Vanna Marie Rosich was born on February 18, 1957, near North Myrtle Beach in Conway, South Carolina, the daughter of Joan Marie Nicholas and Miguel Angel Rosich. Her parents divorced when she was an infant and she was raised by her mother, Joan and stepfather, Herbert White Jr. , in North Myrtle Beach. White took the name of her stepfather, a former real estate broker. After graduating from high school, White moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she attended The Atlanta School of Fashion and Design and worked as a model. She headed to Los Angeles in 1979 to pursue an acting career but in the summer of 1980, she returned briefly to South Carolina to see her mother, who was dying of ovarian cancer.