Whoopi Goldberg Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (4)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (76)  | Personal Quotes (32)  | Salary (3)

Overview (4)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameCaryn Elaine Johnson
Nicknames Da Whoop
Shuttle Head
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Whoopi Goldberg was born Caryn Elaine Johnson in the Chelsea section of Manhattan on November 13, 1949. Her mother, Emma (Harris), was a teacher and a nurse, and her father, Robert James Johnson, Jr., was a clergyman. Whoopi's recent ancestors were from Georgia, Florida, and Virginia. She worked in a funeral parlor and as a bricklayer while taking small parts on Broadway. She moved to California and worked with improv groups, including Spontaneous Combustion, and developed her skills as a stand-up comedienne. Goldberg came to prominence doing an HBO special and a one-woman show as Moms Mabley. She has been known in her prosperous career as a unique and socially conscious talent with articulately liberal views. Among her boyfriends were Ted Danson and Frank Langella. Goldberg was married three times and was once addicted to drugs.

Goldberg had her first big film starring role in The Color Purple (1985). She received much critical acclaim, and an Oscar nomination for her role and became a major star as a result. Subsequent efforts in the late 1980s were, at best, marginal hits. These movies mostly were off-beat to formulaic comedies like Burglar (1987), The Telephone (1988) and Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986). She made her mark as a household name and a mainstay in Hollywood for her Oscar-winning role in the box office smash Ghost (1990). Whoopi Goldberg was at her most famous in the early 1990s, making regular appearances on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). She admitted to being a huge fan of the original Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) series and jumped at the opportunity to star in "Star Trek: The Next Generation".

Goldberg received another smash hit role in Sister Act (1992). Her fish-out-of-water with some flash seemed to resonate with audiences and it was a box office smash. Whoopi starred in some highly publicized and moderately successful comedies of this time, including Made in America (1993) and Soapdish (1991). Goldberg followed up to her success with Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993), which was well-received but did not seem to match up to the first.

As the late 1990s approached, Goldberg seemed to alternate between lead roles in straight comedies such as Eddie (1996) and The Associate (1996), and took supporting parts in more independent minded movies, such as The Deep End of the Ocean (1999) and How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998). Goldberg never forgot where she came from, hosting many tributes to other legendary entertainment figures. Her most recent movies include Rat Race (2001) and the quietly received Kingdom Come (2001). Goldberg contributes her voice to many cartoons, including The Pagemaster (1994) and Captain Planet and the Planeteers (1990), as Gaia, the voice of the earth. Alternating between big-budget movies, independent movies, tributes, documentaries, and even television movies (including Theodore Rex (1995)).

Whoopi is accredited as a truly unique and visible talent in Hollywood. Perhaps she will always be remembered as well for Comic Relief, playing an integral part in almost every benefit concert they had. Whoopi is also the center square in Hollywood Squares (1998), sometimes hosts the Academy Awards, and is an author, with the book "Book."

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Scott msa0510@mail.ecu.edu

Family (4)

Spouse Lyle Trachtenberg (1 October 1994 - October 1995)  (divorced)
David Claessen (1 September 1986 - October 1988)  (divorced)
Alvin Martin (1973 - 1979)  (divorced)  (1 child)
Children Martin, Alexandrea
Parents Johnson (Harris), Emma
Johnson Jr., Robert James
Relatives Amara Skye Dean (grandchild)

Trade Mark (4)

Deep husky voice
Dreadlocks and no eyebrows
The role of Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)
Often wears wire-rimmed sunglasses

Trivia (76)

