The world of game shows endured an emotional dilemma in recent months, when Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak missed three weeks of taping due to emergency surgery. Vanna White, who has served as. Dec 10, 2019 Vanna White, who’s been a staple on “Wheel of Fortune” for almost 40 years, stepped in to host the long-running game show for the first time, as host Pat Sajak underwent emergency surgery.
Woolery in 2004
March 16, 1941 (age 78)
Ashland, Kentucky, U.S.
Charles Herbert Woolery (born March 16, 1941) is an American game show host, talk show host, and musician. He has had long-running tenures hosting several different game shows. Woolery was the original host of Wheel of Fortune (1975–1981), the original incarnation of Love Connection (1983–1994), Scrabble (1984–1990, and during a brief revival in 1993), Greed on Fox from 1999 to 2000, and Lingo on GSN from 2002–2007.
Early life and career
Woolery was born on March 16, 1941, in Ashland, Kentucky. After graduating from high school, he served two years in the US Navy. In 1963, Woolery worked as a wine consultant for Wasserstrom Wine & Import Company in Columbus, Ohio. He was also a sales representative for the Pillsbury Company.
In the early 1960s he sang and played the double bass with a folk song trio called The Bordermen. He also sang in a duo called The Avant-Garde who were in the psychedelic pop genre. The other half of the duo was Elkin 'Bubba' Fowler. They signed to Columbia Records and achieved a Top 40 hit with 'Naturally Stoned' in 1968, bringing the duo one-hit wonder status. During this time he worked as a truck driver to supplement his income. They released three singles.
As a solo artist he released five records with Columbia. After 1970 he signed with RCA and released 'Forgive My Heart'. In 1971, another single 'Love Me, Love Me' failed to make any impact. He then turned to acting.
In the late 1970s, he returned to his singing career. Woolery charted on Hot Country Songs with 'Painted Lady' and 'The Greatest Love Affair'. Between 1977 and 1980, Woolery recorded for Warner Bros. Records and Epic Records as a solo artist, with two low-charting singles on Hot Country Songs.
Hosts Of Wheel Of Fortune List
Woolery is credited as co-writer (with Dan Hoffman) of 'The Joys of Being a Woman', the single from the 1971 Tammy Wynette album 'We Sure Can Love Each Other' (the single peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Country Singles chart).
Acting and hosting career
As an actor, he has appeared with Stephen Boyd, Rosey Grier and Cheryl Ladd in the mid-1970s film Evil in the Deep. He appeared as himself in the 1989 film Cold Feet that starred Keith Carradine and Rip Torn.
Woolery performed as Mr. Dingle on the children's television series New Zoo Revue in the early 1970s. During that time, he made his first game show appearance on an episode of Tattletales, alongside then-wife Jo Ann Pflug. Starting as a singer, Woolery appeared on an episode of Your Hit Parade. On January 6, 1975, he began hosting Wheel of Fortune at the suggestion of creator Merv Griffin, who had seen Woolery sing on The Tonight Show. Woolery hosted the show for six years. In 1981, he was involved in a salary dispute with the program's producers; he said in a 2007 interview that he demanded a raise from $65,000 a year to about $500,000 a year because the program was drawing a 44 share at the time, and other hosts were making that much. Griffin offered Woolery $400,000 a year, and NBC offered to pay the additional $100,000, but after Griffin threatened to move the program to CBS, NBC withdrew the offer. Woolery's contract was not renewed and his final episode aired on December 25, 1981. Pat Sajak replaced him.
Woolery hosted Love Connection (1983–1994), The Big Spin (1985), Scrabble (1984–1990, 1993), The Home and Family Show (1996–1998, co-host), The Dating Game (1997–1999), Greed (1999–2000), TV Land Ultimate Fan Search (1999–2000) and Lingo (2002–2007). In addition, he was the subject of a short-lived reality show, Chuck Woolery: Naturally Stoned (originally titled Chuck Woolery: Behind the Lingo) in 2003. He also hosted his own talk show, The Chuck Woolery Show, which lasted for only a few months in 1991. He hosted The Price Is Right Live! at Harrah's casinos, and appeared in the live stage show '$250,000 Game Show Spectacular' at the Las Vegas Hilton until April 2008.
Since 2012, Woolery has hosted a nationally syndicated radio commentary show, Save Us, Chuck Woolery, which grew out of his YouTube videos. After two years as host, Woolery began a long-format podcast, Blunt Force Truth. With co-host Mark Young, Woolery expands on his conservative political ideals and current events, often inviting guest experts to join the conversation.
