Skip to content

Vanna White: The Legendary Hostess of Wheel of Fortune

Full Name Vanna Marie Rosich
Age 66 years old
Birthday February 18, 1957
Hometown Conway, SC
Net Worth $70 million
Social Media Facebook /
Twitter /
Instagram

Vanna White is a TV personality and game show hostess known for her role as co-host of Wheel of Fortune since 1982. She began her career as a model in the 1970s before landing her breakthrough role on the iconic game show.

Early Life and Modeling Career

Born Vanna Marie Rosich on February 18, 1957 in Conway, South Carolina, Vanna had dreams of stardom from an early age. After high school, she headed to Los Angeles in 1979 to pursue modeling and acting.

Vanna signed with the Wilhelmina modeling agency shortly after arriving in LA. She appeared in television commercials for products like Camay soap and Noxzema skin cream, as well as acting in small roles. Her first big modeling job was posing for a 1980 Playboy photo shoot.

In 1980, Vanna got her first major on-screen role as one of the hostesses on the hit game show The Price Is Right. She became a regular for one season, gaining exposure and honing her skills as an on-air personality. Though her tenure was short, it was invaluable experience for the next phase of her career.

Becoming Wheel of Fortune‘s Iconic Hostess

In 1982, Vanna beat out over 200 hopefuls to land the role of hostess and letter-turner for the hit game show Wheel of Fortune. She had stiff competition, but the show‘s staff were won over by Vanna‘s bubbly personality and camera-ready charm.

When Vanna started on the show, Wheel of Fortune had already been on the air for nearly 10 years with hostess Susan Stafford. But it wasn‘t until Vanna joined in 1983 that ratings skyrocketed. Critics credited charismatic Vanna and her undeniable chemistry with host Pat Sajak for propelling the show to new heights of success.

"Vanna came on and just fit right in. By the end of her first week, it was like she had been there forever." – Pat Sajak on hiring Vanna White

In less than a year, Vanna became the sole hostess for Wheel of Fortune when Susan Stafford left in 1983. She has remained a fixture on the popular game show ever since, celebrating over 40 years on the air in 2022.

Becoming a Pop Culture Icon

Over her four decades on Wheel of Fortune, Vanna White became more than just a game show hostess – she became a pop culture icon.

With over 6,500 episodes under her belt, Vanna landed a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for most frequent appearances on a TV game show. Her meteoric rise to fame led to Vanna guest starring as herself on sitcoms like L.A. Law and Full House.

Vanna‘s signature look inspired memorable parodies on Saturday Night Live, Family Guy and more. Mattel launched two different Vanna White Barbies modeled after her glamorous style. Weird Al Yankovic sung about her fame in his hit song “I Lost on Jeopardy." Her influence transcended her game show roots.

Accolades and Achievements

Vanna White racks up numerous awards and honors across her prolific career:

  • Awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1987)
  • Inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame along with Pat Sajak (2006)
  • Listed in Guinness Book of World Records for most claps on a game show (2013) with over 3.4 million claps logged
  • Received a key to the city of Columbia, SC for her contributions to entertainment
  • Honored with “Vanna White Day” on May 13, 2006 in North Myrtle Beach, SC

Her stacked trophy case proves that America loves Vanna just as much as when we first tuned in back in 1982!

Fun Facts About Vanna White

After following Vanna White‘s extraordinary career for so long, her legions of fans have uncovered some fun facts about America‘s favorite game show sweetheart:

  1. Vanna hates wearing shoes on the Wheel of Fortune set and goes barefoot during tapings.
  2. She is naturally a brunette and has to touch up her signature blonde hair color two to three times a week.
  3. In 1996, Vanna made headlines when she filed a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics for featuring a parody of her in an ad. She won the case.
  4. Vanna used her earnings from hosting to purchase two apartment buildings, becoming a landlady in Los Angeles.
  5. In 1987, she married George Santo Pietro and gave birth to her daughter, Giovanna, in 1997 and her son, Nicholas, in 1999.

Even after 40 years in the spotlight, fans still adore tuning in to catch Vanna‘s megawatt smile and cheery personality lighting up television screens five nights a week. She is game show royalty – and America‘s favorite letter-turner!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *