Vanna White cries in ‘Wheel of Fortune’ video


Vanna White bids a tearful farewell to her “Wheel of Fortune” co-host, Pat Sajak.

White, 67, recorded the emotional message played in front of Sajak, 77, and the “Wheel of Fortune” audience that airs Thursday (Check local listings), a night before Sajak’s final broadcast as host after a 41-year partnership.

“I can’t believe tomorrow is our last show,” White said, managing a smile in the video. “I don’t know how to put into words what the last 41 years have meant to me. But I’m going to try. Eight thousand episodes went by.”

White credits Sajak for helping her overcome the stage fright she endured when starting her first TV job, the show.

“You made me feel so comfortable and confident,” said White, who went on to become a global “Wheel of Fortune” star. “You made me who I am. You really did.”

Farewell to Pat Sajak His final ‘Wheel of Fortune’ episode in over four decades

“What an incredible and unforgettable journey we’ve had,” White said, choking back tears. “Enjoyed every minute of it with you.”

She took a deep breath and continued.

“When this chapter ends, I know you’ll still be around,” White said. “You are like a brother to me, and I consider you a true lifelong friend who will always adore you. I love you, Pat.”

Oh my,” Sajak said, watching the video for “Wheel of Fortune” set next to White. The two embraced on stage.

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White will continue as a co-host on “Wheel of Fortune” in Season 42 and as a letter-turner with new host Ryan Seacrest. Sajak will give his own farewell speech in Friday’s finale episode.

Sajak was initially against hiring Vanna White: ‘She was too nervous’

Sajak finds it hilarious that he initially resisted hiring White when original co-host Susan Stafford left in 1982, when the show still aired on NBC. “Wheel of Fortune” creator Merv Griffin conducted an efficient search to find the location, which landed three young women, including White. Being a model and runner-up in the Miss Georgia pageant was not Sajak’s choice.

“She was very sweet and seemed like a very nice person. But she was very nervous,” Sajak said In his only farewell Interview vHis daughter is Maggie Sajak. “Her lips were trembling and sweating. I thought I (Griffin) wasn’t going to hire her. Merv’s smarter than me. He saw something in her and knew the nerves would go away.”

Griffin is right. White became a star on “Wheel of Fortune,” so much so that fans named their daughters Vanna, at the height of the game show’s global popularity. “I shudder to think how different life would have been,” Sajak said. “She was a sweetheart and made my life wonderful.”

Are Pat Sajak and Vanna White Really Friends?

The “Wheel of Fortune” stars have a close relationship from the set that spans decades. Maggie Sajak spoke of the family friendship she and her brother Patrick had with White’s family.

“We grew up with Vanna’s kids, Nico and Gigi,” recalls Maggie Sajak. “Patrick and I were always at their house or they were at ours.”

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“As much fun as we had on camera, we shared those life events with our families outside of the studio,” White said in his video. “We’ve watched our children grow up together, we’ve traveled the world together, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve celebrated.”

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