‘Wheel of Fortune’: Pat Sajak Once Did a Small Stint Acting in Major Soap Opera

by Emily Morgan

During the early days of “Wheel of Fortune,” Pat Sajak also tried his hand at another gig in the entertainment business: acting. During the early 1980s, Sajak was starting as the host of “Wheel of Fortune.” Unlike now, he hosted a daytime version of the show as well as the evening version. 

However, in between tapings of “Wheel,” you could see Sajak on the same network, but this time, he wasn’t playing himself. For Sajak, 1983 was a good year. That year, he landed his spot as the host of one of the most famous American game shows. In addition, he also booked a part on the popular soap opera sitcom “Days of Our Lives.” Sajak portrayed Kevin Hathaway in “Days of Our Lives.” Even though it was a minor role, Sajak would later go on to book more acting gigs. 

Pat Sajak’s Silver Screen Debut

Even though his notoriety was increasing with each episode of “Wheel of Fortune,” Sajak continued acting. His most significant role came when he made his film debut one year earlier. Sajak booked a walk-on role in the 1982 film Airplane II: The Sequel, a follow-up to the Zucker brothers comedy hit of 1979. He played the role of a newscaster in Buffalo, New York. 

According to his IMDB page, Sajak has 14 credits as an actor in various television shows in movies. After “Days of Our Lives” and Airplane II, he booked other roles on different television shows. Throughout the 1980s, he appeared in shows such as “Gimme A Break,” “Washingtoon,” “The A-Team,” “227,” and “Santa Barbara.” 

Sajak continued making appearances, mostly portraying himself, throughout the 1990s and 2000s as well. He made cameos in “The Commish,” “The Larry Sanders Show,” “Just Shoot Me,” and “King of Queens.” 

Also, you may remember him when he appeared on the popular Nickelodeon cartoon “Rugrats.” In the show, he played an animated version of himself. In the 1994 episode titled “Chuckie is Rich,” Sajak awards Chaz with $10 million. His son, Pat Sajak Jr., also appeared in the episode as one of the wealthy daycare children. 

Later, his acting gigs slowed down as “Wheel of Fortune” steadily remained at the top of the ratings. However, in 2017 he made another television appearance when he played himself in “Sullivan & Son.” His most recent television role was in 2017 when he played himself in the ABC sitcom “Fresh Off The Boat.”