1994: Became the very first woman to host the Academy Awards solo.
2000: Broke up with boyfriend of five years Frank Langella.
Travels to locations by bus since she hates flying.
She won a Grammy Award for "Whoopi Goldberg: Direct From Broadway".
Once worked in a mortuary where her job was applying makeup to corpses.
1985: Listed as one of 12 Promising New Actors of 1985 in "John Willis's Screen World", Vol. 37.
Received an honorary degree from Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
Dropped out of high school and became addicted to heroin. She ended up marrying her drug counselor. She cleaned up and later divorced him. In 1974, she moved to California and helped found the San Diego Repertory Company, where she used the name, Whoopi Cushion. Before making it as an actress, she worked as a bank teller, a bricklayer and in a mortuary.
She was inspired to become an actress by watching Nichelle Nichols' portrayal of Nyota Uhura on the original Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) series.
Mother of actress and producer Alex Martin. Grandmother of Amarah Skye (born 1989), Jerzey (born 1995) and Mason (born 1998), via daughter Alex Martin. Great-granddaughter Charlie Rose was born March 15, 2014. Sister of the late Clyde Johnson (died May 11, 2015).
Asked Gene Roddenberry for a role on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) because she was a huge fan. She was given the role of Guinan, the head of the Ten-Forward lounge. Her character was named for legendary entertainer/nightclub owner Texas Guinan.
Is an avid Fiesta Ware (china) collector.
2002: Won a Tony Award as a producer for Best Musical, "Thoroughly Modern Millie".
1985: Won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Performance Single or Album, Spoken or Musical for "Original Broadway Show Recording".
Was the second African-American woman to receive an Academy Award. The first was Hattie McDaniel.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 184-186. New York: Facts on File (1992). ISBN 0816023387.
More than four different action figures have been modeled after her character, Guinan from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and the Star Trek films.
Is part-owner of Mary's Kitchen, a country store/kitchen in Malibu, California. It is staffed by "New Yorkers" and certain furnishings were imported from New York because Whoopi wanted a touch of home in Malibu.
On the British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous (1992) (episode "Gay"), she played a woman who arranges marriages. In her guest-starring role on The Nanny (1993) (episode "The Pre-Nup"), she played a wedding planner.
Has a tattoo of Woodstock (the bird from Charles M. Schulz's "Peanuts" cartoon strip) on her shoulder.
When she was only 8, she performed with the Children's Program, the Hudson Guild and the Rubenstein Children's Theatre.
Member of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 44th Cannes International Film Festival in 1991.
Has her own production company, One Ho Productions, which backs most of her movies and television projects.
Michael J. Fox accompanied her to the 1986 Academy Awards when she was nominated for The Color Purple (1985).
Was one of the eulogists at Gene Roddenberry's funeral in 1991, along with other Star Trek stars Nichelle Nichols and Patrick Stewart.
Has done a private stand-up comedy routine entitled "If E.T. landed in Oakland" in front of, among others, Steven Spielberg and Michael Jackson, which eventually won her the lead in The Color Purple (1985), which Spielberg directed.
Is one of only four actresses who received the quadruple crown of acting: The Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy.
Her performance as Oda Mae Brown in Ghost (1990) is ranked #95 on Premiere magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
Good friends with Patrick Stewart and Marlon Brando.
She was awarded the Annual Kennedy Centre Mark Twain Prize for Comedy.
Was the first woman to host the Academy Awards on her own. She hosted them in 1994, 1996, 1999, and 2002.
Is one of 12 African-American actresses to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination. The others in chronological order are: Dorothy Dandridge, Diana Ross, Cicely Tyson, Diahann Carroll, Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Gabourey Sidibe, Viola Davis, Quvenzhané Wallis, Ruth Negga and Andra Day.
Is one of only 15 individuals who have received an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award (counting Daytime Emmy Awards).
She worked as a dishwasher at a restaurant called "Big Kitchen" at 3003 Grape Street in San Diego, California. The location was showcased in $40 a Day: San Diego, CA (2002).
Has performed all her own singing in the Sister Act movies. Her co-stars have claimed that they were surprised at her vocal ability.
Is one of 7 African-American actresses to have won an Academy Award. The others, in chronological order, are Hattie McDaniel for Gone with the Wind (1939), Halle Berry for Monster's Ball (2001), Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls (2006), Mo'Nique for Precious (2009), Octavia Spencer for The Help (2011) and Viola Davis for Fences (2016).
She studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village, New York City.
Is an active pro-choice campaigner, reportedly having had an abortion at 14.
Owns a cat named Oliver.
Is one of two African-American actresses (the other being Viola Davis) to have been nominated for an Academy Award in both the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6841 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on July 20, 2001.
