Vanna White - January 20, 2014

The American Treasure Tour blog is currently highlighting photographs of actors, athletes and musicians who appear on the walls of the Toy Box.  Considering the sheer quantity of these pictures, we have not yet determined how many we will discuss before moving on to other subjects, but that's part of what makes the ATT so wacky, and the blog so spontaneous.  Today is a special day because we are going to talk about...Vanna White!

Born in 1957 in South Carolina, Vanna Marie Rosich changed her name to White after her father abandoned the family and her mother remarried a man named Herbert White.  Vanna became a model in her early twenties and moved to Los Angeles to start her career in sho business.  She was twenty-five when she was hired to  be a hostess, or letter turner, on Wheel of Fortune, a job she has faithfully executed for around 6,000 episodes over the course of thirty-two years.  She has also performed in a handful of movies, most of which have received  unexceptional reviews.  She made a second career out of her involvement in charities dedicated to helping children that incorporate her love of crochet with funding research to improve the lives of children.

QUESTION:

In what 1994 film did Vanna White make a cameo appearance?

a)  Forrest Gump

b)  Natural Born Killers

c)  Naked Gun 33-1/3: The Final Insult

d)  The Shawshank Redemption

e)  Pulp Fiction

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

Using a concept originally developed in Russia and taking advantage of hills made out of ice, LaMarcus Adna Thompson received his first of many claims with the United States Patent Office for the design of a roller coaster on this day in 1885.  His Switchback Railway was constructed in Coney Island, New York, the first of many wooden coasters that carried thrill seekers on a train track at fast speeds that went downhill using the force of gravity to collect speed.  Soon, technological advances made it possible for engineers to design oval coasters that mechanically pulled cars uphill to prolong the adventure, but this was the first of its kind in America!

The film In Old Arizona was released today in 1929.  Raoul Walsh was set to direct this popular western, but had to withdraw from the film after a jackrabbit jumped through the windshield of a car he was driving and blinded him in one eye.  He wore an eyepatch for the rest of his life.  Irving Cummings completed filming for him, though, on what would be the first talking movie filmed outdoors.  (The Jazz Singer, regarded the first talkie ever, was filmed on sound stages.)  It also began the era of the singing cowboy, sadly missing from modern films.

BIRTHS:

Nathan Birnbaum was born on this day in 1896.  Never heard of him?  That's because he changed his name to George Burns when, as a young boy, he and a few friends started performing in front of small groups on the streets of the city.  Their act was called the Pee-Wee Quartet, which consisted of harmonizing New York children who sang wherever and whenever they could to raise money.  This was the beginning of a lifetime of entertainment for George Burns, whose career spanned vaudeville, radio, television and movies.  Usually seen sucking on an over-sized cigar, Burns, with wife Gracie Allen, made people laugh to the very end.  He died shortly after his 100th birthday.

Turning 84 today, Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin has the distinction of being the second man ever to walk on the surface of the moon, behind Neil Armstrong.  A jet fighter pilot during the Korean War, Aldrin became an astronaut with NASA in 1963 and remained a member of this elite group for nine years.  After that, he returned to Earth full time.  His sense of humor has shown through many appearances on television, in shows like The Simpsons, and he has expressed great pleasure at being the inspiration for the character of Buzz Lightyear in Pixar's Toy Story  animated film franchise.  Happy Birthday, Buzz!

QUOTE:

It's not the most intellectual job in the world, but I do have to know the letters. - Vanna White
 

Answer:  c)  Naked Gun 33-1/3: The Final Insult