Vanna White / Blue / Violet / Yellow

Vanna White
White next to the puzzle board during a taping of Wheel of Fortune on February 8, 2006
Vanna Marie Rosich[1]

(1957-02-18) February 18, 1957 (age 67)
Occupation(s)Game-show co-host,[2] television personality, model, actress
Years active1976–present
Known forWheel of Fortune
  • George Santo Pietro
    (m. 1990; div. 2002)
AwardsHollywood Walk of Fame

Vanna Marie White (née Rosich; born February 18, 1957)[1] is an American television personality and game-show hostess, best known as the co-host of the game show Wheel of Fortune, a position she has held since 1982. She began her career as a model while studying fashion, competing in Miss Georgia USA in 1978. In addition to her work on Wheel of Fortune, she has played minor characters or appeared as herself in many films and television series, and is the author of the 1987 autobiography Vanna Speaks. She also participates in real-estate investment, owns the yarn brand Vanna's Choice, and is a patron of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Early life

Vanna Marie Rosich was born on February 18, 1957, near North Myrtle Beach in Horry County, South Carolina,[3] the daughter of Joan Marie (Nicholas) and Miguel Angel Rosich.[4] According to census records, her paternal (Rosich) 2nd great-grandparents were Spanish from Mallorca, who settled in Ponce, Puerto Rico.[5] When Vanna was an infant, her parents got divorced, and she was raised by her mother Joan, and Joan's second husband, Herbert White Jr. (1925–2022), a former real estate broker,[6] in North Myrtle Beach,[1] and Vanna took his surname. After graduating from high school, White moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she attended the Atlanta School of Fashion and Design and worked as a model.[7] White 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.[8]


Television, motion picture, and other media appearances

White with Pat Sajak in 2006

Before her appearance on TV, White was a contestant in the Miss Georgia USA 1978 pageant.[9]

White's first appearance on a game show was on the June 20, 1980, episode of The Price Is Right, where she was among the first four contestants.[10][11] White did not make it on stage, but the clip of her running to Contestants' Row was rebroadcast as part of The Price Is Right 25th Anniversary Special in August 1996[12] and The Price Is Right Celebrates 50 Years in September 2021 (in which she also appeared as a Guest Model during the show), and also was featured on the special broadcast Game Show Moments Gone Bananas.

In 1980, White acted in a film that was not completed; it was subsequently edited and released in June 1990 as Gypsy Angels.[13][14] In 1981, she got a bit part in the film Looker and also appeared as Doris in the horror movie Graduation Day, an American slasher film directed by Herb Freed and produced by Troma Entertainment.[15]

White's 1987 autobiography, Vanna Speaks!, was a best-seller.[16] That same year, she was featured in a Playboy pictorial,[17] showing photos taken of her before her career on Wheel of Fortune, wearing see-through lingerie.[18] White starred as the title character, Venus, in the 1988 television movie Goddess of Love.[19]

White has made cameo appearances on television shows such as L.A. Law,[20] 227,[21] Super Mario Bros. Super Show,[22] Simon and Simon,[23] The King of Queens,[24] Full House,[25] RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars[26] and in films such as Naked Gun 33+13: The Final Insult (1994) Double Dragon (1994) and the Australian variety series Hey Hey It's Saturday.

White guest-starred on Married...With Children; in a gender-bending parody of the film Indecent Proposal, she had the Robert Redford role while Al Bundy had that of Demi Moore.[27][28] White served as guest timekeeper and provided interviews from the backstage area throughout the evening for WrestleMania IV.[29] In 1996, she was the main narrator and singer in the CD release of Leslie Bricusse's "Santa's Last Ride."[30]

On April 20, 2006, White was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with Pat Sajak, Merv Griffin, and Alex Trebek as key witnesses.[31]

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.[32]

White presented a set of luggage in a special guest appearance on The Price Is Right Celebrates 50 Years in September 2021.[33]

In May 2022, White appeared as a special guest in the seventh season of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars where the contestants did a runway in tribute to her past looks.[34]

On April 21, 2023, it was announced that White would be featured in a four-episode documentary by ABC News titled The Game Show Show, covering the history of game shows in America over the last eight decades. The four-part documentary premiered on May 10, 2023.[35]

Wheel of Fortune television game show

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.[36] On December 13, 1982, White became the regular hostess.[36][37]

