V-NN- , "I'd like to buy an 'A'." Vanna Marie Rosich was born
February 18, 1957 in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and grew
up there. She once quipped: "As a child, when I was having that
alphabet soup, I never thought that it would pay off (laughs)."
Vanna grew up listening to Elvis; "Blue Suede Shoes" is her
favorite Elvis song. Although Vanna is svelte, she confesses to a
love of junk food, such as White Castle hamburgers (sliders!).
Whereas Vanna doesn't speak much on "Wheel of Fortune" she wrote a
book in 1987 in which "Vanna Speaks" where I got most of this
information. Vanna did not come from a rich family, her Momma lived
in a house with no running water. Vanna's Momma was adopted shortly
after she was born; she only met her biological father once, when
she was 21: She confronted him, his first words were "I don't have
a daughter," that was the first and last time she ever saw him.
Since Vanna's parents divorced when she was one year old, Vanna
didn't meet her biological father until she was 14. Although Vanna
was very beautiful, her first modeling job was as a "hand model"
(holding a pop can, or displaying a ring, etc.), it paid well, $150
an hour, and up to $1,000 a day. Vanna applied at the Nina
Blanchard Agency, and interviewed with Nina herself; even though
Nina was impressed with her portfolio, she turned Vanna down flat
when she found out she was only 5'6" (Nina hires no one under
5'7"). When Vanna was 18, she fell in love with a 33-year-old
divorced man: Gordy Watson. They had an intense relationship that
lasted over 4 years, 1975-1979. However, Gordy liked to spend his
time with other women, and broke Vanna's heart too many times. In
1981, Vanna appeared in 3 movies in rapid succession: as a model in
"Looker" in which she had no lines; and as a high school
cheerleader in both "Graduation Day" and "Midnight Offerings."
Vanna was 24, and again she fell in love with a 33-year-old
divorced man: John Gibson, he was a Chippendale dancer. (He had 2
finches named "Chip" and "Dale" -- unfortunately, Vanna's cats
Rhett Butler and Ashley had them for dinner one night.) Vanna and
John were deeply in love for 5 years, until he died in a tragic
plane accident (in 1986). In 1982, Vanna became world-famous as the
letter-turner on "Wheel of Fortune." This wildly-popular show would
have both a daytime and a nighttime version, with a US audience of
over 40 million, and over 100 million viewers worldwide. On "Wheel
of Fortune" her wardrobe mistress was Florence Calce, who was a
costume maker for Dean Martin. Vanna says "you can never have too
many accessories"; (as a guy I didn't know what this meant, but she
explains accessories are: belts, shoes, purses, jewelry and hats).
For "Wheel" they will tape 5 shows in one day, usually from 3-8
p.m. After the book was published, Vanna married George
Santopietro. Vanna starred in a movie as the "Goddess of Love"
(1988). In 1993, on "Married... with Children," Vanna starred in
the episode "The Proposition," a hilarious take-off of the movie
"Indecent Proposal." And, of course, Vanna is still spinning
letters "Wheel of Fortune." She has a sense of humor about her
enormous fame: On a talk show Vanna once quipped, "I chipped a nail
on a large letter -- I think it was a 'W'." And, like millions of
her fans, I'm proud to say: "I'm a fanna Vanna!"
Biography courtesy of the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com).