Susan Stafford

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Susan Stafford
Susanna Gail Carney

(1945-10-13) October 13, 1945 (age 75)
  • Game show co-host
  • author
  • clinical psychologist
  • chaplain
Years active1970–present
Partner(s)Dan Enright (1983–1992)

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]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Lynn, Massachusetts, Stafford grew up in Missouri, and won several beauty contests as a teenager in Kansas City.[3] Stafford moved to California as an adult to work as a television actress.

Stafford married radio pioneer Gordon McLendon in 1973,[4] 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.[5] According to People magazine, "[they] parted 18 months later."[6] Their marriage was annulled in 1981.[7] Stafford later fell in love with game show producer Dan Enright. Enright employed her as vice president of Barry & Enright Productions.[8]

Stafford currently lives in Las Vegas.


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.[9] 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).[10]

Other Work[edit]

In 2011, Stafford published her first book, Stop the Wheel, I Want to Get Off.[11]

Walk of Stars- Golden Palm[edit]

In 2005, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to her.[12]


  1. ^ Greene, Bob (February 22, 1987). "THAT'S HOW 'WHEEL OF FORTUNE' SPINS". The 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 – via
  3. ^ Mitchell, Marilyn. Walking with the Stars. BearManor Media.
  4. ^ Dary, David. "MCLENDON, GORDON BARTON". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  5. ^ Mitchell, Marilyn. Walking with the Stars. BearManor Media.
  6. ^ Lemon, Richard. "Live from Litchfield! It's the Improbable Duo of Dick Ebersol and Susan Saint James". People. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  7. ^ Potempa, Philip (July 6, 2008). "Susan St. James smiling for life's happier moments". The Times of Northwest Indiana. Retrieved October 3, 2020 – via Ebersol and Stafford where [sic] only married for a short time, from 1976 to 1981, before agreeing to have the marriage annulled.
  8. ^ "Stafford/Enright bows TV/pix unit". Variety. January 21, 1993. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  9. ^ "Dr. Susan - Susan Stafford". Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  10. ^ "Susan Stafford". IMDb, Inc. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  11. ^ Stafford, Susan (2010). Stop the Wheel, I Want to Get Off!. Xlibris Corporation.
  12. ^ 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