- Key Information
- Who is Vanna White?
- Early Life and Career
- How She Landed the “Wheel of Fortune” Job
- Her Fame at Wheel of Fortune
- Her Mention in the Guinness Book of Records
- Her Personal Life
- Did She Appear in Playboy Magazine?
- She Has Her Own Line of Yarn
- She Has Worn More than 6700 Gowns on the Show
- What is Vanna White’s Net Worth?
- Is She a Workaholic?
- Date of birth: 18th February 1957
- Nationality: American
- Famous for: TV Show host / TV personality
- Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
- Also known as Vanna Marie Angel, Vanna Marie Rosich
- Birthplace: Conway
- Height: 5’6″
- Father: Miguel Angel Rosich
- Mother: Joan Marie Rosich
- Children: Gigi Santo Pietro and Niko Santo Pietro
Who is Vanna White?
Vanna White is a well-known TV personality and host of the famous Wheel of Fortune show. It is a popular show on NBC. Even though she has also worked as an actress in a number of films and TV series, it is this show that has earned her fame and fortune. The audiences have always loved her as the wheel turner and have been mesmerized by her energy, charm and beauty. There was a time when the whole nation was quite obsessed with her, and it was called the “VannaMania” and people would be naming their kids after her. Years after becoming popular with the show, she is still going strong being a fashion icon.
Early Life and Career
She was born as Vanna Marie Rosich in North Myrtle Beach in Southern Carolina. Her parents divorced while she was still an infant and was raised by her mother and her stepfather. She completed her High School and moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she enrolled in Atlanta School of Fashion. It was there that she also worked as a model and then went on to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career in 1979. In the summer of 1980, she had to come back home in North Carolina to see her mother, who had been diagnosed with Ovarian cancer. She took care and looked after her mother until she died. She then returned to Hollywood to try her luck one more time. She went back with a new sense of energy and landed a few small acting jobs.
How She Landed the “Wheel of Fortune” Job
Finally, in 1982, she landed the job that would eventually make her career and ultimately make her famous. Out of 200 applicants, she was chosen to join the show as a host at Wheel of Fortune. She started as a host along with Pat Sajak. The show proved to be a success and over the next few years it became a massive hit. By 1986, the evening version of the show attracted 30 million viewers. By 1999, running for sixteen years, this show was seen by around 40 million people.
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Her Fame at Wheel of Fortune
Vanna White’s job as a chief letter turner, model and host at the show made her a huge star. People were getting obsessed with her and the term “VannaMania” came into existence. She was also landing many endorsement contracts and was even starring in NBC Movie Venus: The Goddess of Love. She was, however, mocked by a few people about her limited acting skills and the fact that her role in the show was merely of a wheel turner. She was still extremely famous and liked by all. Her popularity and her career peaked from mid-1980s to the late 80s.
Her Mention in the Guinness Book of Records
She was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records in 1992 as “TV’s most frequent clapper” with average claps of 720 per show and more than 28000 in the entire season. This award was given to her in May 2013 during the broadcast of Wheel of Fortune.
Her Personal Life
Vanna White’s own life suffered a setback and a loss as she went through a tragedy. Her longtime lover John Gibson, a Chippendale dancer and a soap opera actor, died in a plane crash in 1986. Four years later, she married George San Pietro who was a restaurateur. They had their first child, a boy named Nicholas in 1992. Five years later they had a daughter who they named Giovanna. Their marriage, however, did not last long and they finally had a divorce in 2002. She stayed single for a while and then got romantically involved with a finance mogul, Michael Kaye and became engaged. They both did not marry.
Did She Appear in Playboy Magazine?
Viewers of the show were surprised to see their favorite TV host, Vanna White on the cover of Playboy magazine in 1987. Inside the magazine, there were semi-nude photos of the star. The fans were quite surprised to see her in that magazine for her career choice. She did not actually agree to appear in the magazine and the publisher had bought her photos back in 1982. This was the time before she joined the show and became famous. She claimed she had to make ends meet and pay her rent by selling the photos back then. She ended up suing the magazine for $5.2 million for trying to ruin her image as a family audience. She later dropped the suit.
She Has Her Own Line of Yarn
One of the things a lot of people may not know about her is that she is a crochet enthusiast. She had been so for years until she began her career on television and continued with her passion for knitting. She mentioned her hobby in the Tonight Show when she made an appearance. She was then approached by the company Lion Brand Yarn to become their spokesperson for their products. By 2008, she had a line of yarn under her own name, called Vanna’s Choice. She donates half of the proceeds from the yarn sales to charity.
She Has Worn More than 6700 Gowns on the Show
Vanna White has talked about how a TV job is like and how it is not easy to wear the same dress twice. It has been estimated that she has worn around 6700 gowns during her tenure on the show. The dresses are usually borrowed from designers for the show and then returned back to them after the show is recorded. As per her interview with Fox News, she gets to try around fifty to sixty dresses and finally gets to choose the ones she likes the most. She claims her favorite ones are the most comfortable ones. She has worn all types and styles of dresses over the years, as she says “you name it and I have done it”.
What is Vanna White’s Net Worth?
It surely pays to be a game show host and especially when you are Vanna White. She has been part of the show since it started off and has made her career from that show. She is known as a household figure in the country. Her job, however, is more than merely picking out letters. According to the founder of the show, Harry Friedman, everyone in the team contributes to the show as a group effort. For her part, she gets paid around $10 million salary, and for that, her total net worth is estimated to be around $50 million.
Is She a Workaholic?
Even though it may seem that she is always on the show and working throughout the week, it is not true. The Wheel of Fortune tapes their weeks’ worth of shows all in one day in one go. But is she a workaholic? That really can’t be said about her because she also spends her time knitting which is her hobby and even has her own bestselling autobiography called “Vanna Speaks”.