Wheel Of Fortune Hosts History
Woolery has spoken publicly in favor of conservative political opinions. He is an active supporter of the Republican Party, and has mainly donated to Republican and conservative causes. He is a gun rights activist.
Woolery was accused of antisemitism after a series of tweets made in May 2017 where he claimed that Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin had a Jewish heritage (when, in fact, only Marx came from a Jewish family). The supposed Jewish origins of communism have often been amplified by anti-communists and antisemitics alike, leading to the accusations of antisemitism against Woolery. In a response to the criticism, Woolery stated in a tweet: 'Amazing to me, I point out that Marx and Lenin were Jewish, Fact of history, and now I'm being called anti Semitic? why do people do this?'
Woolery is a Christian who volunteers in ministry. Woolery has been married four times, and has at least five children. Woolery and his first wife, Margaret Hayes, had two children together: Katherine and Chad. Chad was killed in a motorcycle accident in January 1986. In 1972, he married actress Jo Ann Pflug and they divorced in 1980. They had a daughter together, Melissa. With third wife Teri Nelson, the adopted daughter of actor David Nelson (and granddaughter of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson), he has two sons, Michael and Sean.
|1972||New Zoo Revue||Mr. Dingle|
|1973||Love, American Style||Mr. Thompson||Segment: 'Love and the Cozy Comrades'|
|1974||Sonic Boom||Pilot Rogers||Short film|
|1975||The Treasure of Jamaica Reef||Detective||Also known as Evil in the Deep|
|1978||A Guide for the Married Woman||Tennis Pro||Made for television|
|1982||Romance Theatre||'Marisol' Parts 1–5|
|1982||Six Pack||TV Commentator #2|
|1989||227||As Himself||Episode: 'A Date to Remember'|
|1997||Hey, Hey, It's the Monkees||Chuck||Cameo as the nightclub owner|
|2004||Scrubs||Himself||Season 4 Episode 6|
|1975–81||Wheel of Fortune||Replaced by Pat Sajak|
|1991||The Chuck Woolery Show||11 episodes|
|1996–98||The Home and Family Show||Co-host with Cristina Ferrare|
|1997–99||The Dating Game|
|1999–2000||TV Land Ultimate Fan Search|
|2002–07||Lingo||succeeded by Bill Engvall in 2011|
|2008||Think Like a Cat|
|2012–present||Save Us Chuck Woolery (radio show)|
|2014–present||Blunt Force Truth (podcast)||Co-host with Mark Young|
|'Take 'Er Down, Boys'||—|
|1980||'The Greatest Love Affair'||94|
|'—' denotes releases that did not chart|
- ^'Lingo GSNTV.COM'. Tv.gsn.com. February 5, 2013. Archived from the original on April 14, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
- ^Ankeny, Jason. 'The Avant-Garde biography'. Allmusic. Retrieved August 1, 2009.
- ^Ankeny, Jason. 'Chuck Woolery Artist Biography'. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
- ^ abWhitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 474. ISBN0-89820-177-2.
- ^'Evil in the Deep Alternate title: Treasure of Jamaica Reef (1974)'. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
- ^'Cold Feet (1989)'. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
- ^'Woolery Reveals 25-Year Rift With Merv Griffin on 'The Strip''. eMediaWire. November 25, 2007. Archived from the original on November 26, 2007. Retrieved November 28, 2007.
- ^Petrozello, Donna (June 9, 2003). 'Woolery chucked into the reality mix'. New York Daily News. Archived from the original on February 9, 2006. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
- ^'R.I.P. $250,000 Game Show Spectacular'. Retrieved January 1, 2009.
- ^Barnes, Brooks (February 23, 2017). 'And Now, Here's Your Right-Wing Podcast Host: Chuck Woolery!'. The New York Times. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
- ^Chuck Woolery on Occupy Wall Street, youtube.com (Chuck Woolery statement against Occupy Wall Street); retrieved February 13, 2012
- ^Christopher, Tommy (February 9, 2012). Mediaite Interviews The Great Chuck Woolery At CPAC, He Is No Fan Of President Obama, Mediaite
- ^Woolery, Chuck. 'Lessons for Shove Guv Andrew Cuomo'. SaveUsChuckWoolery.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
- ^'Chuck Woolery on Saving The Second Amendment'.
