Real name: Vanna Marie Rosich
Birthdate: February 18, 1957
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Vanna White (born Vanna Marie Rosich on February 18, 1957) is an American television personality, best known as the hostess and puzzle board operator on the long-running game show Wheel of Fortune. She is the niece of actor Christopher George.
White's first national television appearance came on the June 20, 1980 episode of The Price Is Right, where she was one of the first four contestants to "come on down". She did not make it onstage, but the clip of her running to Contestants' Row would be rebroadcast as part of The Price Is Right 25th Anniversary Special in 1996 and was also shown on Game Show Moments Gone Bananas. Two years later she auditioned for the letter-turning job on Wheel of Fortune that Susan Stafford had vacated. Merv Griffin chose her over two other finalists, and her first episode as Pat Sajak's regular assistant aired December 13, 1982. She remained with the daytime version of Wheel until its cancellation in 1991.
White's popularity soared after the nighttime version of Wheel debuted in September 1983. Within a year, Wheel was the highest-rated syndicated program, in large part because of "Vannamania". Her 1987 autobiography, Vanna Speaks!, was a best-seller. Also in 1987, she was featured in a Playboy pictorial, comprising photos of White wearing see-through lingerie that were taken before Wheel.
White was the subject of "Weird Al" Yankovic's 1988 song, "Stuck in a Closet With Vanna White". In 1989, she was in the NBC TV-movie Goddess of Love, in which she played Venus. The film was universally panned, and TV Guide said White's acting was "wheely" bad.
White was born in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to a family of Croatian background. She later took the name of her stepfather, Herbert White, a former real estate agent in North Myrtle Beach. One of White's ancestors, whose last name was Barnes, was one of the first mayors of the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Vanna's first car, (purchased by her father, for her) was a metallic blue 1972 "Marathon Edition" (Volkswagen Beetle). Vanna's father tried to get her to consider other makes of cars, but Vanna held firm on her decision. Vanna so desired the car due to the corporate initials of (Volkswagen AG) being the same as hers, "V.W.". A picture of Vanna's Bug was featured on a Summer 2007 episode of Wheel Of Fortune, in which she revisited her hometown.
In 1993, White won a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics over their use of a humorous ad featuring a robot turning letters on a game show. The decision was later affirmed by the Ninth Circuit. The issue was over the property right to publicity. The court ruled in favor of White's claim of a right to her property of publicity. This case has been widely criticized by property lawyers who cite the dissenting opinion by Judge Kozinski, from the denial of a rehearing en banc, which stated, among other things, that "Overprotecting intellectual property is as harmful as underprotecting it. Creativity is impossible without a rich public domain. Nothing today, likely nothing since we tamed fire, is genuinely new: Culture, like science and technology, grows by accretion, each new creator building on the works of those who came before. Overprotection stifles the very creative forces it's supposed to nurture."
Former model Liza Greer claims she had a lesbian affair with Vanna White in her tell-all book You'll Never Make Love In This Town Again. According to the book, they met at the Playboy Mansion.