Whoopi Goldberg is an actor, comedian, writer, and TV personality from the United States. She has won many awards, and she is one of only 17 entertainers to have won the EGOT, which is an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Oscar, and a Tony Award. The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was given to her in 2001.
Goldberg started out on stage in 1983 with her one-woman show Spook Show. It moved to Broadway in 1984 and ran for two years under the name Whoopi Goldberg. The recording of the show won her a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album.
In Steven Spielberg's 1985 period drama The Color Purple, she played Celie, a mistreated woman in the Deep South. For this role, she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. She earned the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a second Golden Globe Award for her performance as an eccentric clairvoyant in the 1990 romantic fantasy picture Ghost.
She was the highest-paid actress at the time after starring in the comedies Sister Act (1992) and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993). She was also in Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986), Clara's Heart (1988), Soapdish (1991), Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), and Till (2022). She is also known for the voices she did in the movies The Lion King (1994) and Toy Story 3 (2010).
Early Years and Education
Caryn Elaine Johnson was born in Manhattan, New York City, on November 13, 1955, to Emma Johnson (née Harris; 1931–2010), a nurse and educator, and Robert James Johnson Jr. (1930–1993), a Baptist minister. She grew up in the Chelsea-Elliott Houses, a New York City public housing complex.
Goldberg said that her mother was “stern, strong, and wise.” She raised her and her brother Clyde as a single mother (c. 1949 – 2015). She went to St. Columba's, a Catholic school in the area. Her more recent ancestors traveled north from Georgia, Florida, and Virginia, namely from Faceville, Palatka, and Virginia. She didn't finish high school at Washington Irving.
She has said that her stage name's the first letter is ( “When you're on stage, you never really have time to go to the bathroom and close the door. So if you have a little bit of gas, you have to let it out. So, people used to tell me, “You're like a whoopee cushion.” So, the name comes from that.”
In the 1970s, Goldberg moved to San Diego, California, where she worked as a waitress. She then moved to Berkeley, where she did a variety of jobs, such as being a bank teller, a cosmetologist at a funeral home, and a bricklayer.
She joined the Blake Street Hawkeyes, an avant-garde theatre group, and taught comedy and acting. One of her acting students was Courtney Love. Goldberg also did a lot of work in the theatre. In 1978, she was in San Diego when she saw two planes collide in the air. This made her afraid of flying and gave her post-traumatic stress disorder.
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Is Whoopi Goldberg Gay?
No, Whoopi Goldberg is Not Gay and Her Sexual Orientation is Straight. Goldberg has had three marriages. Between 1973 and 1979, she was wed to Alvin Martin; between 1986 and 1988, she was married to cinematographer David Claessen; and between 1994 and 1995, she was wed to union activist Lyle Trachtenberg.
She has been linked to the actors Frank Langella and Ted Danson in a romantic way. Goldberg penned several of Danson's jokes for the 1993 Friars Club roast and defended him amid a media uproar over his decision to perform in blackface at the event.
She's said she doesn't want to get married again: “Some people aren't supposed to get married, and I'm one of them. It must be great for a lot of people.” She told Piers Morgan in an interview in 2011 that she never loved the men she married and said: “You really have to care about them… I'm not going to do that. I care about my family.”
Goldberg had a daughter in 1973. Her name was Alexandrea Martin, and she also became an actress and producer. Goldberg is a grandmother to three grandkids and a great-grandmother to one, all through her daughter. Emma Johnson, Goldberg's mother, died of a stroke on August 29, 2010.
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At the time, she left London, where she had been performing in the musical Sister Act. On October 22, 2010, she went back to London to perform again. Goldberg's brother Clyde passed away in 2015 from a brain aneurysm.
Goldberg published an open letter describing her abortion experience in 1991's The Choices We Made: Twenty-Five Women and Men Speak Out About Abortion. In that book, she wrote about how she used a coat hanger to end a pregnancy when she was 14 years old.
She said that by the time she was 25, she had had six or seven abortions and that birth control pills had not stopped a few of her pregnancies. After the abortion vote in Kansas in 2022, Goldberg said that God would back abortion rights because he gave women the right to choose.