Taking part in the sport of life. Pat Sajak’s journey to turning into the longest-running TV recreation present host has had its ups and downs over time.
The TV persona grew to become a staple of the small display screen after taking up for authentic Wheel of Fortune host Chuck Woolery in 1981. “After I began internet hosting Wheel (with Susan Stafford) on this date 40 years in the past, the highest 10 TV reveals included Dallas, Three’s Firm, The Jeffersons and The Dukes of Hazzard,” Sajak tweeted in December 2021, in honor of his fortieth anniversary as host. “Ronald Reagan was in his 1st yr as president. #1 track: Olivia Newton-John’s ‘Bodily.’”
One yr after starting his decades-long profession on the present, he was joined by cohost Vanna White, and the 2 have been entertaining viewers for over 40 years. “We’re like a brother and sister after 37 years,” White solely instructed Us Weekly in December 2019. “I believe the 2 of us have been collectively longer than anybody else, so far as having spouses or kids or no matter. We have now been collectively a very long time. … I can simply take a look at him and inform what sort of a temper he’s in.”
5 years after taking over his now-iconic position, Sajak break up from his ex-wife, Sherrill James. He later tied the knot with Lesly Brown, and the 2 grew to become dad and mom to son Patrick and daughter Maggie in 1990 and 1995, respectively.
Along with serving to make contestants’ goals come true with costly prizes and elaborate journeys, the Chicago native’s actions as host have often garnered him backlash from Wheel of Fortune followers. Following the present’s April 13, 2022, episode, followers known as Sajak out on social media over a joke he made about White. For the reason that episode’s winner was an opera singer, the host wrapped up the episode by asking White, “Are you an opera buff in any respect?” to which she responded, “Sure, I’m not a buff, however I like opera.”
Poking enjoyable at her reply, Sajak joked, “Have you ever ever watched opera within the buff? I’m simply curious.”
After the episode, one fan tweeted, “I really feel like I simply witnessed a #metoo second on @WheelofFortune?” One other consumer defended the star, writing, “Folks love reveals and sitcoms with filthy language and violence then wish to bounce on Pat Sajak for every thing he says. I’m positive his intent was a play on phrases from Vanna’s I’m not an opera buff. I don’t suppose he was making an attempt to insinuate something inappropriate.” White didn’t publicly touch upon the joke.
Along with on-line criticism, Sajak additionally confronted a serious well being scare in November 2019, as he needed to endure emergency surgical procedure as a result of a blocked gut. “Our taping on Thursday was canceled as a result of host Pat Sajak underwent profitable emergency surgical procedure to right a blocked gut,” the present’s Twitter web page wrote in a statement on the time. “He’s resting comfortably and looking out ahead to getting again to work. Taping resumed right this moment as scheduled and Vanna White has stepped in as host.”
He opened up about his near-fatal sickness one month later, telling Good Morning America that he was in surgical procedure inside two and a half hours of experiencing “horrific ache” in his abdomen. Feeling “nice” on the time of the interview, Sajak went on to notice, “I’ve truly felt ridiculously good for a number of weeks. I’ve been again within the studio truly, doing reveals. Even spinning the wheel and, , nothing has popped. So I believe it’s OK. … I’m pretty much as good or dangerous as new, and that’s nice. I nonetheless have my wits about me. They didn’t take away that, so I’ll be promoting vowels for a very long time.”
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Scroll under for a timeline of Sajak’s ups and down via the years: