To Each Puzzle
Vanna White is given the answers to the puzzles in advance so that she knows where the letters are located and can do her job correctly. Vanna needs to know where the letters are located and how many of each letter she needs to turn.
They also use dummy screens for the contestants and Pat Sajak, so everyone knows what letters were already called and what vowels had already been bought.
She Loves To Crochet
One of Vanna's favorite pastimes is crocheting. Her grandmother taught her how to crochet when she was little, and she continued the hobby as an adult. She also stated that it's something she and her daughter love to do together.
"I love making handmade gifts. People just don't do it anymore; it is just special. I made a baby blanket for both of my children and brought them home from the hospital in them, and they will always have them." ---- Vanna White.
'Vannamania' Swept The Country In The 1980s
In the 1980s, there was a thing called 'Vannamania.' It was used to describe Vanna White's popularity at the time when Wheel of Fortune moved from a daytime show to airing at night.
It was a great time for Vanna, as she was on magazine covers, had her own perfume line, produced a line for a home shopping channel, and wrote an autobiography titled Vanna Speaks. 'Vannamania' made Vanna a star and made her a lot of money.
She Was Adopted By Her Stepfather
When Vanna was born, her last name was Rosich, but her parents got divorced, and her biological father abandoned her. Later, her mother married Herbert White Jr., a former real estate broker.
He raised Vanna like his own daughter, and she took his name, becoming Vanna White. She was very close to her stepfather and was devastated when he passed away in April 2022. She received an outpouring of support from all of her fans, friends, and family.
She Was Contestant On The Price Is Right
Vanna White began modeling and auditioning for a movie series, which included a role in the film Looker in 1981. She starred opposite Albert Finney, and during this time, she ended up as a contestant on The Price is Right.
She was called down, but unfortunately, she didn't win anything on the show. However, her background in modeling, acting, and game show appearances helped her in her audition for Wheel of Fortune.
She Appeared In Playboy But Never Posed For Them
In 1982, Vanna White posed for a risque photo shoot to help pay her rent. However, after she was already cast on Wheel of Fortune, the photos showed up on the cover of Playboy magazine. White did not agree to appear in the magazine and ended up suing for $5.2 million for tarnishing her image.
"I said, 'I made a mistake, I'm sorry, and I just hope I don't lose my job over it.' Fortunately, I didn't. I could have, you know? It was a great lesson to learn, but what can I say? I did something I shouldn't have done." ------- Vanna White.
She Revealed Her Pregnancy On The Puzzle Board
In 1992, during a taping of Wheel of Fortune, a contestant correctly guessed the puzzle, which was Vanna's Pregnant. Vanna used the show to announce her pregnancy with her and her husband, George Santo Pietro's first child.
Sadly, Vanna suffered a miscarriage shortly after announcing. She stated that she was ready to be a mother and that she was devastated that she had lost the baby. However, she said that her mother always told her to never give up.
Vanna Had A Supporting Role In Graduation Day
In 1981, Vanna White had a supporting role in the low-budget horror movie Graduation Day. Vanna appeared in the film as Doris, a dimwit student who doesn't do anything but flirt with the music teacher. She stumbles upon dead bodies stuffed in the lockers.
The story is about a high school track team who are stalked and murdered by a masked assailant just a few days before their graduation. Vanna White, Karen Abbott, and Linnea Quigley all appear in supporting roles.
In 1987, Vanna White released her autobiography titled Vanna Speaks. In it, she tells her inspiring story and includes advice on how to be beautiful in spirit, mind, and body.
"Great autobiography! This was a quick read! Her life is fascinating. Vanna is a great author, and so much has happened to her. Highly recommend." ------ Amaxonluvr21.
Goddess Of Love
In 1988, Vanna White starred in the NBC made-for-TV film titled Goddess of Love. The film was directed by Jim Drake and written by Phil Margo and Don Segall.
It is a campy romantic fantasy in which Vanna stars as Venus, the goddess of love. In the film, Venus must return to the mortal plane after a hairdresser accidentally revives her statue. She is sent to Earth by the god Zeus to find her own true love.
Tragedy Hit Vanna
Vanna White was engaged to John Gibson, the Young and the Restless actor and Chippendales dancer, but in 1986, tragedy struck. Sadly, Gibson died when the plane he was flying crashed near the Van Nuys airport in the San Fernando Valley.
"I was at the pinnacle of Vannamania when this tragically happened. The support I got from my fans was so tremendous that it made me feel like I wasn't alone. I heard from so many people who had shared the same experience of losing someone instantly in an accident, and that really helped me. I didn't feel like I was alone." ----- Vanna White.
