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Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg by John Mathew Smith.jpg
Goldberg on February 8, 1998
Birth name Caryn Elaine Johnson
Born November 13, 1955 (1955-11-13) (age 65)
New York City, U.S.
Medium Stand-up comedy, film, television, theatre, musical theatre, books
Years active 1982–present
Genres Observational comedy, black comedy, insult comedy, surreal humor, character comedy, satire
Subject(s) African-American culture, American politics, race relations, racism, marriage, everyday life, popular culture, current events
Spouse
Alvin Martin
(m. 1973; div. 1979)

David Claessen
(m. 1986; div. 1988)

Lyle Trachtenberg
(m. 1994; div. 1995)
Children Alexandrea Martin
Signature Whoopi Goldberg's signature.svg

Whoopi Goldberg (born Caryn Elaine Johnson; November 13, 1955) is an American actress, comedienne, author and talk show host. She made her movie debut in The Color Purple for which she won a Golden Globe Award.

Background and Personal life

Caryn Elaine Johnson was born in Manhattan on November 13, 1955, the daughter of Robert James Johnson Jr. (March 4, 1930 – May 25, 1993), a Baptist clergyman, and Emma Johnson (née Harris; September 21, 1931 – August 29, 2010), a nurse and teacher. She was raised in the Chelsea-Elliot Houses.

Goldberg has described her mother as a "stern, strong, and wise woman" who raised her as a single mother with her brother Clyde (c. 1949 – May 11, 2015). She attended a local Catholic school, St Columba's, when she was younger. She dropped out of Washington Irving High School.

She has stated that her stage forename ("Whoopi") was taken from a whoopee cushion.

In the 1970s, Goldberg relocated to Southern California before settling in Berkeley, where she worked various odd jobs, including as a bank teller, a mortuary cosmetologist, and a bricklayer. There, she also joined the avant-garde theater troupe, the Blake Street Hawkeyes, and taught comedy and acting classes; Courtney Love was one of her acting students. Goldberg also worked in a number of theater productions.

Goldberg has been married three times. She was married to Alvin Martin from 1973 to 1979; to cinematographer David Claessen from 1986 to 1988; and to union organizer Lyle Trachtenberg from 1994 to 1995. She has been romantically linked to actors Frank Langella and Ted Danson.

In 1973, Goldberg gave birth to a daughter, Alexandrea Martin, who also became an actress and producer. Through her daughter, Goldberg has three grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

Goldberg has dyslexia.

