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Vanna White

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Also Known As: Vanna Marie Rosich Died:
Born: February 18, 1957 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Conway, South Carolina, USA Profession: TV hostess, model, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Every now and then a celebrity appears upon the American show business scene analysis knows not of. It is more often than not a woman whose notoriety, publicity or appearance seems inexplicably to grasp public imagination and go click. What results is a faddish fascination with a person as product, pop phenomenon, fast food sensation, human hula hoop. Vanna White is such a person.Discovered by Merv Griffin, who chose her from over two hundred other hopefuls for her position as hostess of television's syndicated quiz show, "Wheel of Fortune," White got the job (says Griffin) because of her "Rita Hayworth look." Since then her one foray into acting--in 1988's TV Movie "Goddess of Love"--produced no other comparisons to the great 1940s Love Goddess.But she's still a big wheel on the Home Shopping Network, enough to sustain a certain degree of Vannamania. Why all the fuss? Perhaps because White seems friendly and decidedly ordinary, the majorette who made good and got all dressed up to visit middle America's living rooms, diverting her viewing audience with their idea of glamour. Anyway, she receives $250,000 a year for taping four days a month--not bad for flipping letters, as she gazes into the camera...

Every now and then a celebrity appears upon the American show business scene analysis knows not of. It is more often than not a woman whose notoriety, publicity or appearance seems inexplicably to grasp public imagination and go click. What results is a faddish fascination with a person as product, pop phenomenon, fast food sensation, human hula hoop. Vanna White is such a person.

Discovered by Merv Griffin, who chose her from over two hundred other hopefuls for her position as hostess of television's syndicated quiz show, "Wheel of Fortune," White got the job (says Griffin) because of her "Rita Hayworth look." Since then her one foray into acting--in 1988's TV Movie "Goddess of Love"--produced no other comparisons to the great 1940s Love Goddess.

But she's still a big wheel on the Home Shopping Network, enough to sustain a certain degree of Vannamania. Why all the fuss? Perhaps because White seems friendly and decidedly ordinary, the majorette who made good and got all dressed up to visit middle America's living rooms, diverting her viewing audience with their idea of glamour. Anyway, she receives $250,000 a year for taping four days a month--not bad for flipping letters, as she gazes into the camera with the smile of a quiz show Mona Lisa.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

3.
 Double Dragon (1994) Herself
4.
 Gypsy Angels (1994) Mickey
5.
 Meet the Munceys (1988) Herself
6.
 Goddess of Love, The (1988) Venus
7.
 Graduation Day (1981)
8.
 Looker (1981) Reston Girl
9.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1991:
Signed a five-year contract as spokesmodel for Chicago's Spring Air Mattress company
:
Signed with Atlanta Models and Talents and appeared in an industrial film, local commercials, print and catalog work
1982:
Acted as hostess and letter turner on TV game show, "Wheel of Fortune"
1990:
Appeared as herself on "L.A. Law"
1981:
Made feature debut in "Looker"; also appeared in "Graduation Day" and "The Burning"
1980:
Moved to Los Angeles
1978:
Came in fourth runner-up in Miss Georgia Universe Beauty Pageant (date approximate)
:
Appeared on TV game show "Pot of Gold"
:
Became a model in national advertising by 1978
:
Parents divorced before her first birthday; father moved to New York, mother to Miami; White was raised by grandparents
:
Appeared as a contestant on the TV game show, "The Price Is Right"; did not make it out of contestant's row
1988:
First starring role in a TV movie, "Goddess of Love"
1991:
Placed third in a "TV Guide" poll of the most beautiful women on TV; placed first in the "most attractive figure" category
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Atlanta School of Fashion: -

Notes

Named after mother's middle name "Marie" and grandmother's godchild "Vana" (extra "n" added by White's mother).

Expecting birth of second child in July 1997

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Gordy Watson. 15 years White's senior; relationship lasted four years.
companion:
John Gibson. Actor, Chippendale dancer. Appeared on "The Young and the Restless"; died in a plane crash in 1986.
husband:
George Santo Pietro. Restaurateur. Born c. 1946; married December 31, 1990; first met c. 1983 at a friend's house; has grown son who worked in production on TV's "Northern Exposure"; separated in 2001; officially divorced in June 2002.
companion:
Michael Kaye. Businessman. Engaged July 8, 2004.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

son:
Nicholas Santo Pietro. Born on June 10, 1994.
daughter:
Giovanna Santo Pietro. Born on July 1, 1997.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Vanna Speaks"

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