For Vanna White, celebrity no match for motherhood

January 23, 1995|By Catherine Hinman | Catherine Hinman,Orlando Sentinel

How Vanna White can get into a form-fitting, red velvet, size-4 dress so soon after giving birth is not something most women can understand.

But the way the champion letter-turner gushes about 7-month-old son Nicholas would tap a sympathetic nerve in all mothers. He's sitting up, crawling backward and mimicking her when she shakes her head. How has her life changed since Nicholas?

"It makes everything better," says the "Wheel of Fortune" co-star, who will be 38 next month. "It makes life worth living."

Ms. White is so excited about being a mom, in fact, that she's going to put "Wheel" in a family way again. The 5-foot-5-inch celebrity acknowledged Thursday that she has just learned she is pregnant. Although Ms. White, who suffered a miscarriage before Nicholas, said it was premature to publicly celebrate her condition, she said she and her husband, Los Angeles restaurateur George Santopietro, are thrilled.

"Wheel of Fortune," America's favorite syndicated game show and the program that has made Ms. White a household name, is taping 20 episodes at Disney-MGM Studios.

Outside of "Wheel" -- which tapes only four days a month -- Ms. White is a veritable industry. She has her own line of clothing and shoes, and a doll in her likeness.

Next up is a lullaby album for children.

"Wheel" host Pat Sajak -- whose wife gave birth to a girl last week -- will go so far as to say Ms. White's stardom has eclipsed DTC his. He says Ms. White enjoys the public appearances more than he does, and he's grateful to have that pressure taken off him. Mr. Sajak says Ms. White has changed very little since she joined the show 12 years ago.

"I shudder to think about what some other young woman in the position she's in, how difficult she might be to live with," he said. "She's very down-to-earth. She kind of laughs at what's happened."

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