Vanna Was Raised In The South
Vanna White is one of the most well-known TV personalities in America. She is a southern girl at heart, having been born and raised in North Myrtle Beach. She stated that she is a blue jeans and tennis shoes kind of gal; she goes back to her hometown any chance she can.
Since moving to Hollywood and making it big on Wheel of Fortune, she has lived in several spectacular homes. Her longtime primary residence is a ten-thousand-square-foot mansion in the hills above Beverly Hills.
Vanna's Net Worth
Vanna White has a net worth of eighty-five million dollars. She is best known as the hostess and puzzle-board turner of the popular game show Wheel of Fortune.
She makes about ten million dollars per year on Wheel of Fortune, and she makes more every year from casino slot machines that license her image. In addition, she makes millions every year from her real estate investments and house flipping.
Vanna White Started Modeling As A Teenager
After Vanna White graduated from high school, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to attend college. She loved fashion and studied merchandising and poise. Her ultimate goal was to become a professional model.
She left and moved to Hollywood and started waitressing. She tried to get into the world of professional modeling, but it was difficult. She was having trouble paying her bills, so she did some sexy lingerie shots.
Vanna White Entered The Miss USA Pageant
Before Vanna headed to the West Coast, she participated in the Miss Georgia USA beauty pageant in 1978. In the competition, she shared her hobbies of playing the piano and the guitar.
During the pageant, she stated, "I'm a professional model, and I'd like to advance my career in this business. And I enjoy meeting people." She wore a blue-one-piece in the swimsuit competition, but it wasn't meant to be. She finished as the fourth runner-up.
She Halted Her Career To Care For Her Ailing Mother
Vanna moved to Los Angeles in her early 20s but didn't stay very long at first because her mother became very ill. She was sick with ovarian cancer and wasn't expected to live very long, as they didn't catch it early enough.
Vanna was extremely close to her mother and stated that she thinks of her mother all of the time and that she's always with her in spirit. She also said that her mother was the best mom ever. After her mom passed away, she went back to Hollywood, ready to get her career going.
Vanna Joined Pat Sajak As Co-Host Of Wheel Of Fortune
Vanna's big break finally came in the early 1980s when she was hired as the co-host of Wheel of Fortune. She auditioned with more than two hundred other women to fill the co-host spot next to Pat Sajak.
Merv Griffin ultimately decided on hiring Vanna, even though Sajak wasn't sure at first. He stated that Vanna was the most nervous of all the women that auditioned. Thankfully, Griffin didn't listen to Sajak and hired her anyway.
Vanna White Found Love With Restaurateur George Santo Pietro
Vanna White was devastated when her fiance died in a plane crash, but she was able to find love again with restaurateur George Sant Pietro. The two were married in 1992 after dating for a while. The couple got pregnant early on, but Vanna miscarried.
However, they went on to have two children together, a son named Nicholas in 1994 and a daughter named Giovanna in 1997. George and Vanna even operated a lucrative private jet charter business together.
She Earned A Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Vanna White told Larry King that her number one achievement was getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She received her star in 2006 and was joined by her father, Pat Sajak, Merv Griffin, and Alex Trebek.
She stated that her parents always told her that she could do whatever she wanted, and at her Hollywood star ceremony, she said, "Dad, we did it!" Vanna's star was the 2,309th star on the Walk of Fame.
Vanna Attended The Atlanta School Of Fashion And Design
Vanna White enrolled in and attended the Atlanta School for Fashion and Design. She studied topics such as fashion, design, fashion merchandising, and poise. After she finished attending college, she made the decision to leave the East Coast and move to Hollywood.
Like most young college graduates, she didn't have much money, she only had about one thousand dollars to her name; three hundred for her car, and seven hundred for her apartment. She took a waitressing job to pay her bills.
Involved In Real Estate And House Flipping
Vanna White is also involved in real estate and house flipping. She purchased a $1.125 million home in Sherman Oaks, California, and listed it for rent for twenty thousand dollars per month. In 2017, she sold her mansion for $47.5 million.
"I've used my income to invest in some apartment buildings, and I like flipping houses." ----- Vanna White. Her primary residence is her mansion in Beverly Hills, which she bought for $3.4 million, and is now worth more than ten million dollars.
Vanna's Son Nicholas
Vanna White has two children, and one of them, a son named Nicholas, was born in 1994. They call him Nikko but it's unclear what he does professionally. He did make headlines for his relationship with Jaycee Akinsanya and because he stated that he was undecided about his sexuality.
Vanna and Nikko have a very tight bond, and she often gushes about him on social media. Nikko said both his mom and dad have met Jaycee and like him.