While working as a waitress at San Diego's "Big Kitchen" café in 1978, she witnessed PSA flight #182 falling from the sky in flames following a mid-air collision. The sight was so traumatic, that to this day she will not fly on an airplane.
Is one of only 15 individuals who are an "EGOT", meaning she has received at least one of all of the four major entertainment awards: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony, competitively. The other recipients are Richard Rodgers, Helen Hayes, Rita Moreno, John Gielgud, Audrey Hepburn, Marvin Hamlisch, Jonathan Tunick, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, Scott Rudin, Robert Lopez, John Legend, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Six others (Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, James Earl Jones, Alan Menken, Harry Belafonte, and Quincy Jones) have won three of the four awards competitively and received an honorary fourth.
Was the 101st actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Ghost (1990) at The 63rd Annual Academy Awards (1991) on March 25, 1991.
When signing autographs, she only signs her first name Whoopi.
Longtime friends with her late mentor Joan Rivers; she attended Rivers' funeral on September 7, 2014.
As of 2015, has appeared in three films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: The Color Purple (1985), Ghost (1990) and Toy Story 3 (2010).
She and fellow The Lion King (1994) cast member Jeremy Irons were both nominees for the first ever Emmy Award for Outstanding Narrator (2014); Irons won.
30 years after winning the Golden Globe Award for playing Celie Johnson in The Color Purple (1985), she won the "Vintage Performance by an Actress in 1985" at the first Vintage Film Awards.
Ironically, she used to lie about her age to seem 6 years older, claiming a 1949 birthdate. Such is almost unheard of, since most celebrities prefer to seem younger.
Counts Robert De Niro as a longtime close friend and confidant ('big brother').
Credits friend Joy Behar with vouching for her team position on the popular talk show The View (1997), a post she commenced on 4 September 2007 replacing Rosie O'Donnell.
Suffers from dyslexia, a condition that affected her studies and ultimately prompted her to drop out of high school at the age of 17.
Resided and worked for significant parts of the years 1979, 1980 and 1981 in the former East Germany where she was part of an acting troupe.
Once owned a nightclub in Los Angeles with famous O.J. Simpson lawyer, Robert Shapiro at the time of the Nicole Simpson / Ron Goldman murders.
One of her favorite movies is the classic Valley of the Dolls (1967).
Smoked cigarettes for over forty years but reportedly quit completely in 2015.
In a 2017 interview on the British television chat show Loose Women (1999), she revealed that she is a huge fan of the long-running BBC series EastEnders (1985) and Doctor Who (1963)/Doctor Who (2005), and as a child she had wanted to reside in England because it was where The Beatles came from.
Her nickname "Whoopi" evolved during a time when she used to do stand-up comedy in small clubs that didn't have much room backstage for changing, so she would fart a lot during her routines and people would quip that she was like a "Whoopee Cushion".
Is only two months older than Geena Davis, who became a first-time mother 13 years after Whoopi became a grandmother.
Became a great-grandmother at age 58 when daughter Alex Martin's granddaughter Amarah Dean gave birth to Charlie Rose (b. March 15, 2014).
She was nominated for the 2018 New Jersey Hall of Fame in the Performing Arts category.
Legendary actor/comedian/director/producer Mike Nichols discovered Goldberg and took her under his wing, when she was age 27. The friendship lasted for 31 years, until Nichols' death on November 19, 2014. Among many others, she attended his funeral.
In February 2019, she suffered near-fatal double pneumonia and sepsis, and spent three weeks in the hospital.
She has appeared in one film that has been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: The Lion King (1994).
As an unfamiliar comedienne, she was mentored in the business by longtime actor/producer and director Mike Nichols, when she created 'The Spook Show,' a one-woman show composed of different character monologues and Nichols offered to take the show to Broadway. The show was retitled Whoopi Goldberg for its Broadway incarnation, later that following year, until early 1985.
In light of Rosie O'Donnell's disagreement to renew a contract, Goldberg replaced her as co-moderator of The View (1997), for the 11th season.
Quit her role on Bagdad Cafe (1990) late in 1990 over a dispute between the producers.
Best known by the public as "The Center Square" on Hollywood Squares (1998), one of the moderators on The View (1997) and of course, for her role as Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987).
Was officially named an honorary member of the Harlem Globetrotters exhibition basketball team by the members. [1990].
Washed Dishes at Big Kitchen Café at 3003 Grape Street in San Diego, California 92102. This was mentioned in $40 a Day: San Diego, CA (2002)(#1.11).
Wore a gown designed by Nolan Miller the night she won an Oscar for Ghost (1990).
Born at 12:48 PM (EST).
She is the daughter of Emma (Harris), a teacher and nurse, and Robert James Johnson, Jr., a clergyman. Her recent ancestors were African-Americans from Georgia, Florida, and Virginia.
A DNA test performed on the show African American Lives (2006) stated her genetic ancestry to be 92% Sub-Saharan African and 8% European.

