Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It's the 35th Vannaversary!

PAT: Thank you. Thank you, Jack Clark. Thank you all. I appreciate that, and welcome to Wheel of Fortune. A big day for us around here because we told you we would find our new hostess and she's been around here for a few weeks, and now, we will officially welcome her. Please do that for Vanna White. VANNA!

     -Pat Sajak, Wheel of Fortune, December 13, 1982

The first citizen of Conway, South Carolina, the most well-known for being well-known person in America, Vanna White today- December 13, 2017- celebrates 35 years as the letter-turner on Wheel of Fortune.

Henry Bemis Books- naturally!- has an autographed first edition of Vanna’s only book, Vanna Speaks, a bestseller in 1987:

White, Vanna, Vanna Speaks (Warner Books, 1st ed., 1st printing, May, 1987). ISBN 0-446-51366-0. So ubiquitous was Vanna White in American popular culture after Wheel of Fortune began in 1983, there was a bestseller called Vanna Karenina. The Oregonian newspaper did a front page redesign featuring a column running down the left side: an index to the interior. At the top of the column was a daily celebrity photo, and the first was...Vanna White. Around Portland that space in the paper became known as “the Vanna Box,” irrespective of who appeared in it. Here the turner of letters turns woman of letters. Hardcover, unclipped dustjacket, as new condition overall. Inscribed on the half title page. HBB price: $35.

So iconic did Vanna become, so fast, she inspired other authors:

Before her first appearance on TV in 1980, White was a contestant in the Miss Georgia 1978 pageant. 

White's first appearance in a game show was on the June 20, 1980, episode of The Price Is Right, in which she was among the first four contestants. She did not make it onstage, but the clip of her running to Contestants' Row was rebroadcast as part of The Price Is Right 25th Anniversary Special in August 1996 and also was featured on the special broadcast Game Show Moments Gone Bananas. 

After Wheel of Fortune hostess Susan Stafford left in October 1982, White was selected as one of three substitute hostesses (along with Vicki McCarty and Summer Bartholomew) to co-host the show.

On December 13, 1982, White became the regular hostess. 

Also in 1987, she was featured in a Playboy pictorial, showing photos taken of her by her boyfriend (before her career on Wheel of Fortune) wearing see-through lingerie.

In 1988, she appeared in the NBC television film Goddess of Love, in which she played Venus; Betsy Palmer co-starred as Juno. The film was panned universally by critics, with TV Guide joking that White's acting was "wheely" bad. Film historian Leonard Maltin added that the picture was "...bottom-of-the-barrel yet, on its own terms, a must-see".

She has made cameo appearances on television shows such as L.A. Law, 227, Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Simon and Simon, The King of Queens, and Full House; and in films such as Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994) and Double Dragon (1994). She also appeared as Doris in the horror movie Graduation Day in 1981.

She guest-starred on Married...With Children; in a gender-bending parody of the film Indecent Proposal, White had the Robert Redford role while Al Bundy had that of Demi Moore. She served as guest timekeeper for WrestleMania IV. 

In 1992, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized White as "television's most frequent clapper". In 1996, she was the main narrator and singer in the CD release of Leslie Bricusse's "Santa's Last Ride".

On April 20, 2006, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with Pat Sajak, Merv Griffin, and Alex Trebek as key witnesses.

White lent her voice to the Canadian animated television special The Real Story of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and the American animated television series Captain Planet and the Planeteers.

White dated Playgirl centerfold/Chippendales-dancer-turned-actor John Gibson in the 1980s, and they eventually became engaged. In 1986, Gibson was killed in a plane crash. 

White married restaurant owner George Santo Pietro in December 1990. The couple divorced in November 2002.

From 2004 to 2006, she was engaged to businessman Michael Kaye, senior partner in a large leveraged buyout fund based in southern California. The two never wed.

White is a crochet and knitting enthusiast and has a line of yarns called "Vanna's Choice" through Lion Brand Yarns.

In 1993, White sued the Samsung Electronics corporation over its use of a humorous ad featuring a robot turning letters on a game show, alleging a violation of her personality rights. 

The lower court's decision in Samsung's favor was reversed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the Ninth Circuit denied a rehearing; Judge Kozinski issued a dissent. The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari. 

White ultimately was awarded $403,000 in damages.

Comic musician "Weird Al" Yankovic penned an original song, "Stuck in a Closet with Vanna White" featured on his hit album Even Worse.

In 1987, disc jockey David Kolin, credited as Dr. Dave, released a 12-inch single of a parody called "Vanna, Pick Me a Letter" to the song "The Letter" by The Box Tops.

Henry Bemis Books is one man’s attempt to bring more diversity and quality to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg market of devoted readers starved for choices. Our website is at Henry Bemis Books is also happy to entertain reasonable offers on items in inventory; for pricing on this or others items, kindly private message us. Shipping is always free to US locations; local buyers are welcome to drop by and pick up their purchases at our location off Peachtree Road in Northwest Charlotte if they like. 

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What’s your favorite social media outlet? We’re blogging at www.henrybemisbookseller.blogspot. com. We tweet as Henry Bemis Books. 

You can also see Henry’s alter ego, Lindsay Thompson, on a three weekly Facebook Live programs: Gallimaufry, a Wednesday program about literary history on Henry Bemis Books’ Facebook page; Book Week, a weekly Thursday noon rare book news program on the Book Week Facebook page; LGBookT, a Monday show about LGBT literature on the LGBookT page; and Rare Book Cafe, a live 2:30-3:30 pm EDT Saturday panel show about books and collecting on the Cafe’s Facebook page. All remain posted after their live broadcasts.

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