‘Wheel of Fortune’: Vanna White Once Explained Why She ‘Couldn’t’ Become a Feature Film Lead

by John Jamison

Vanna White has been turning letters on “Wheel of Fortune” for nearly 40 years. Okay, these days she isn’t turning them as much as tapping them. But still, the iconic game show co-host has been doing her job well for a long time. It begs the question, why didn’t she pursue bigger and better opportunities in Hollywood?

The South Carolina native started her career as a model and aspiring actress. In the early 1980s, she landed a few small parts in a couple of underwhelming movies. And in 1982, she got the co-hosting job on “Wheel of Fortune” and never looked back.

In a 1987 interview with the Associated Press, Vanna White talked about her fame. She had become a huge celebrity by this point, and she discussed why she was happy with the work she was doing.

“I can’t just go into the lead of a feature film right now. People aren’t ready for that, and I’m not ready for that. People know me as a letter-turner, and that’s what I am,″ she said in the interview.

Vanna was apparently realistic about her acting ability. She was a beautiful, stylish, and beloved performer. But she was able to recognize her limits.

In this regard, she’s not unlike Pat Sajak. Her co-host on “Wheel of Fortune” once talked about how game show hosts who aspired to be actors weren’t true game show hosts at all.

The ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Co-Host Ended Up Starring in a Movie

For all of her realism in the 1987 interview, Vanna White took a chance on a film just a year later. In 1988, she starred in a television movie produced by NBC called “Goddess of Love.”

She appropriately played the title character, Venus, the goddess of love. In the movie, Zeus sends her down to earth so she can find her own true love.

Art is highly subjective. And many people consider acting to be an art unto itself. But by all accounts, Vanna White was not the most natural of actors. At least she wasn’t in this particular role, and the critics panned her performance.

Hey, at least she gave it a shot.