Date of Birth: November 13, 1955
Birth name: Caryn Elaine Johnson
"It's a Cinderella dream come true," says Goldberg about her life. "It's a gas, it's amazing. Everyone should have this luck. This is the last thing I expected to happen."
Whoopi Goldberg has come a long way from the job she once had applying makeup on corpses in a mortuary. Appearing on stage since she was eight years old, Goldberg attended New York City's (where she was born) High School for the Performing Arts.
In 1974, she made the move to the West Coast where she continued to perform on stage, finally striking it big with her one-woman act called "Spook Show." Her stage show featuring her comedic talents to great effect and was the talk of Broadway when it played New York, leading to her being cast in Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple, for which she received a Golden Globe award and her first Oscar nomination.
She later scored a huge hit—as well as another Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress—for Ghost. And her star turn in Sister Act led to a sequel for which she was paid a reported $8 million. In 1994, she became the first woman to host the Academy Awards, and she has served as host several times since then. From 1998 to 2002, she not only produced but was a regular as the center square celebrity on the game show Hollywood Squares, earning four Daytime Emmy nominations for "Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show." In 2001 Goldberg was honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the following year, she won a Daytime Emmy as the host of the TV special Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel. As one of the producers of the TV series Strong Medicine, in 2003 Goldberg and her fellow producers won a Gracie Allen Award.
On September 9, 2003, Goldberg's sitcom Whoopi debuted on NBC and though it received good reviews, it only lasted a season. Goldberg also does a lot of voiceover work and in 2007, joined the talk show The View as a co-host.
She continues to act in motion pictures when she has time off from the show, including playing the role of Alice/White in For Colored Girls (2010) and a supporting role as Lola in Nobody's Fool (2018), starring Tiffany Haddish.
Married and divorced three times, Whoopi has a daughter, Alex, with her first husband, Alvin Martin.