It's been 33 years since America’s favorite game show hostess Vanna White went from obscurity to fame on Wheel of Fortune — but despite her many fans, few know the real Vanna, 60, or the story behind her triumphs and tragedies. Scroll down for more info on the sudden death of her fiancé, her miscarriage, divorce, and past broken engagement.
Did Vanna White's husband die?
No, but her former fiancé did sadly pass away. In 1986, Vanna's love John Gibson — a soap opera actor on The Young and the Restless and One Life to Live — died in a small plane crash at age 37. “It was devastating,” Vanna recently told Closer Weekly in an exclusive interview. “But I got such an outpouring of fan mail, and it really did help to know that I wasn’t alone.”
Who is Vanna White married to?
Following John's passing, Vanna married restaurateur George Santo Pietro in 1989. “George was wealthy, had distinguished good looks, and was quite the charmer,” a source close to Vanna told Closer of their romance. George supported Vanna through a very public miscarriage in 1992, however, the couple had different interests and they split in 2002, but kept their relationship civil for their children’s sake.
Does Vanna White have any kids?
Yes, Vanna is a mom-of-two. She and her then-husband, George, welcomed son Nicholas "Niko" Santo Pietro, 23, in 1994 and daughter Giovanna "Gigi" Santo Pietro, 20, in 1997.
Does Vanna White have a boyfriend?
After divorcing husband George, Vanna announced on Wheel of Fortune in 2002 that she was engaged to California businessman Michael Kaye. “He was very different from George — which was exactly what Vanna needed. He was low-key and a bit of a homebody, like she is,” a friend of Vanna’s told Closer. Vanna ended her relationship with Michael a little more than a year after their engagement announcement. In 2012, her friends introduced her to her current beau, John Donaldson, who works as a contractor. "He is kind, understanding, and lets me be me," Vanna once told Closer.
"Today I am happy just the way things are. The biggest surprise to my fans is probably how simple I live in real life," Vanna — who earns a sizable $4 million per year but lives modestly — told Closer. "I’m a real down-to-earth girl. I usually spend my days without makeup, wearing tennis shoes. I love the outdoors. I love waking up early when it’s quiet, going out on the balcony to hear the birds sing." Despite all the hardships she's faced in her life, Vanna's close friend assured she's in a good place today. "Vanna is a fighter and she’s emotionally stronger than she might appear to the public," the source said.