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

White temporarily took over hosting Wheel of Fortune as master of ceremonies starting with the week of episodes that were slated to air starting on December 9, 2019. The announcement was made after a taping day was postponed when Sajak was hospitalized with a blocked intestine and needed emergency surgery to clear it. White hosted that taping day and the subsequent rescheduled taping the next day.[38] Guest letter activators were implemented during her shows hosting; the weeks of December 9 and 16 had Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse[39] during the Secret Santa Holiday Giveaway.[40] Subsequently, the show went on hiatus during Christmas week (December 23, 2019) and then a week of previously taped "America's Game" episodes (Wheel tapes six episodes per day, with each studio audience receiving three shows each; the third show in the afternoon session is an "America's Game" episode) that Sajak hosted, before White returned to hosting on January 6, 2020, for a final week; she was assisted by a "special guest",[41] Pat Sajak's daughter Maggie.[42] Fully recovered from his surgery, Sajak returned to the show on December 5, 2019, with episodes airing on January 13, 2020.[42]

White missed filming five episodes in August 2023 after contracting COVID-19. She was temporarily replaced by Bridgette Donald-Blue but returned as hostess in October 2023. Filming on additional episodes was delayed until after her recovery.[43] This marked the first time that White had missed an episode since 1991.[44]

Since 2021, Sajak and White hosted Celebrity Wheel of Fortune on ABC.[45] Later in the year it was announced that both Sajak and White have been signed on to continue as hosts of Wheel of Fortune through the 2023–24 season.[46] She extended her contract on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune again in July 2023.[47] In September 2023, White extended her contract as host of Wheel of Fortune through the 2025–26 season.[48]

In May 2023, White competed as a contestant on a celebrity edition of Wheel of Fortune against Jeopardy! hosts Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik.[49]

Real-estate investing

White uses her income to invest in apartment buildings, and she likes flipping houses. In 2017, White listed her Beverly Hills home for $47.5 million.[50] In 2023, she began renting her home in Sherman Oaks.[51]

Crochet and knitting endorsements

When White was five, her grandmother taught her how to crochet. White had lost interest in the hobby over time, until on the Wheel of Fortune set, she noticed her pregnant hairdresser was crocheting a baby blanket for herself. White told her that she previously crocheted and asked the hairdresser to help her relearn crochet.[52] When she has downtime on the set, White often crochets, as she finds it very relaxing and has something to show for the time she has spent doing it.[53]

White began her relationship with Lion Brand Yarns when she spoke about her love of crochet on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson;[54] the yarn company subsequently contacted her and negotiated a contract.[53] White has her own line of yarn called Vanna's Choice[50][55] and endorses crochet and knitting books published in her name.[56]

World record

White is famous for her seamless revealing of letters on the game board, her smile, and her constant clapping in support of each episode's contestants.[57] On the May 24, 2013 episode of Wheel of Fortune,[58] White was presented with a Guinness World Record certificate for most frequent clapper. As of January 31, 2013, she had clapped an estimated 3,480,864 times across the show's 30 seasons. White had appeared in all but 10 of Wheel's 5,754 episodes to that point, during the show's modern syndicated run, which began on September 19, 1983. That works out to an average number of 606 claps per show.[57][59]

Personal life

In the 1980s, White dated and became engaged to soap opera actor John Gibson, a Playgirl magazine centerfold and Chippendales dancer. However, Gibson died in a 1986 airplane crash. In 1990, White married restaurant owner George Santo Pietro.[60] She first became pregnant in September 1992. An episode of Wheel of Fortune contained "Vanna's pregnant" as the answer to a puzzle. She miscarried shortly after the episode's taping.[61] White gave birth to a son in 1994[62] and a daughter in 1997[63] from her marriage to Santo Pietro.[64] The couple divorced in November 2002.[65] From 2004 to 2006, she was engaged to Southern California businessman Michael Kaye. The two never wed.[66] Since 2012, White has been in a relationship with contractor John Donaldson, whom she met through mutual friends.[67]

White is a Baptist.[68]

White is sometimes described as the "niece" of actor Christopher George.[69] While George is not a biological relation, White's mother grew up with him, and George and his wife took White "under their wing" in Los Angeles.[70] In an interview with Larry King, White said that her children often come to Wheel of Fortune tapings.[69]

