December 3rd, 2007
Vanna White is a game show icon. She began her career on Wheel of Fortune in 1982, and since then has become a household name. Her fans multiply year after year as she tackles other projects such as creating her own line of Lion Brand yarn, writing books, and most importantly, being a mom.
As Wheel celebrates its 25th Anniversary, I had the opportunity to speak with Vanna about the show, her family, and what it's really like to be a celebrity mom. Fans of Wheel of Fortune already know that Vanna is warm and friendly, and I'm happy to say that she is just as engaging on the telephone. Here's what she had to say.
Question: Hi Vanna! Congratulations on the 25th Anniversary! How much fun has this special season been for you so far?
Vanna White: Oh my gosh, it's been great! So much fun.
Q: Your actual anniversary date is coming up on December 13th, right?
Vanna: No, it was the day before Thanksgiving. Or, wait, I think you're right! I found out about the job the day before Thanksgiving, so I guess I did start on the 13th of December. I didn't know that!
Q: You have such a huge, vocal fan base. How does it feel to be the subject of so much fan attention?
Vanna: You know, it's such a great show, a family show that's great for all ages. So much of TV is negative these days, it's just so nice to be involved in something like this. The fans are so nice -- I run into them at airports or on the set, and they treat me like their next-door neighbor. It's, "Hi Vanna! How are the kids?" I love it.
Q: Even though you don't get to keep all of the gowns you wear on the show, do you enjoy modeling dresses by so many different designers?
Vanna: Definitely, it's fun. Makes me feel like Barbie sometimes! Unless they're too tight or uncomfortable.
Q: Have you ever had to refuse a gown for any reason?
Vanna: Yeah, I have. Some of them are just hard to move around in. I have to lift my arms over my head to turn the higher letters, so if the dress is off the shoulder or too tight, then I can't do that. Or if they're too short, I won't wear them.
Q: I mentioned to a few friends that I'd be speaking with you today, and most of them wanted me to ask you how you manage to keep looking so great year after year.
Vanna: Oh, it's hard work! I work out almost every day. I do a lot of spinning - I have a spin bike at home which I use for 45 minutes a day. I also run, and do lots of push-ups and sit-ups. And I only eat when I'm hungry.
Q: Ah, that's the tricky part, right?
Vanna: Oh it is hard! I have a terrible sweet tooth.
Q: Okay, switching gears here a little bit. Jen Johnson, a contestant on Big Brother 8, is your nanny, correct? How do you feel about the show and what happened there?
Vanna: Well, Jen actually works for my ex-husband. She lives there and looks after my kids when they're with their dad, and I have my own nanny here. Having said that though, she's been wonderful with them and is a good influence on my kids. I know her on a personal level, and she's great. I can't say anything about Big Brother because I don't know what went on there.
Q: So Jen is still working for your ex?
Vanna: She is, yes.