After landing her dream job as the letter-turning hostess on Wheel of Fortune in 1982, things couldn’t have been going any better for Vanna White. However, four years after joining Pat Sajak on the beloved game show, she tragically lost her fiancé, actor John Gibson, after the plane he was flying crashed outside an airport near Los Angeles.
“It was May 17, 1986,” the 62-year-old beauty recently recalled to People. “The second I heard about it, I fell to my knees. It was just devastating.” Although she was going through one of the most difficult times in her life, Vanna credited fans with being her saving grace while trying to cope with the loss of her future husband.
“I heard from so many people who had shared the same experience of losing someone instantly in an accident, and that really helped me,” she gushed to the outlet. “I didn’t feel like I was alone. Because when something like that happens, you immediately think you’re the only one.”
Following The Young and the Restless actor’s untimely passing, Vanna found love again with restaurateur George Santo Pietro after tying the knot in a romantic ceremony in 1990. Two years later, tragedy struck the stunning TV star for the second time after she announced she was pregnant with her first child on an episode of the game show.
Just one week after sharing the good news with her massive following of fans in 1992 — which was revealed when an answer to one of the show’s puzzles read “Vanna’s Pregnant” after it was solved — the blonde beauty announced she sadly suffered a miscarriage. “I so wanted to be pregnant and have a baby, so then when I finally got pregnant, I wanted to tell the world immediately,” she explained.
“Obviously I lost the baby, which was devastating after announcing it. The good news is I was able to get pregnant again and had two beautiful, healthy children,” Vanna continued, referring to her and George’s two kids, son Niko, 25, and daughter Gigi, 22. “But losing a child — there’s nothing good about that.”
The Goddess of Love actress dished that she turned to her fans once again after miscarrying her little bundle of joy. “You have to take their support and try to be strong,” she said. “It’s so hard, but you just have to think, ‘What would they want me to do?'”
Although she’s been through a ton of trials and tribulations in her life, Vanna has one of the most positive outlooks. In fact, the Gypsy Angels actress — who has since found love with her boyfriend of seven years, real estate developer John Donaldson — gushed to Closer Weekly in November 2018 about how she overcame death and heartbreak.
“We’re faced with a lot of positives and negatives, and we have to accept them and do whatever we can to get through it,” she exclusively shared with Closer at the time. “It’s like if you break an arm — it takes time, but it does heal.” In the end, “Life is not perfect — just try to make the best of it,” Vanna said. “Be strong, be kind to people, and be happy.”
Vanna is such an amazing inspiration!