On April 1, 2022, White announced that her stepfather, Herbert White Jr., had died peacefully that morning.[71][72]


As of 2019, White has donated $1.8 million to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and plans to continue her philanthropy after her retirement.[50]


In 1993, White sued Samsung Electronics over 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,[73] which denied a rehearing, but Judge Alex Kozinski issued a dissent.[73] The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari.[73] A jury awarded White $403,000 in damages.[74][75]

In popular culture

  • Parody song "Vanna, Pick Me a Letter" (a riff on Wayne Carson's "The Letter") was released by David Kolin (aka Dr. Dave) in 1987. [76]
  • The second track of "Weird Al" Yankovic's 1988 album, Even Worse, features the song "Stuck in a Closet with Vanna White".
  • The 2001 Nelly single "Ride wit Me", mentions White with the lyrics "I’m getting pages out of New Jersey from Courtney B. Telling me bout a party up in NYC. And can I make it? Damn right, I be on the next flight,. Paying cash, first class, sitting next to Vanna White…"



Year Title Role Notes
1981 Graduation Day Doris
Looker Reston Girl
1993 Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult Herself
1994 Double Dragon Herself


Year Title Role Notes
1981 Midnight Offerings Devona TV Movie
1982-present Wheel of Fortune Co-Host
1988 Goddess of Love Venus TV Movie
1988 Totally Minnie Herself TV Special
1992 Captain Planet and the Planeteers Laurie Saunders (Voice) The Guinea Pigs (Season 3, Episode 7)
1993 Married With Children Coco/Helen Granowinner Guest (season 7, episode 26)
1994 Full House Herself Guest (Season 7, Episode 15)
2021-present Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune Co-Host Contestant (Season 3, Episode 14)
2022 RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars 7 Herself Guest (season 7, episode 3)



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  42. ^ a b Martin, Annie (January 7, 2020). "Pat Sajak's daughter serves as letter-turner on 'Wheel of Fortune'". UPI. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
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  44. ^ October 09, Wesley Stenzel; EDT, 2023 at 09:15 AM. "Vanna White is back on 'Wheel of Fortune' after COVID absence". Retrieved October 9, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
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  58. ^ Wheel of Fortune. Season 30. May 24, 2013. Syndicated.
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  61. ^ "Vanna Has Miscarriage". The Seattle Times. September 18, 1992. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  62. ^ "N-i-c-h-o-l-a-s Makes Vanna White A Mommy". Orlando Sentinel. June 15, 1994. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
  63. ^ "ENTERTAINMENT NEWS". Tampa Bay Times. July 14, 1997. Retrieved July 23, 2022.
  64. ^ "VANNA HAS 2 B-A-B-I-E-S". Orlando Sentinel. October 11, 1998. Retrieved July 23, 2022.
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  66. ^ "Vanna White Opens Up About Finding Happiness After Heartbreak – "I'm Finally Happy Just the Way Things Are"". Closer. October 13, 2017.
  67. ^ Mangum, Trey (January 22, 2021). "Vanna White Would Call John Donaldson Her Husband Even Though They're Not Married". Showbiz Cheatsheet.
  68. ^ "Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White Opens Up About Her Relationship with God: 'I Pray Every Day'". People. November 11, 2019. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
  69. ^ a b "CNN Transcript – Larry King Live: Pat Sajak and Vanna White Spell out the Secret to their Success". December 26, 2000. Archived from the original on September 28, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
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  72. ^ Hernandez, Lee (March 22, 2011). "Say What?! 15 MORE Stars You Never Knew Were Latino!". Retrieved March 30, 2011.
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  76. ^ "Vanna, Pick Me a Letter" by Dr. Dave retrieved 10-5-2023

External links

Media offices
Preceded by Wheel of Fortune Hostess
December 13, 1982 – December 6, 2019
Succeeded by
Rotating Disney personalities
Preceded by
Rotating Disney personalities
Wheel of Fortune Hostess
December 23, 2019 – January 3, 2020
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Maggie Sajak
Wheel of Fortune Hostess
January 13, 2020 – present
Preceded by Host of Wheel of Fortune (syndicated)
December 9, 2019 – December 20, 2019
Succeeded by
Pat Sajak
Host of Wheel of Fortune (syndicated)
January 6, 2020 – January 10, 2020