Pat Sajak’s life was forever changed when he became the host of Wheel of Fortune four decades ago. He formed a lifelong friendship with his cohost, Vanna White, as they shot to fame together. The pair have become one of television’s most iconic duos. They have nothing but love for each other on and off screen.
The list of accomplishments is endless for Pat and Vanna. The duo celebrated him becoming the title-holder of the Longest Career as a Game Show Host of the Same Show in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2019. “I couldn’t have done it without you, kid,” he said to Vanna as he was presented with the honor on air. It was just one of many sweet moments the cohosts have shared on Wheel of Fortune.
In November 2019 when the Emmy winner had to undergo emergency intestine surgery, producers asked Vanna to step in as host. The episodes aired the following month as Pat recovered. For Vanna, it was a whole new world being on stage without her longtime friend.
“My biggest concern was Pat’s health,” the mother of two told People at the time. “I was so worried, and it was so strange being on the set without him. I’ve never been on the set without him in 37 years, but the staff and crew were so supportive and made me so comfortable and helped me in every way. Everybody was so supportive. I had a few minor mistakes, but nothing that affected the game.”
The South Carolina native did a remarkable job hosting Wheel of Fortune for a few weeks. She was even assisted by a special guest, Pat’s daughter Maggie. Viewers of the show and Pat himself were nothing but proud of Vanna for stepping into the hosting role on such short notice.
“The fact that she did it speaks volumes about her. It would have been very easy for her to say, ‘I’m sorry, this is not what I do,’” Pat told CBS Sunday Morning in March 2020. “But the audience was rooting for her and almost proud to see her up there.”
Leading one of the longest-running syndicated game shows is no easy feat. The pair celebrated 7,000 episodes together in May 2019. “I remember sitting in the chair next to Pat saying, ‘I wonder where we’ll be in 10 years?’ … And here it’s been 36,” Vanna told USA Today about the milestone.
Scroll to see Vanna and Pat’s sweetest quotes about their lasting friendship.
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