HomeEntertainment‘Wheel of Fortune’: Vanna White Said She ‘Never Understood’ How She Became a Massive Celebrity

‘Wheel of Fortune’: Vanna White Said She ‘Never Understood’ How She Became a Massive Celebrity

by Katie Maloney
(Photo by: Christopher Willard via Getty Images)

How has Vanna White reached worldwide fame? Vanna revealed the answer during a 1992 interview.

Certainly, Vanna White is a television icon. Not only has she co-hosted Wheel of Fortune since her debut in 1982, but Vanna has also guest-starred as herself on popular television shows including Full House and The King of Queens. Vanna White’s fame extends far beyond Wheel of Fortune. So, how exactly did she achieve worldwide popularity? The answer is: we don’t know. And neither does Vanna White. During an interview in 1992, Vanna said that she had no idea how she became such a massive celebrity.

”I never understood it, and I still don’t,” said Vanna. “All I can guess is that it was the fans who watch and enjoy the show. They`re so loyal.”

White added that Pat Sajak may have contributed to her fame.

“The fact that Pat [Sajak] started introducing me at the beginning of the show helped a little bit,” said White.

Vanna White’s Fans Made Her Made-For-TV Movie a Success

Vanna White was certainly accurate when she attributed her loyal fans to her success. Vanna’s fans are definitely dedicated. In 1988 Vanna starred in the made-for-television movie, Goddess of Love. The movie follows a statue of Venus, the goddess of love, that comes to life after 3,000 years. Venus then has to find a man to fall in love with her or she’ll be banished from Mount Olympus forever. So, Venus, played by Vanna White, falls in love with a shy hairstylist. There’s only one catch: He’s engaged. You’ll just have to watch the movie to find out the rest. No, the film didn’t reach critical acclaim. In fact, it was met with some criticism. However, because of Vanna’s loyal fanbase, Goddess of Love was the most-watched program on tv the night it aired.

What Was the First Letter Vanna Ever Turned?

When Vanna White first appeared on Wheel of Fortune, all the letters had to be hand-turned. Obviously, Vanna was amazing at it. And the show continued with that format until 1997. After that year, all the letters on the show became digitized. The touchscreen board reportedly saved Wheel of Fortune many hours in production time because the puzzles could be quickly erased and changed via a computer. Since then, all Vanna has to do is press the screen to reveal the letters. But she still does it in style.

So, what was the first letter she ever turned? Well, we don’t know the very first letter. Because Vanna actually started at the show with three competitors. Along with Vanna, Vicki McCarty and Summer Bartholomew competed for the role of Wheel of Fortune co-host. So Vanna turned letters for a few months before officially landing her role as permanent hostess of the show. So, what was Vanna White’s first letter as permanent hostess? The letter was a “T.” And the answer to the puzzle was the title of the famous soap opera, General Hospital.