Vanna White
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Vanna White

Vanna White
Vanna White USMC-10361 (cropped).jpg
White next to the Wheel of Fortune puzzle board during a taping of Wheel of Fortune on February 8, 2006
Born
Vanna Marie Rosich[1]

(1957-02-18) February 18, 1957 (age 62)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationGame show co-host[2]
Years active1980-present
George Santo Pietro
(m. 1990; div. 2002)
Children2
Websitewww.vannawhite.com

Vanna White (born Vanna Marie Rosich;[1] February 18, 1957) is an American television personality and film actress known as the hostess of Wheel of Fortune since 1982.

Early life

Vanna Marie Rosich born on February 18, 1957, in North Myrtle Beach, Conway, South Carolina,[3] the daughter of Joan Marie and Miguel Angel Rosich.[4] Her parents divorced when she was an infant, and she was raised by her mother, Joan, and stepfather, Herbert White Jr., in North Myrtle Beach [1] and White took the name of her stepfather, a former real estate broker in what is now North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.[5] After graduating from high school, White moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she attended the Atlanta School of Fashion and worked as a model. She headed to Los Angeles in 1979 to pursue an acting career, but in the summer of 1980, she returned briefly to South Carolina to see her mother, who was dying of ovarian cancer.[6]

Television career

White with Pat Sajak

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.[7] 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".[] Promos for a New Year's Eve rebroadcast not only mocked her performance, but the critical reception, including making a snide remark on the L.A. Herald Examiner's bankruptcy.[]

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 33 1/3 : The Final Insult (1994) and Double Dragon (1994). She also appeared as Doris in the horror movie Graduation Day in 1981, 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".[8][9]In 1996, she was the main narrator and singer in the CD release of Leslie Bricusse's "Santa's Last Ride".[]

On April 20, 2006, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with Pat Sajak, Merv Griffin, and Alex Trebek as key witnesses.

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.[10]

The handprints of Vanna White in front of Hollywood Hills Amphitheater at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park

On November 8, 2019, Sony Pictures Television announced White will take over hosting Wheel of Fortune as emcee starting with the week of episodes slated to air starting on December 9, 2019. The announcement was made after a taping day was postponed after Pat Sajak was hospitalised with emergency surgery to clear a blocked intestine. White hosted the rescheduled taping day the next day, and will host as emcee until Sajak is cleared to return by doctors. [11] Guest letter activators will be implemented during her shows hosting. The week of December 9 (which she will host solo) will have Mickey Mouse as it is Disney Week.[12] No other substitutes have been named at the time, as Sony hopes Sajak will return by December.

Personal life

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.[13] 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.[14] White later had a son Nicholas born in 1994[15] and a daughter Giovanna (Gigi) born in 1997,[16] from her marriage to Santo Pietro. The couple divorced in November 2002.

From 2004 to 2006, she was engaged to businessman Michael Kaye, senior partner in a large leveraged buyout fund based in southern California. The two never wed.[17]

White is a crochet and knitting enthusiast and has a line of yarns called "Vanna's Choice" through Lion Brand Yarns.[18]

In a conversation with Larry King, she indicated that her mother had told her that her uncle was actor Christopher George.[19]

Litigation

In 1993, White sued Samsung Electronics over its use of an advertisement 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,[20] which denied a rehearing, and Judge Alex Kozinski issued a dissent.[20] The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari.[20] White ultimately was awarded $403,000 in damages.[21]

Publications

  • White, Vanna (1987). Vanna Speaks. New York: Warner Books. ISBN 0-446-51366-0.

References

  1. ^ a b c "Vanna White - Game Show Host". Biography.com. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ "Vanna White - Official Page - Wheel of Fortune".
  3. ^ Almanac of Famous People, Gale Publishing, June 8, 2011.
  4. ^ "Say What?! 15 MORE Stars You Never Knew Were Latino!".
  5. ^ Hernandez, Lee (March 22, 2011). "Say What?! 15 MORE Stars You Never Knew Were Latino!". latina.com. Retrieved 2011.
  6. ^ "Vanna White - Age, Husband & Daughter - Biography". Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ "About New York", The New York Times, May 23, 1987.
  8. ^ "Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White honored as Most Frequent Clapper". Guinness World Records. May 23, 2013.
  9. ^ "8 Things You Might Not Know About Vanna White". mentalfloss.com. July 26, 2018.
  10. ^ Crucchiola, Jordan (October 31, 2018). "This Game-Show Host Is Not Retiring".
  11. ^ "'Wheel of Fortune' host Pat Sajak recovering from emergency surgery, Vanna White to fill in". Fox News. November 8, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ MAE Abdulbaki, Mae (November 9, 2019). "Vanna White To Host Wheel Of Fortune After Pat Sajak Emergency: Here's Who'll Replace Her". CinemaBlend. Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ "Stargazing". The Kansas City Star. March 11, 1991. Retrieved 2010.
  14. ^ "Vanna Has Miscarriage". The Seattle Times. September 18, 1992. Retrieved 2014.
  15. ^ "N-i-c-h-o-l-a-s Makes Vanna White A Mommy". Orlando Sentinel. June 15, 1994. Retrieved 2011.
  16. ^ "Baby Will Need 4 Vowels To Spell Name". Orlando Sentinel. July 11, 1997. Retrieved 2011.
  17. ^ "Vanna White Opens Up About Finding Happiness After Heartbreak -- "I'm Finally Happy Just the Way Things Are"". Closer. October 13, 2017.
  18. ^ "Vanna's Choice Yarn at Lion Brand Yarn". Lion Brand Yarn. Retrieved 2016.
  19. ^ "CNN Transcript - Larry King Live: Pat Sajak and Vanna White Spell out the Secret to their Success - December 26, 2000". transcripts.cnn.com.
  20. ^ a b c "White v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc". Retrieved 2017.
  21. ^ "Major Principles of Media Law, 2012 Edition". Retrieved 2019.

External links

Media offices
Preceded by
Susan Stafford
Wheel of Fortune Hostess
1982
Incumbent

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