For the last four decades, Vanna White has been gracing our screens as the famous letter-turner and co-host on the beloved game show Wheel of Fortune, alongside Pat Sajak. She has been the beautiful, charming television personality of the show since 1982!
But before she ever hit the TV screen, she was actually a contestant in the Miss Georgia 1978 pageant. So no wonder her stunning outfits and grace have made her one of the most well-known game co-hosts for more than 30 years.
In one of her candid interviews, the now 65-year-old star recalled feeling embarrassed about appearing on a 1987 cover of Playboy, which shows her posing with part of her butt exposed, as well as in an accompanying lingerie pictorial for the nude magazine.
White auditioned against over 200 other hopefuls to land the gig of hostess on the NBC game show Wheel of Fortune in 1982.
Within a short time, she struck stardom gold. Endorsements came, and she starred in Venus: The Goddess of Love, an NBC movie. Weird Al Yankovic wrote a song called “Stuck In A Closet With Vanna White” on his 1988 album Even Worse. She also appeared as a minor character in the Nintendo 64 game “Paper Mario” named Vanna T.
In 1987, some Wheel of Fortune viewers were shocked to see that White was actually staring back at them from the cover of an issue of Playboy magazine. To which yes, inside were some very intriguing seminude photos of White.
While fans were very puzzled by her career choice, however, she didn’t actually agree to appear in the magazine itself. Hugh Hefner had bought the publication of the photographs that she had agreed to pose for in 1982. This was prior to being hired for the game show.
But why did she decide to pose for the magazine?
Well, according to the Washington Post, she needed to do the shoot to pay for rent. This was after she left her hometown of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to pursue her career in Los Angeles.
A 60-year-old at the time, she told Fox News:
“When I first moved to Hollywood, I was too embarrassed to ask my dad for rent money. I was young and I wanted to do it on my own. So, I did these lingerie shots and from the moment I said I would do them, I thought, ‘I shouldn’t be doing this, but I’m not going to ask my dad for money, so I’m just going to do it!’”
With headlines that preceded her Playboy debut adoring her saying:
“How much Vanna can we Stanna?” she had also expressed her concerns about being on the cover of the magazine to Johnny Carson, saying, ‘I’m so sorry . . . I made a mistake, I’m sorry and I just hope I don’t lose my job over it.’”
According to AWM, Vanna even sued Playboy for $5.2 million for destroying her “family audience” reputation. And fortunately, Wheel kept Vanna.
Watch the video below for more details:
Sources: AWM, Washington Post