- ^Nazaryan, Alexander (May 30, 2017). 'Former 'Wheel of Fortune' host Chuck Woolery has been accused of anti-Semitism after controversial tweets'. Newsweek.com.
- ^ ab'Former 'Wheel of Fortune' host Chuck Woolery has been accused of anti-Semitism after controversial tweets'. Newsweek. May 30, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
- ^'Chuck Woolery ... still making love connections'. AskMen.com. Archived from the original on April 8, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2007.
- ^Castro, Peter (March 31, 1997). 'The Mourning After'. 47 (12).
- ^ abcd'A Love Connection for Chuck Woolery'. People. July 20, 2006. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
- ^'Marriage Woes for Woolery'. FoxNews.com. June 15, 2003. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
- ^'Cold Feet (1989) - Cast, Credits & Awards'. The New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
- Chuck Woolery on IMDb
as host of the 1974
pilot of Wheel of Fortune
| Host of Wheel of Fortune (daytime)|
|New show|| Host of Love Connection|
| Host of The Big Spin|
| Host of Lingo|
Game show enthusiasts hold a special place in their hearts for Wheel of Fortune. The iconic wheel has been spinning for almost 45 years, first airing in January 1975. Host Pat Sajak and letter-turner Vanna White are pillars of the program, but was Sajak always the prime puzzle master?
Talk about a great gig
Wheel of Fortune remains a ratings winner, making Sajack and White two of the most renowned celebrities in game show history. The hosting gig sounds pretty sweet – Good Housekeeping reports that both Sajack and White shoot the show just four days a month, doing about six shows per day. Do the math, and that works out to approximately 26 days off per month.
Thenthere’s the salary. Turning letters has turned quite a profit for White, whoreportedly makes $4 million per year at the puzzle board post, according toGood Housekeeping. Even she marvels at her salary, telling Market Watch, “I’ll be the first person tomake fun of my job. I’m a letter toucher! They pay me to touch letters!”
Whiteadded that she has also worn upwards of 6,700 gowns on the show, which are onloan from designers. “Some of them are beautiful, long sequined gowns, but literallyyou feel like you’re sewn into the dress,” Whitetold USA Today. “You can’t breathe. But they’re beautiful, and they are fun towear.”
Wondering about Sajak’s paycheck? Celebrity Net Worth reports that Sajak makes almost four times more than White, earning a hefty $15 million per year as host. Not bad for a month and half’s work out of 365 days.
Sajak wasn’t the first to spin the wheel
Fans of the iconic game show may not know that Sajak was notWheel of Fortune’s original host, nor was White the first to turn thoseletters.
The host to first gaze upon the infamous wheel was Chuck Woolery, who was partnered with Susan Stafford at the board. According to Daily Press, Woolery was a singer and composer before being discovered by media mogul Merv Griffin and signed onto the Wheel. He left the show in 1981 after contract negotiations fell apart. Woolery’s exit was followed by Stafford’s departure in 1982.
Griffin then hired Sajak, a former Los Angeles weatherman,at the end of 1981. White beat out 200 applicants for the job of letter-turner.
Woolery went on to host other shows, with the original dating show Love Connection being the most memorable from 1983 to 1994. The show was known for live interaction, where audience members would vote on who the contestant should date out of three prospects.
Celebrating a milestone
In May, Sajak and White celebrated a mind-boggling 7,000 shows together, as reported by USA Today. White said she didn’t think she’d be “doing the show for more than five years. I thought, ‘Well, this is gonna be fun, but I can’t imagine it lasting that long,’ I remember sitting in the chair next to Pat saying, ‘I wonder where we’ll be in 10 years?’ … And here it’s been 36.”
Who Hosts Wheel Of Fortune
Sajak earned a Guinness World Records title for the longest career of a game-show host for the same show. “When we went on, there were only three networks,” he said. “Cable was in its early days and streaming networks didn’t exist. We’re in such a different environment, and yet still succeeding. I think that’s the biggest accomplishment of the show.”
Sajakhas no intention of retiring anytime soon, though he’d like it to happen whilethe show is still a hit. “I’d like to leave while the show’s still popular, andI’d like to leave before people ask me to leave, and I’d like to leave beforepeople tune in and see me and go, ‘Ooh, what the hell happened to him?’” Sajaksaid.
White also has no plans to abandon the board. “I’m not planning to goanywhere soon. If I could do it forever, I would, because I do love my job.”