Vanna White's career finally took off in the early 1980s, thanks partially to Janet Gretzky, wife of 'The Great One' and a contestant on Dance Fever. She met up with Vanna, and over the years, they had become good friends. Merv Griffin is the creator of Wheel of Fortune, but he also created the show Dance Fever.
The connection was Janet and Merv because Janet gave her an in for an audition for hostess on Wheel of Fortune. Janet introduced Vanna to Merv's right-hand man, and the rest is history.
Cameo Appearances On Television Shows
In addition to starring in a few films, Vanna White has also made several cameo appearances on television shows. She has appeared on L.A. Law, Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Simon and Simon, 227, The King of Queens, Full House, and RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars.
In addition, she appeared in the movie Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult in 1994, and Double Dragon in 1994. She appeared in Full House during the seventh season in the episode titled "The Test," where she plays a teacher.
The Real Story Of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
The Real Story of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star was originally a show that was produced for a Canadian Saturday morning anthology series. The animated show aired in Canada in 1991 and 1992 and starred Vanna White as Twinkle.
The characters end up floating through space and end up landing on Twinkle. The character Lea thinks that she dreamt it all, but then her father discovers a new twinkling star in the sky, and she then knows it actually happened.
Vanna Is A Patron Of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Like so many other celebrities, Vanna White often donates her time and money to charities worldwide. The charity that is most near and dear to Vanna's heart is St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. She visits the children at the hospital often and also hosts events to help raise money for the hospital.
Vanna has donated more than $1.8 million to the foundation and has worked with St. Jude for years. Vanna stated that she loves working with the hospital and doesn't plan to stop any time soon.
Vanna And Sajak Admitted To Sometimes Drinking Before Filming
Pat Sajak and Vanna White admitted to having a few drinks before filming every now and then. Sajak said, "Vanna and I would have two or three or six drinks and then come and do the last shows and have trouble recognizing the alphabet.
I had a great time. I have no idea if the shows were any good, but no one said anything, so I guess I did okay." They would have a few margaritas at a Mexican restaurant across the street from the studio.
She No Longer Physically Turns The Numbers
When Vanna White first got the job on Wheel of Fortune, she had to physically turn each letter as they were called out. Finally, in 1997, they changed the letterboard to a digital board with a touchscreen. Vanna now just has to walk and touch the square of the correct letter, and it lights up the letter.
The board has fifty-two touchscreen monitors and more than two hundred computerized lighting instruments. However, Vanna wasn't sure about it at first, saying that she thought they would fire her due to the modernized letter board.
Vanna Doesn't Waste Time At The Studio When She Isn't On Camera
When Vanna isn't turning letters, she spends her time on set signing photos, answering fan mail, and crocheting. While filming a television show, there is often a lot of downtime, but Vanna doesn't waste it.
She can usually be found in the makeup room crocheting, and at home, she and her daughter love to crochet together. In addition, Vanna White loves to interact with the audience while in between takes.
She Once Turned The Wrong Letter On One Episode
Vanna White made a mistake in Wheel of Fortune's early days. It wasn't a huge mistake, but she was mortified. She turned the wrong letter, and the puzzle had to be thrown out.
"I was so traumatized; I don't remember if it was a D or an M that I turned. The puzzle was either Doctor Spock or Mister Spock. Whenever they called it, I just turned the, we'll say D. I turned it, and it was an M. I was mortified. They had to throw the puzzle out." ----- Vanna White.
Vanna Contributes To The Puzzles On Wheel Of Fortune
Vanna White has been a huge fan of crossword puzzles for many years and is extremely smart. As a result, she has been great at coming up with some of Wheel of Fortune's most brain-twisting puzzles. Sajak stated that Vanna's puzzles get used on a regular basis.
Vanna loves helping out by making puzzles for the show, and the whole show's crew helps to craft them. One TV host called White and Sajak the "Fred and Ginger of puzzles."
In 2002, Vanna Divorced San Pietro
Vanna White and George San Pietro were married for twelve years when in 2002, the two called it quits and got a divorce. It was never said why they divorced, but they remained civil for their children.
They shared equal custody of their son Nikko and daughter Giovanna. Vanna has not remarried but was engaged once after the divorce and is now with her longtime boyfriend.
She's The Second Hostess For Wheel Of Fortune
When Vanna White got the job on Wheel of Fortune, she was actually taking the spot of the show's first letter-turner, Susan Stafford, who she replaced in 1982.
Stafford co-hosted the show from 1975 until 1982, but she also returned to Wheel of Fortune in 1986 to stand in for Vanna White. Stafford left the show because she said she realized that she wanted something different out of life besides standing there and turning letters.
Vanna Sued Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics aired a commercial in 1988 that featured a smiling robot that turned letters on a game show. Vanna White claimed that the company was using her likeness without permission.
She sued the company, claiming intellectual property infringement, and she won the case. She was awarded four hundred and three thousand dollars in damages.
She Guest-Starred On Married With Children
Vanna White guest-starred on the sitcom Married with Children's season seven finale episode. She appeared as Coco or Helen Granowinner, Al's old girlfriend, in the episode titled "The Proposition."
Her character is an old high school girlfriend of Al Bundy's who makes a romantic proposition to him in the episode. She appeared in several television shows and films before she became the famous hostess of TV's Wheel of Fortune.
Captain Planet And The Planeteers
Vanna White lent her voice to the animated television series Captain Planet and the Planeteers. She guest-starred as Lori Saunders, the make-up queen. In the episode, animals are being used for her experiments to make beauty products for Lori.
However, Lori is actually against the animal testing process and believes that her glow-in-the-dark cosmetics were confirmed safe by a private lab, which turns out to be Dr. Blight's lab.
Vanna's Daughter Giovanna (Gigi)
Vanna and George had a daughter named Giovanni and called her Gigi. She was born in 1997 and is the youngest of their two children. Both Gigi and her older brother, Nikko, often visited Vanna on the set of Wheel of Fortune.
Gigi graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and is a very talented young woman. Today, she is an apprentice at a tattoo studio in Huntington Beach, California. In addition, she is into photography, art, and drawing.
She Is Dating John Donaldson
Vanna ended up falling in love with John Donaldson, a contractor, in 2013, and the two are still dating today. They met each other in 2012 after being introduced by friends. Vanna stated, "Today, I am happy just the way things are.
The biggest surprise to my fans is probably how simple I live in real life." Vanna also stated the two have enjoyed many wonderful moments together, including vacations with Vanna's children, Nicholas and Giovanna.
Vanna's Mother Told Her That Her Uncle Was Actor Christopher George
Vanna stated in an interview that she recalls the exact moment that she knew she wanted to be on TV. It was when she was ten years old and lying on the sofa, recovering from having her appendix removed.
Rat Patrol came on TV, and her mom pointed to Christopher George and said, "That's your uncle, Christopher George." Vanna said she was in awe that her uncle was on television, and from that day forward, she knew that's what she wanted to do.
She Launched Her Own Line Of Yarn Called Vanna's Choice
Vanna White is an avid crochet enthusiast and has been crocheting for many years. She mentioned her love for crocheting when she was on The Tonight Show and was later approached by the Lion Brand Yarn Company.
They offered for her to become a spokesperson for the product, and in 2008, they began issuing her own line of yarn. Her line is called Vanna's Choice, and she donates half the proceeds to charity.
Vanna Was Engaged To Businessman Michael Kaye
In 2002, Vanna White and Michael Kaye, a California businessman, started dating. She stated that he was someone that she could connect with easily and that the two enjoyed a near-perfect rapport.
They were engaged, but the engagement ended about one year after she broke the news on Wheel of Fortune that she was engaged. Again, nothing was said about why the two went their separate ways, but Vanna later moved on with the man she is still with today.
She Admits That She Doesn't Like To Dress Up
When we see Vanna White, she is all dressed up from head to toe and usually wearing a beautiful gown. However, Vanna has stated numerous times that she doesn't really like dressing up and that she is more of a jeans and sweats kind of girl.
She said, "For 30 years, I've felt like I've been a Barbie doll. You know, they dress me up and send me out there. In downtime, when I'm not filming, I like being in blue jeans and sweats." I guess when you have to be all dolled up for work, it's nice to be casual and comfortable when not at work.
Vanna Only Works Four Days A Month
Vanna White has several different sources of income, but one of her main sources is from Wheel of Fortune. Surprisingly, she only works on the show four days every month; she works every other Thursday and Friday.
They film six shows each day, with each episode taking about thirty minutes to film. In addition, she has a couple of days a month that she has to go to work and get fitted for all of the dresses she will be wearing for that month's episodes.
Vanna Hosted The Show While Pat Sajak Healed
Vanna White has always been seen by the letter board and has never done any other job on the show. However, Pat Sajak was forced to undergo emergency surgery and was out for recovery for three weeks. As a result, they needed Vanna to fill in for him and be the host of the show.
In addition, she had a few Disney characters, such as Minnie Mouse, fill in for her spot at the board. She stated on her social media that she was nervous and excited.