Vanna White’s Enduring Legacy on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

After 41 year0s as host of TV’s “Wheel of Fortune,” Pat Sajak has retired.

But co-star Vanna White hasn’t. She’s been turning the letters since 1982. It wasn’t long after joining the show that Vanna was as well-known as Pat.

Get your copy of Vanna White’s book

I met her in 1987 when she wrote a memoir called Vanna Speaks, a reference to the fact that, in those years, she never said anything on the show.

I spoke with her at the noisy convention of the American Booksellers Association – an event that, it turns out, Vanna had a history with, as you’ll hear shortly.

So, here now, from 1987, Vanna White.

Vanna White is 67 now. She is signed to remain on the show through 2026.

Joe Garagiola

Tomorrow is Major League baseball’s opening day, the first day of the 2023 season.

On the first day of a 162 game schedule, every team is in first place. Any team can win the world series. And a batter can hit /400, and a picture can have a no-hitter.

The world is full of possibilities .

On the Opening Day roster for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1946 was a rookie catcher named Joe Garageola.

That year Joe played in his first, and only, World Series. He was a major leaguer for nine seasons, playing for the Cardinals, the Pirates, the Cubs, and the Giants.

But after his retirement from the game, Joe Garagiola found another career in which he had much greater success.


He did sports broadcasting, but also game shows, and even substitute hosting on the Tonight Show.

I met him in 1988, when he was promoting his book It’s Anybody’s Ballgame, about his post baseball career.

No, to add some context to the interview you’re about to hear. We talked just a couple of weeks into the 1988 season, but already by that time the hapless Baltimore Orioles had a 13 game losing streak, a major league record. Sadly he Os Went on to lose their first 21 games in a row, which still stands as the major league record.

So here now, from 1988, Joe Garagiola.

Joe Garagiola.died in 2016. He was 90.

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Chuck Barris

Do you remember The Dating Game? Or The Newlywed Game? How about The Gong Show?

They and many other TV game shows were all created by the same man: Chuck Barris. He was the king of game shows for many years until he retired in the 1980s and moved to France.

A few years later, he wrote a memoir called The Game Show King. And that’s when I met him and interviewed him.

So here now, from 1993, Chuck Barris.

Chuck Barris died in 2017. He was 87.


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Kitty Carlisle Hart

Regular listeners of Now I’ve Heard Everything know that I don’t often get starstruck. But this was one of those times.

If you grew up in the ’60s, as I did, you may best remember Kitty Carlisle as a panelist on the game show “To Tell the Truth.” But her acting career went back many decades before that.

In fact, Kitty Carlisle was a featured performer in the 1935 Marx Brothers classic “A Night at the Opera.”

In 1988, Kitty Carlisle Hart Road an autobiography. That’s what I met her.

So here now, from 1988, Kitty Carlisle Hart:

Kitty Carlisle Hart died in 2007 at age 96.

Alex Trebek


By now you’ve heard the sad news that Jeopardy host Alex Trebek passed away early Sunday.

So today, we’ll be revisiting my interview with him from some 30 years ago. He was promoting a book called, appropriately enough, The Jeopardy Book.

And get ready for some real Insider information about the show he hosted since 1984.

So here now, from 1990, Alex Trebek:

Vanna White

Vanna White has been turning the letters on TV’s “Wheel of Fortune” since 1982.

But viewers of the show know that Vanna is much more than just a letter turner.

Soon after joining the show, she rose to nearly the prominence of host, Pat Sajak.

I met Vanna White in 1987. She had written a memoir called “Vanna Speaks,” and I interviewed her at the convention of the American Booksellers Association.

So, here now, from 1987, Vanna White.

Vanna White is 63 now. She is signed to co-host “Wheel of Fortune” through 2022.