In 1975, the game show phenomenon Wheel of Fortunedebuted on NBC. The show ran for 14 years on the network, before moving to CBS, then back to NBC before officially getting canceled on Sept. 20, 1991. However, for eight years, along with the show's daytime version, there was a nighttime syndicated version of the show, which debuted on Sept. 19, 1983. Confusing, right? The nighttime WheelofFortune has been a syndicated hit ever since.
Pat Sajak became the longest-running host of a game show when his 38th season premiered on Sept. 14, 2020. Sajak also hosted the network version of Wheel eight years after replacing the original host, Chuck Woolery. Vanna White has been with Sajack since the show's syndicated debut. However, she debuted the network version of the game show in 1982. During her time on Wheel of Fortune, Vanna White made it into the Guinness World Book of Records. On the May 24, 2013, episode of Wheel of Fortune, Guinness World Records presented White with a most frequent clapper certificate. As of Jan. 31, 2013, it was estimated she clapped at least 3,480,864 times across the show's 30 seasons. White not becoming a spokesperson for The Clapper seems like a missed opportunity, TBH.
Although White has been a fixture of Wheel of Fortune since 1982, she was not the first hostess on the game show. Keep scrolling for all of the details on Vanna White's letter-turning predecessor.
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. Pat Sajak and Vanna White were often 'drunk' while hosting the early seasons. Just weeks after Vanna White turned 60-years-old, the Wheel of Fortune host is getting candid about her past appearance in a Playboy issue. When Vanna was young, she was new to Hollywood and had.
Susan Stafford was the original letter turner
Although Vanna White has become a game show icon, thanks to her almost four decades on Wheel of Fortune, Susan Stafford was the original Wheel letter-turner. Stafford, born on Jan. 27, 1944, started her career as a model, which led to acting roles on the 1970's TV series staplesIronside, Love American Style, Police Story, and Marcus Welby, MD.
Stafford's time on Wheel of Fortune ran from 1975 to 1982, when she decided to leave the hit game show after reassessing her life priorities. Of her decision to leave Wheel, in a February 1987 interview with The Chicago Tribune, Stafford said, 'I mean, for seven years I stood there and turned letters. I had to ask myself if that was any way for a grown woman to live her life.'
Despite second-guessing her life choices, in 1987, Stafford became the first woman to be nominated for an Emmy on a game show. Looking back, does she have any regrets since Vanna White became a household name? 'Do I kick myself?' Stafford told The Chicago Tribune. 'No, I like myself too much for that. Do I miss the money? You bet I do.' After leaving Wheel of Fortune, Susan Stafford did a total 180. Continue reading for more on her drastic life change.
Vanna White 1975
Susan Safford became a born-again Christian
After leaving WheelofFortune, Susan Stafford went to work at St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, Texas, where she specialized in pastoral care education and working with dying cancer patients, The Chicago Tribune reported. Stafford revealed in her 2010 memoir, Stop the Wheel I Want to Get Off, that when she left Wheel, her bosses were quite surprised. Of the news, her boss allegedly said, 'You're going to Houston to take care of cancer patients, people who are dying? 'Susan, you can't be serious. Even for you, this is a stretch.' She replied, I'm very serious Murray, I can't expect you or anyone for that matter to understand. It's like a special 'calling from God.'
Stafford became a born-again Christian, and according to her website, she earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. in Psychology. She is also a motivational/inspirational seminar speaker and Spiritual Counselor. Stafford formed a non-profit organization called Wheel of Grace Unlimited and continues to reach out daily as a Chaplain and counselor.
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One of the most interesting stories involving Susan Stafford involves the late actor Rock Hudson. She was allegedly was present when a Catholic priest led Hudson in the 'sinner's prayer' to receive Jesus Christ into his life just hours before his death at 59 on Oct. 2, 1985, from AIDS complications. 'Yes, it is true that Rock Hudson accepted Jesus Christ on his deathbed,' she revealed in an interview with ASSIST Ministries. I wonder if Vanna White has any stories that can top that one?
Mervyn Griffin created the TV game show Wheel of Fortune which made it to the screen for the first time in 1975. But, for a great majority of the fans of the show, one of its co-hosts, Vanna White, may as well be its sole owner, all for the effervescence and unique vigor she tends to bring to every episode. She is also noted especially for her consistency in the program all these years (although you’d hardly ever hear her speak) and considering the number of years she has been seen on the show, side-by-side with her youthful looks and airs that never seem to subside, Vanna White’s age has actually been a subject of many discussions.
How old is the TV star really and for how long has she been on Wheel of Fortune? These and similar questions have been asked about Vanna in recent times. Here are the facts you need to know.
How Old Is Vanna White?
The TV star was born as Vanna Marie Rosich on February 18, 1957. Her birthplace is Conway Horry County in South Carolina, USA. The current coastal tourist city of North Myrtle Beach is where most of the stunner’s upbringing took place. Although Vanna White’s parents (Joan and Miguel Rosich) divorced when the future TV star was still less than 3 years of age, she is grateful to have had a caring stepfather in Herbert Stackley White Jr, who worked as a realtor in North Myrtle Beach. Eventually, Vanna would be taking her step-father’s surname.
While growing up, Vanna never expected to work on TV. Instead, after high school, she trained to become a fashion designer at the Atlanta School of Fashion. Then, her exquisite beauty attracted modeling opportunities to her which she didn’t hesitate to exploit. She also received a couple of minor roles in both films and TV before she finally got her Wheel of Fortune job.
At the age of 33, in 1990, Vanna White recorded another major mileage in her life when she married George San Pietro, a restaurant owner. The couple welcomed a son named Nicholas, two years into their marriage (1992) and a daughter named Giovanna who came along 5 years later on (1997). Then, they divorced in another 5 years in 2002.
Vanna White 1975 Pics
How Old Was Vanna White When She Started On Wheel of Fortune?
Vanna White got her Wheel of Fortune job in 1982 at the age of 25. Although she said in a recent interview that she never expected to get the job, it seems as though the job sought her out instead.
In what may seem rhythmic, Vanna White was a contestant on the then CBS game show The Price Is Right, two years before she landed her job on Wheel of Fortune. That was in June 1980. Although she was not a winner in that episode on The Price Is Right, she left a lasting impression that has remained a reference point since then, especially once she began to get prominent via Wheel of Fortune. Not only was she among the first four contestants that day, but she manifested her signature energy when she ran briskly to take her position in the front row behind bidding podiums. Her demeanor was so spontaneous, passionate, and unforgettable that a clip of the scene would be featuring in a documentary in commemoration of the silver anniversary of The Price Is Right in 1996.
How Long Has She Been On Wheel Of Fortune?
In October 1982, the original hostess of Wheel of Fortune Susan Stafford left the show to pursue her academic career, creating a need for an adequate replacement. Out of over 200 ladies who applied for the job, only three (including Vanna White) were taken eventually to fill in the position temporarily. Three months later, Vanna became the only regular hostess of Wheel of Fortune out of the three ladies earlier chosen. So far, she has been doing the job for over 35 years!
Vanna began to serve on the game show when it aired on NBC and she has remained with them through its days on the CBS Channel and now in its syndication. She has since earned a number of recognitions. Of particular significance was when she entered the Guinness Book of World Record’s as ‘television’s most frequent clapper’ in 1992 with an average of 720 claps per episode. Her current contract on the show will expire in 2022 with a hope for renewal.