Personal Quotes (32)

[on critics, on the Queen Latifah Show (1999)] You can say whatever you want about me, but talk about my daughter and I'll beat your ass up.
[while hosting the The 71st Annual Academy Awards (1999)] A Bug's Life (1998). Wasn't that the Linda Tripp Story?
My family is Jewish, Buddhist, Baptist and Catholic. I don't believe in man-made religions.
I'm a big old egotistical baby and that's okay. I can accept it.
[on Alice Walker, author of "The Color Purple", on her efforts to get a role in the film (The Color Purple (1985)) that was made from it] I told her I would play a Venetian blind, dirt on the floor, anything.
Actors have no color. That's the art form.
[in 1994 interview, on African-American actors in Hollywood] I don't know if I'm the one who should be commenting on the situation. I can't complain about the amount of work that's out there. I am black. But I didn't become black yesterday. I'm black and I'm getting the work and I'm doing some good things, but I realize many black actors and actresses are not being given the opportunities. The industry has got to stop thinking in terms of black and white and has to start thinking in terms of who is right, regardless of color, for the role.
[in 1994 interview, on Star Trek: The Original Series (1966)] I know I'm never going up, for real, in anybody's rocket ship. I know this because I hate to fly. Gene Roddenberry's vision always included a multi-ethnic group of people. I thought that was pretty amazing. Being on Star Trek has been a great way to sort of expand on the universe and be a part of it.
[in 1994 interview, on how she got cast on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)] I did it because, frankly, I couldn't get any other work then. I liked the show, so I asked if I could be on it. As a matter of fact, I asked twice. The first time, I sent a message to LeVar Burton asking him to tell the producers that I would really like to be on the show. He got the message to the producers and they said, "Yeah, right. Whoopi wants to do Star Trek." One of the members [Gates McFadden] left the show and I heard about it, so I approached the show's producers again and said, "Listen, I don't know if you know it or not, but I've been trying for a long time now to get on this show." They said LeVar had told them about it and they thought he was kidding. I told them I can't do all the episodes but I would like to do some of them. "Can I have the job?" They finally said, "Sure, we'll build you a bar." And they built me Ten-Forward. I got to go in and be really sage and wear great hats. I also got to hang out with some extraordinary people, like Patrick Stewart, LeVar and Jonathan Frakes.
[2002 interview, on working with the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)] The connections between us is family. It's just family. And it's unshakable, you know. Because you look around and you see a great part of your active adult life. Great part of my active adult life was spent with the cast and crew of Star Trek.
Nobody ever encouraged me in this business. I encouraged myself. I was a very dull and shy child. I was the last person you would expect to be a success in this business. But I always felt if I kept going something would happen. But I even surprised myself at times. When I was doing ensemble theater and comedy work, I felt I had some talents. But when I started doing my shows in Berkeley and found that I could be funny on my own, I was shocked.
