George Santo Pietro is best known as the ex-husband of Vanna White, the letter-turner on the popular game show “Wheel of Fortune.” Although their marriage ended in divorce in 2002, George had a successful career in Hollywood long before and after his relationship with Vanna. Here is a deeper look at George’s background, career, net worth, and personal life:
Early Life and Education 🎓
George Santo Pietro was born on December 12, 1946 in Beverly Hills, California. His father was a successful movie producer. George graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1964. He then went on to graduate from the University of Southern California with a degree in business.
Even from a young age, George was interested in the entertainment industry. During his college days, he worked at a movie theater. This experience helped him make important Hollywood connections early in his career.
Acting Career 🎬
After finishing his education, George embarked on an acting career. In the 1970s, he appeared in small roles on popular TV shows like “The Love Boat,” “Charlie’s Angels,” and “Starsky and Hutch.”
His big break came in 1981 when he was cast as the lead character on the drama series “Matt Houston.” George played the rich playboy-turned-private investigator Matt Houston for 3 seasons until the show’s cancellation in 1984.
Although “Matt Houston” was his most well-known role, George continued acting in the 80s and 90s. He appeared in films like “Death Before Dishonor” and “Las Vegas Lady.” He also made guest appearances on shows such as “Murder, She Wrote,” “Magnum, P.I.,” and “MacGyver.”
Marriage to Vanna White 💍
George first met Vanna White in 1982 when they were introduced at a party. Sparks immediately flew between the pair. In 1983, George proposed to Vanna with a $100,000 engagement ring.
On December 31, 1983, the couple tied the knot in a lavish wedding ceremony. Throughout the 80s, George and Vanna were considered a prominent Hollywood power couple.
Vanna credited her husband for supporting her career. In 1987, George produced Vanna’s exercise video called “Vanna White’s Guide to Looking Good.”
Together George and Vanna parented a son, Nicholas, and a daughter, Giovanna. Unfortunately, after 12 years of marriage, the couple decided to split in 1992. Their divorce was finalized in 2002.
Post-Divorce Career 📺
After his marriage to Vanna ended, George continued finding success in Hollywood. In the 90s, he produced popular TV films like “Broken Trust” and “Deadly Vows.”
He also produced and directed the 1998 family comedy film “That’s Amore” starring Martin Short. For his work, George earned praise and several award nominations.
In recent years, George has stepped back from Hollywood. However, he still remains a producer for several new film projects currently in development.
George also enjoys spending time on his hobbies which include gourmet cooking, winemaking, and golf. Now in his mid-70s, the former actor lives a quiet life out of the spotlight in the Los Angeles area.
Net Worth 💰
During his decades in the entertainment business, George amassed an impressive net worth estimated between $12 to $15 million.
The bulk of his wealth came from producing successful TV movies in the 1990s. George also earned a substantial income from his acting roles, especially his 3 years starring on the hit drama “Matt Houston.”
Additionally, George’s divorce from Vanna White resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement. Since their split, Vanna’s net worth has grown to around $70 million from her long-running tenure on “Wheel of Fortune.”
Fun Facts About George 🤔
- George took a break from acting in the late 70s to become a real estate agent in Los Angeles. Some of his celebrity clients included Joan Collins and Gene Kelly.
- Before he met Vanna, George was briefly engaged to actress Morgan Fairchild in the late 70s.
- George and Vanna first crossed paths in the early 80s when they were paired up during a taping of the game show “Tattletales.”
- George is 12 years older than Vanna. He was 38 when they got married, while she was 26.
- After his divorce, George found love again with a new partner named Lisa. They have been together since 2007.
So although his fame largely stemmed from his marriage to Vanna White, George Santo Pietro has made his own impact on Hollywood. His extensive career in show business spanning over 40 years is an impressive accomplishment in itself.