Friday, April 12, 2013

Vanna Speaks by Vanna White

I'd had this one on my to-read list for a long time (as you might imagine, since it came out in 1987). Turned out like an eclair - quick, fluffy and not much substance. One of the things that was entertaining about reading Vanna's autobiography was that she was pretty much a contemporary, about the same age as the cheerleaders I had crushes on in high school, and coincidentally she was a cheerleader as well. Her younger brother graduated the same year I did. So, most of the musicians and pop culture she describes as part of her background is very familiar to me.

Vanna had always wanted to be a model and actress, and she had some early success soon after graduating from high school in the Atlanta area, working trade shows and other gigs. When she decided a few years later to move to L.A., things were pretty tough for a while, and she didn't really hit the big time until she got the job on Wheel of Fortune, where she's been ever since.

Though she seems to have led a fairy tale life with her success in Hollywood, she's been hit pretty hard by a number of personal tragedies, beginning with her mother's death from cancer just as she was beginning to achieve personal success, followed a few years later by her boyfriend, John Gibson's, death in a fiery plane crash. She and Gibson, a former Chippendale's dancer, were very close friends with Hugh Hefner of Playboy Magazine, and she was quite surprised when Hugh betrayed her trust by publishing some early lingerie photos she had thought long buried and forgotten after claiming he'd never do anything to hurt her. No honor among playboys, eh?

The main purpose of this book seems to be to answer all of the common questions that Vanna gets asked in her fan mail, all in one convenient location.

1 comment:

Bob Milne said...

Just goes to show how much the world has changed, eh? Back then, those lingerie photos were scandalous . . . huge news and a huge draw. Nowadays, it takes an amateur sex-tape to generate that kind of scandal.

You have to give it to Vanna, though, she's aged well. :)