[from a 1990 interview] None of the stuff I've done will ever cure cancer. It's entertainment and some of it has been better entertainment than others. Ghost (1990) is a good little movie, like Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986), which I've changed my mind about and am finally able to watch. Burglar (1987) and Clara's Heart (1988) are good little movies. There's also a couple I don't care for. The Telephone (1988) read brilliantly but was cockadoo on the screen. I'm also not crazy about Fatal Beauty (1987); it could have been a whole lot better. I've done good stuff and bad stuff. That's what careers are all about.
[at the 1996 MTV Movie Awards, when she was very pleased to see Bob Barker won the award for Happy Gilmore (1996)]: Any Motion Picture Award program would give a big hand to Bob Barker. I have to come to; because that's very big, and Bob told me he was surprised at what happened. See, you never know, you never know!
In my opinion Mel Gibson isn't a racist. That isn't sticking up for someone. I know him, I've spent time with him, my family have spent time with him - I'd have noticed if he was racist. On slow news days people hear what they want to hear. I didn't stick up for him but I said I've met real racists and he isn't one of them. He's a bonehead.
I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities.
[on Showgirls (1995)] I haven't seen that many poles mistreated since World War II.
Most kids give you a watch or a wallet on your birthday, or a pocketbook or some flowers. My kid gave me a granddaughter instead. It was the best gift she could ever have given me.
I'm as American as Chevrolet.
It bums me out tremendously what the church has become, and if it's got me bummed, imagine what Jesus Christ must be feeling.
[on smoking marijuana] Just because I do it doesn't mean you should do it.
[At age 11, coming home late after seeing "The Nutcracker" on her own] And then you have to decide if you were going to tell the truth or if you were going to lie. I had a mother who demanded that you tell the truth or be insanely creative abut lying. It had to be a good story. If it was a terrible story, you and the risk of really having her disappointed in your lack of imagination.
The first time I saw the city through adult eyes was when I stumbled across a guy peeing. He was peeing outside! I was like "Wow! That's really freaky." That was the first time I realized that grown-ups were weird, and that I was probably going to be one of them.
[on her Academy Award for Ghost (1990)] I've said it before and I'll say it again: because of Patrick Swayze, I got that movie. Because of Patrick Swayze, I have an Oscar.
[on the death of Patrick Swayze] This was a well-fought battle. Patrick fought like the dickens to survive it, or to get through it. He never thought of himself as someone who was dying. He said, "You know, we're all dying." And so his attitude was "Until it kills me, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing." He worked, he did his show, he just was a cat that never gave up. I would like to be able to be that.
I wish I had known sooner that I like being on my own. If I'd figured that out earlier, I probably wouldn't have gotten married three times.
There's only one alternative to getting older, so suck it up.
An actress can only play a woman. I'm an actor. I can play anything.
[on Judy Garland] When she sang, God spoke.
[my role in] Ghost was written for a woman called Teresa Wright, I think. They wouldn't let me audition for Ghost. It wasn't until Patrick Swayze said, 'I am not doing this movie unless you audition her.'
[on Jill Biden] I'm hoping Dr. Jill becomes the surgeon general. She's a hell of a doctor. She's an amazing doctor.
[on the misperception that she only dates white] Nobody ever wrote about it when I was with a brother.
The Holocaust isn't about race.

Salary (3)

Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993) $7,000,000
Theodore Rex (1995) $7,000,000
The View (1997) $2,000,000 /year (2007)

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