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1982 Citizen: I'm Not Losing My Mind, I'm Giving It Away
1985 The Color Purple Celie Harris Johnson Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
1986 Jumpin' Jack Flash Terri Doolittle
1987 Burglar Bernice "Bernie" Rhodenbarr
Fatal Beauty Rita Rizzoli NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
1988 The Telephone Vashti Blue Nominated – Razzie Award for Worst Actress
Clara's Heart Clara Mayfield
1989 Comicitis Herself Short subject
Beverly Hills Brats Herself Cameo
Homer and Eddie Eddie Cervi
1990 Ghost Oda Mae Brown Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – TV Land Award for Favorite Character from the "Other Side"
The Long Walk Home Odessa Cotter NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
1991 Wisecracks Herself Documentary
Blackbird Fly Herself Short subject
Soapdish Rose Schwartz
House Party 2 The Professor Uncredited
Dragon and Slippers Matilda the Witch (voice) English version
1992 Sister Act Deloris Van Cartier/Sister Mary Clarence American Comedy Award for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Comedy or Musical
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance
The Player Detective Susan Avery
Sarafina! Mary Masembuko
The Magical World of Chuck Jones Herself Documentary
1993 National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon Sgt. Billy York Uncredited cameo
Naked in New York Tragedy Mask on Theater Wall
Made in America Sarah Mathews
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit Deloris Van Cartier/Sister Mary Clarence Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance
1994 Liberation Narrator Documentary
The Lion King Shenzi Voice
The Little Rascals Buckwheat's Mom
Corrina, Corrina Corrina Washington
Star Trek Generations Guinan Uncredited
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
The Pagemaster Fantasy Voice
1995 Boys on the Side Jane Deluca
The Celluloid Closet Herself Documentary
Moonlight and Valentino Sylvie Morrow
Theodore Rex Katie Coltrane Fantafestival Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Razzie Award for Worst Actress
1996 Eddie Edwina "Eddie" Franklin Nominated – Razzie Award for Worst Actress
Bordello of Blood Hospital Patient Uncredited
Bogus Harriet Franklin Nominated – Razzie Award for Worst Actress
The Associate Laurel Ayres/Robert S. Cutty
Ghosts of Mississippi Myrlie Evers Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
1997 Pitch Herself Documentary, uncredited
Mary Pickford: A Life on Film Host/narrator Documentary
A Christmas Carol The Ghost of Christmas Present Voice
Destination Anywhere Cabbie
In the Gloaming Nurse Myrna
In & Out Herself Uncredited
An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn Herself Special appearance
Nominated – Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (with any combination of two people playing themselves)
1998 Titey The Iceberg Voice
Alegría Baby Clown
A Knight in Camelot Dr. Vivien Morgan/Sir Boss
How Stella Got Her Groove Back Delilah Abraham NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Acapulco Black Film Festival Black Film Award for Best Actress
Nominated – American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Junket Whore Herself Documentary
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie Stormella, The Evil Ice Queen
The Rugrats Movie Ranger Margaret
Alice in Wonderland Cheshire Cat
1999 Get Bruce Herself Documentary
The Deep End of Ocean Candy Bliss
Girl, Interrupted Valerie Owens, R.N.
2000 The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle Judge Cameo Not listed in final credits
A Second Chance at Life Narrator Documentary
More Dogs Than Bones Cleo
2001 Golden Dreams Calafia, the Queen of California (Narrator) Short subject
Kingdom Come Raynelle Slocumb Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Monkeybone Death
Rat Race Vera Baker
The Hollywood Sign Woman at Funeral Cameo
Call Me Claus Lucy Cullin
2002 Searching for Debra Winger Herself Documentary
Showboy Herself Cameo
My Fair Madeline Miss Clavel Voice
Star Trek: Nemesis Guinan Uncredited
It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie The Boss
2003 Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives Narrator Documentary
Pauly Shore Is Dead Herself
Bitter Jester Herself
Beyond the Skyline Herself Short subject
Blizzard Blizzard Voice
2004 Pinocchio 3000 Cyberina Voice
The N-Word Herself Documentary
SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2 Herself
Jiminy Glick in Lalawood Herself
The Lion King 1½ Shenzi Voice
2005 The Aristocrats Herself Documentary
Racing Stripes Frannie Voice
Doogal Ermintrude The Cow Voice
Everyone's Hero Darlin'
Farce of the Penguins Helen
2007 Homie Spumoni Thelma
If I Had Known I Was a Genius Mrs. Reed
Nuremberg: A Vision Restored Herself Documentary
Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project Herself Documentary
Our Country USA to Z Herself Voice; short subject
The Sophisticated Misfit Herself Documentary
2008 Stream Jodi Quinn
Snow Buddies Miss Mittens Voice
Descendants Red Flower Voice
2009 Madea Goes to Jail Herself Cameo
Stream Jodi
2010 Toy Story 3 Stretch Voice
Nominated – IGN Movie Award for Best Ensemble Cast
For Colored Girls Alice Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Teenage Paparazzo Herself
New York Street Games Herself Documentary
2011 A Little Bit of Heaven God
The Little Engine That Could Tower
The Muppets Herself
2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Bernadette Thompson
Big Stone Gap Fleeta
Top Five Herself
A Day Late and a Dollar Short Viola
TCB Baby Dr. Reynolds
2016 A Warrior's Tail Mom Jozee Voice, English version
King of the Dancehall Loretta Brixton
2017 9/11 Metzie
2018 Furlough Mrs. Stevens
Nobody's Fool Lola

Awards

Won

  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama for The Color Purple (1985)
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for The Color Purple (1985)
  • National Board of Review Award for Best Actress for The Color Purple (1985)
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for Fatal Beauty (1987)
  • Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Ghost (1990)
  • American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for Ghost (1990)
  • BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Ghost (1990)
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture for Ghost (1990)
  • Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress for Ghost (1990)
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for Ghost (1990)
  • Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for Ghost (1990)
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for The Long Walk Home (1990)
  • American Comedy Award for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture for Sister Act (1992)
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for Sister Act (1992)
  • Fantafestival Award for Best Actress for Theodore Rex (1995)
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)
  • Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Vanguard Award (1999)
  • Mark Twain Prize for American Humor (2001)
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for Good Fences (2003)
  • Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host for The View (2009) - she shares it with Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Barbara Walters.

Nominated

  • Academy Award for Best Actress for The Color Purple (1985)
  • Razzie Award for Worst Actress for The Telephone (1988)
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Comedy or Musical for Sister Act (1992)
  • MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance for Sister Act (1992)
  • MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance for Sister Act (1992)
  • MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance for Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993)
  • Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for Star Trek Generations (1994)
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for Ghosts of Mississippi (1996)
  • Acapulco Black Film Festival Black Film Award for Best Actress for How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)
  • American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for Kingdom Come (2001)
  • Black Reel Award for Television: Best Actress for Good Fences (2003)

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