February 21, 2007
CHARLESTON, S.C.---Have you ever watched TV and wondered what the actors are really like?
Wheel watchers, you've probably wondered that about Vanna White...but wonder no more.
Wheel of Fortune recently made a trip to South Carolina for a taping in Charleston. News 12 got an exclusive behind-the-scenes look.
We sat down with Vanna White, who was raised in the Palmetto State.
"She's come home, are you happy to see her?" cohost Pat Sajak asked the crowd, receiving cheers in response.
It's more than 2,500 miles from Los Angeles back to South Carolina.
Vanna White makes it to her home state once a year...but this was the first time she'd ever brought the wheel with her.
"It's good to be home," she told News 12.
Wheel of Fortune set up shop for three days in Charleston, just about two hours from Vanna's hometown of North Myrtle Beach.
Sajak won't get as much attention this trip. The Chicagoan admits it, but doesn't mind.
"They love Vanna here, the whole state is excited that she is coming, so that's exciting," he said. "So that's kind of fun to see, and she's real excited about it too."
"Being born and raised in South Carolina, I feel like that small hometown girl, even though I'm living in this big city," Vanna said.
"I can talk like this if you want me to," Vanna said, effecting her Southern accent.
And she still feeds her children the Southern stuff.
"Oh, my kids love chicken and dumplings," she told News 12. "I make that at least once a month, you know, and I just--banana pudding, all that stuff."
And she's still daddy's little girl.
"First time we got a television, she said, 'That's what I want to do', and she did," Vanna's father, Herb White, told News 12.
Vanna moved to California in 1980. Only two years later, she auditioned to replace the hostess on Wheel of Fortune.
"I auditioned for the job and got it over 200 women."
And a lot's happened over the years with the game show. Technology has changed things around a bit...and Vanna's got a little confession.
"They don't even need me, but don't them that, right?" she said. "A computer could do what I do. But shh, shh, don't tell them!"
But really, what would the show be without Vanna White?
We asked Vanna what she had to say to her fans.
"Thanks for watching and enjoying Wheel of Fortune," she said. "Please continue to do so!"
Some of the Charleston shows were taped for Country Music Stars Week. The winnings go to charity.
This trip was extra special to Vanna, because she's a big supporter of the American Cancer Society.
Her mother died at age 44 of cancer.