Behind the Wheel: Get to know Vanna White
LOS ANGELES, CA. (CBS 58) -- She's the game show hostess who's become a household name - Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White turned 62 years old earlier this week.
Wheel of fortune is in its 36th season which means she has spent more than half of her life working on the show. Even so, TV's favorite ‘girl next door’ said it's a dream to be a part of America's Game.
“I love coming to work,” she said. “It's a fun job.”
It’s hard to believe she beat out hundreds to get the job.
“I was probably more nervous than anybody that auditioned,” she said. “200 girls auditioned and I was the last one.”
She officially debut as hostess of Wheel of Fortune on December 13, 1982.
In the last 36 years she's received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and she's held a Guinness Book of World Record for 'Television's Most Frequent Clapper'. If you're wondering - she averages 600 claps a game which equals more than 28,000 a season. Now 36 seasons in, that's more than 3.7 million claps.
But perhaps what's even more impressive – her wardrobe.
“I've worn thousands and thousands and thousands of dresses and never the same one twice,” White said.
She’s worn more than 6,500 dresses on the show but unfortunately she doesn’t get to keep any.
“I wear a lot of gowns, full length gowns but these things weigh ten pounds sometimes with all the sequence and stuff and it's hard to walk I'm worried I'm going to trip,” she said. “I do feel like a queen when I'm wearing them, but I do prefer the shorter ones and stretchy.”
So, what about her shoes?
“The shoes are mine she said. “Pretty much every color you can imagine I have and I keep them here at the studio.
Many of her shoes come with at least a 5-inch heel so how can she move so gracefully across her puzzle board?
“There is an art,” she said “I do it slowly and gingerly.”
But even some of the most graceful among us can't be perfect.
“I have tripped before,” she said. “Fortunately, I haven't fallen down in front of the puzzle board, but you did see me disappear behind a car one day.”
Outside the Vanna we know on TV she said she's pretty normal.
“I'm always glamorous on TV and when I'm not on TV, I'm in blue jeans and tennis shoes with no makeup,” she said. “[My] hair [is] on top of my head in a bun, so that's kind of real me.”
Just ask one of the people who knows her best - even more than 3.5 decades later, her cohost Pat Sajak said she hasn't changed a bit.
“When you ask Vanna what she does she doesn't say, ‘Well I'm going to direct one day,’ she says, 'I touch letter and they light up,”' he said.
While she makes her job look easy, not everyone has the touch. Many including Sajak have tried to make the letters appear on her puzzle board with little to no luck.
“It's only my touch,” she said. “When I touch it it’s [a] light touch. If you try to touch it it's not going to light up.”
And she'll continue to work her magic on that puzzle board for as long as she can.
“I've been doing it 36 years and I'm still not tired of it,” she said. “I love coming to work.”
White has worn more than 6,500 dresses on Wheel of Fortune but she doesn't get to keep any.
Some other fun facts about Vanna - the first letter she flipped on her puzzle board was a “T” and she's loves crocheting. She even has her own yarn line where some of the proceeds are donated to St. Jude.