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Who Is Vanna White?

Vanna White

American game show host and TV personality Vanna Marie White (née Rosich; born February 18, 1957). She joined the cast of Wheel of Fortune in 1982 and quickly became a fan favorite. While still in school, she began her career as a model by entering Miss Georgia USA in 1978. She is the author of the 1987 autobiography Vanna Speaks and has starred in numerous films and television programs as a supporting character and herself. 

In addition to her involvement in the real estate industry, White owns Vanna’s Choice yarn brand and supports the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Vanna White Background

Vanna White, whose given name at birth was Vanna Marie Rosich, entered this world on February 18, 1957, in Horry County, South Carolina. Joan Marie Rosich and Miguel Angel Rosich were her parents. However, they divorced when she was still a young child. Her mother and stepfather, Herbert White Jr., brought her up in Horry County, home to North Myrtle Beach. Hence, she became Vanna White after adopting her stepfather’s last name.

White wasted no time after finishing high school before relocating to Georgia to enroll at the prestigious Atlanta School of Fashion and Design. White was also a model around this time. She competed for “Miss Georgia U.S.A.” in the 1978 edition of the pageant. In 1979, she moved to Los Angeles to become an actress. Yet in 1980, her mother’s death from ovarian cancer shattered her joy.

White’s life improved drastically after her first appearance on “The Price is Right.” On June 20, 1980, the program first aired. White’s big break came when she was hired as a co-host on “Wheel of Fortune” in 1982. She wed George Santo Pietro, a restaurateur and property investor, in 1990. After two children together, the couple split up in 2002. White was a television fixture for decades, yet she kept her private life under wraps. 

In 2012, however, she met her current boyfriend, John Donaldson, and the rest is history.

Vanna White Age

At the moment, Vanna White is 66 years old.

Vanna White Marriage

In the 1980s, White dated and became engaged to Chippendales star John Gibson. Gibson died in a plane crash in 1986. White married restaurant entrepreneur George Santo Pietro in a December 1990 ceremony. White’s first pregnancy was in September 1992. (Her pregnancy date was made into an answer to a puzzle in the Wheel of Fortune show, so Vanna let the entire world know that she was pregnant.) 

Nevertheless, she had a miscarriage not long after that. After marrying Santo Pietro, she gave birth to a son, Nicholas, in 1994 and a daughter, Giovanna (Gigi), in 1997. The divorce was filed in May of 2002 and finalized in November of the same year. Vanna refers to her son Nik as a “country guy” because of his love of farming, whereas Gigi, her daughter, has a passion for the arts and fashion.

John Donaldson & Vanna White

When asked if they plan to get married, Vanna Donaldson said, “We’ve been together for eight years, and it seems to be working, so we’re both happy, so in my eyes, I feel – in both of our eyes – we feel married.” John Donaldson has been the president of JDC Construction & Development since 2012.

“Weird Al” Yankovic, a famous comic musician, has a song called “Stuck in a Closet with Vanna White” on his album Even Worse. Disc jockey David Kolin (using the name Dr. Dave) released a spoof of The Box Tops’ “The Letter,” titled “Vanna, Choose Me a Letter,” as a 12-inch record in 1987. 

Vanna T, a minor character in the Nintendo 64 video game Paper Mario, is likely named after the Golden Girls: The TV show “Get That Dough” was a character parody of Vanna’s story about Playboy republishing her underwear images.

Wheel of Fortune

In October of 1982, Wheel of Fortune host Susan Stafford announced her departure. She, Summer Bartholomew, and Vicki McCarty were chosen to fill in as a substitute. As one of two hundred entrants, she was there. After two months, she was a permanent fixture on the show. When she started filming for Wheel of Fortune, she was 25 years old.

During 40 years, she has broken all previous records for the show by wearing more than 7,000 dresses. In the show, she rarely repeats an outfit. The Wheel of Fortune costumes is not hers to keep.

Participants on Wheel of Fortune with the most extreme behavior: White claims that one show’s winner was a young woman hoisted Pat on her shoulders while she jumped for joy.

At a Christmas concert, she was walking around with a wrapped Christmas present attached to her clothing, and she had no idea it was there. In May of this year (2019), she finished filming episode 7000.

She has featured in roughly 7,000 episodes of the show, and it is believed that she claps an average of 606 times per episode. Throughout her career, she has received over 4,000,000 applauses. She still owns this one-of-a-kind record. She walked an estimated 2000 kilometers on the show while uncovering the letters, setting a new walking record.

Even in the many TV shows and films in which she has starred, she has always done so in her role as Wheel of Fortune’s hostess.


Vanna White was born Vanna Marie Angel to Miguel Angel and Joan Marie Rosich in Conway, South Carolina. Before her mother married Herbert White, Vanna went by her mother’s maiden name because she never knew her biological father after he vanished soon after she was born. Vanna ended up taking her stepfather’s surname. 

When Herbert White decided to start a new career in real estate, he and his family relocated to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Vanna traveled out West as a young adult to work in an industry where her beauty and charm would be valued. She met the love of her life, John Gibson, and soon bonded with fellow Hollywood hopefuls. 

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