Susan Stafford

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Susan Stafford (born Susanna Gail Carney October 13, 1945) is an American former model, actress and television host. She was the original hostess of the American game show Wheel of Fortune from January 6, 1975 until she left on October 22, 1982. She returned briefly to Wheel of Fortune in 1986 to substitute for Vanna White.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Lynn, Massachusetts, Stafford grew up in Missouri, and won several beauty contests as a teenager in Kansas City. Stafford moved to California as an adult to work as a television actress.

Stafford married radio pioneer Gordon McLendon in 1973, and was then married to Dick Ebersol of NBC Sports and Saturday Night Live in 1976. Ebersol and Stafford were married on a beach in Malibu. Their wedding was attended by John Belushi, Chevy Chase, and SNL producer Lorne Michaels. After they exchanged vows, Chase jokingly grabbed Stafford and threw her into the ocean. Stafford later fell in love with game show producer Dan Enright. Enright employed her as vice president of Barry & Enright Productions.

After leaving Wheel of Fortune, Stafford earned a B.A. in nutrition and an M.A. in clinical psychology from Antioch University, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the unaccredited Pacific Western University.[citation needed] During this time, Stafford returned to television in 1988 as host of Alive, which aired on the Christian Broadcasting Network and in syndication. In 2003, Stafford made her first game show appearance since Wheel of Fortune, appearing on Hollywood Squares Game Show Week (Part 2).

Walk of Stars- Golden Palm[edit]

In 2005, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to her.[3]


  1. ^ Greene, Bob (February 22, 1987). "THAT'S HOW 'WHEEL OF FORTUNE' SPINS". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on October 14, 2018. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  2. ^ "Vanna White takes time off from 'Wheel of Fortune'". The Greenville News. June 1, 1986. p. 9. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  3. ^ Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated Archived 2012-10-13 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
New creation
Wheel of Fortune Hostess
Succeeded by
Vanna White