After 35 years on the air, Wheel of Fortune‘s letter-turner and co-host Vanna White is sharing her thoughts about retirement, and about that time she was on the cover of Playboy.
In an interview with Fox News, the 60-year-old says she was low on money and “too embarrassed to ask my dad for rent money” when she posed for the photos.
“I was young and I wanted to do it on my own,” White says. “So, I did these lingerie shots and from the moment I said I would do them, I thought, ‘I shouldn’t be doing this, but I’m not going to ask my dad for money, so I’m just going to do it!’”
“I didn’t do it for Playboy”
White remembers the pictures only came out when she had reached a certain level of fame after snagging the job on Wheel of Fortune.
“Hugh Hefner then bought those pictures,” she says. “He’s the one who put me on the cover of the magazine. I didn’t do it for Playboy.”
“[Hugh] was my friend and he said, ‘Vanna, we are going to put you on the cover.’ I said, ‘Hef, if you put me on the cover, my career could be ruined,’ and they did it anyway,” she told the talk show host. “…I feel bad, it was a long time ago, but that really hurt my feelings and thanks to everyone out there who was on my side.
“Never do anything you don’t want to do,” adds White. “Listen to your instincts and follow it. It was a great lesson to learn, but what can I say? I did something I shouldn’t have.”
She was not fired and went on to wear over 6,500 dresses on the show — “Never the same one twice,” she says.
White says she still doesn’t know the secret to Wheel of Fortune‘s success, saying, “I still don’t have an answer! I really don’t. It’s just one of those things that every once in a while, everything falls into place… it’s an escape.”
Her own personal success hit her in a big way, telling Fox News she remembers seeing herself on the cover of a magazine when it hit her.