White next to the Wheel of Fortune board during a taping of Wheel of Fortune on February 8, 2006
|Born||Vanna Marie Rosich|
February 18, 1957
Conway, South Carolina, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Occupation||Game show co-host|
George Santo Pietro
(m. 1990; div. 2002)
White was born Vanna Marie Rosich, in Conway, South Carolina, the daughter of Joan Marie and Miguel Angel Rosich. Her parents divorced when she was an infant, and White took the name of her stepfather, Herbert Stackley White Jr., a former real estate broker in what is now North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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Before her appearance on TV in 1980, White was a contestant in the Miss Georgia 1978 pageant. White's first appearance in a game show was on the June 20, 1980, episode of The Price Is Right, in which she was among the first four contestants. She did not make it onstage, but the clip of her running to Contestants' Row was rebroadcast as part of The Price Is Right 25th Anniversary Special in August 1996 and also was featured on the special broadcast Game Show Moments Gone Bananas. After Wheel of Fortune hostess Susan Stafford left in October 1982, White was selected as one of three substitute hostesses (along with Vicki McCarty and Summer Bartholomew) to co-host the show. On December 13, 1982, White became the regular hostess. Her 1987 autobiography, Vanna Speaks!, was a best-seller. Also in 1987, she was featured in a Playboy pictorial, showing photos taken of her by her boyfriend (before her career on Wheel of Fortune) wearing see-through lingerie.
In 1988, she appeared in the NBC television film Goddess of Love, in which she played Venus; Betsy Palmer co-starred as Juno. The film was panned universally by critics, with TV Guide joking that White's acting was "wheely" bad. Film historian Leonard Maltin added that the picture was "bottom-of-the-barrel yet, on its own terms, a must-see".
She has made cameo appearances on television shows such as L.A. Law, 227, Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Simon and Simon, The King of Queens, and Full House; and in films such as Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994) and Double Dragon (1994). She also appeared as Doris in the horror movie Graduation Day in 1981. It is an American slasher film directed by Herb Freed and produced by Troma Entertainment.
She guest-starred on Married...With Children; in a gender-bending parody of the film Indecent Proposal, White had the Robert Redford role while Al Bundy had that of Demi Moore. She served as guest timekeeper for WrestleMania IV. In 1992, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized White as "television's most frequent clapper". In 1996, she was the main narrator and singer in the CD release of Leslie Bricusse's "Santa's Last Ride".
White lent her voice to the Canadian animated television special The Real Story of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and the American animated television series Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
White is signed as a hostess of Wheel of Fortune until 2022.
White dated Playgirl centerfold/Chippendales-dancer-turned-actor John Gibson in the 1980s, and they eventually became engaged. In 1986, Gibson was killed in a plane crash. White married restaurant owner George Santo Pietro in December 1990. White first became pregnant in September 1992, and announced her pregnancy on an episode of Wheel of Fortune where "Vanna's pregnant" was the answer to a puzzle. She miscarried shortly after the episode's taping. White later had a son, Nicholas, born in 1994 and a daughter, Giovanna (Gigi), born in 1997, from her marriage to Santo Pietro. The couple divorced in November 2002.
In 1993, White sued the Samsung Electronics corporation over its use of a humorous ad featuring a robot turning letters on a game show, alleging a violation of her personality rights. The lower court's decision in Samsung's favor was reversed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the Ninth Circuit denied a rehearing; Judge Kozinski issued a dissent. The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari. White ultimately was awarded $403,000 in damages.
In popular culture
- Comic musician "Weird Al" Yankovic penned an original song, "Stuck in a Closet with Vanna White" featured on his hit album Even Worse.
- In 1987, disc jockey David Kolin, credited as Dr. Dave, released a 12-inch single of a parody called "Vanna, Pick Me a Letter" to the tune of the song "The Letter" by The Box Tops.
- "Vanna White - Game Show Host". Biography.com. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
- "Vanna White – Official Page – Wheel of Fortune".
- Almanac of Famous People, Gale Publishing, June 8, 2011.
- "Say What?! 15 MORE Stars You Never Knew Were Latino!".
- Hernandez, Lee (March 22, 2011). "Say What?! 15 MORE Stars You Never Knew Were Latino!". latina.com. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
- "About New York", The New York Times, May 23, 1987.
- Crucchiola, Jordan (October 31, 2018). "This Game-Show Host Is Not Retiring".
- "Stargazing". The Kansas City Star. March 11, 1991. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
- "Vanna Has Miscarriage". The Seattle Times. September 18, 1992. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
- "N-i-c-h-o-l-a-s Makes Vanna White A Mommy". Orlando Sentinel. June 15, 1994. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
- "Baby Will Need 4 Vowels To Spell Name". Orlando Sentinel. July 11, 1997. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
- "Vanna White Opens Up About Finding Happiness After Heartbreak — "I'm Finally Happy Just the Way Things Are"". Closer. October 13, 2017.
- "Vanna's Choice Yarn at Lion Brand Yarn". Lion Brand Yarn. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
- "White v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc". Retrieved July 26, 2017.
- Goldstein, Patrick (March 15, 1987). "Pop Eye".
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Vanna White|
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Vanna White on IMDb
- Vanna White's biography on wheeloffortune.com
- Judge Alex Kozinski's dissent in the White v. Samsung Electronics appeal
- Vanna White at The Interviews: An Oral History of Television
| Wheel of Fortune Hostess