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Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg

Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1955-11-13

157 Movies · 32 TV Series

Biography

An American comedian, actress, singer-songwriter, political activist, and talk show host. Goldberg made her film debut in The Color Purple (1985) playing Celie, a mistreated black woman in the Deep South. She received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won her first Golden Globe Award for her role in the film. In 1990, she starred as Oda Mae Brown, a psychic helping a slain man (Patrick Swayze) find his killer in the blockbuster film Ghost. This performance won her a second Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Notable later films include Sister Act and Sister Act 2, The Lion King, Made in America, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Girl, Interrupted and Rat Race. She is also acclaimed for her roles as the bartender Guinan in Star Trek: The Next Generation and as Terry Dolittle in Jumpin' Jack Flash. Her latest role is the voice of Stretch in Toy Story 3. Goldberg has been nominated for 13 Emmy Awards for her work in television. She was co-producer of the popular game show Hollywood Squares from 1998 to 2004. She has been the moderator of the daytime talk show The View since 2007. Goldberg has a Grammy, two Emmys, two Golden Globes, a Tony, and an Oscar. In addition, Goldberg has a British Academy Film Award, four People's Choice Awards and has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is one of the few entertainers who have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award.

Personal Life

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. Danson controversially appeared in blackface during her 1993 Friars Club roast. She has stated that she has no plans to marry again, commenting "Some people are not meant to be married and I am not meant to. I'm sure it is wonderful for lots of people." In a 2011 interview with Piers Morgan, she explained that she never loved the men she married and commented: "You have to really be committed to them...I don't have that commitment. I'm committed to my family."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. On August 29, 2010, Goldberg's mother, Emma Johnson, died after suffering a stroke. She left London at the time, where she had been performing in the musical Sister Act, but returned to perform on October 22, 2010. In 2015, Goldberg's brother Clyde died of a brain aneurysm.In 1991, Goldberg spoke out about her abortion in The Choices We Made: Twenty-Five Women and Men Speak Out About Abortion. In that book, she claimed to have used a coat hanger to terminate a pregnancy at age 14. Goldberg has stated that she was once a "functioning" drug addict. She has stated that she smoked marijuana before accepting the Best Supporting Actress award for Ghost in 1991.Goldberg has dyslexia. She has lived in Llewellyn Park, a neighborhood in West Orange, New Jersey, saying she moved there to be able to be outside in private. She has expressed a preference for defining herself by the gender-neutral term "actor" rather than "actress", saying: "An actress can only play a woman. I'm an actor – I can play anything." In March 2019, Goldberg revealed that she had been battling pneumonia and sepsis, which caused her to take a leave of absence from The View.

Early 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. Her more recent forebears migrated north from Faceville, Georgia; Palatka, Florida; and Virginia. She dropped out of Washington Irving High School.She has stated that her stage forename ("Whoopi") was taken from a whoopee cushion; "When you're performing on stage, you never really have time to go into the bathroom and close the door. So if you get a little gassy, you've got to let it go. So people used to say to me, 'You're like a whoopee cushion.' And that's where the name came from."Regarding her stage surname, she said in 2011, "My mother did not name me Whoopi, but Goldberg is my name, it's part of my family, part of my heritage. Just like being black", and "I just know I am Jewish. I practise nothing. I don't go to temple, but I do remember the holidays." She has stated that "people would say 'Come on, are you Jewish?' And I always say 'Would you ask me that if I was white? I bet not.'" One account recalls that her mother, Emma Johnson, thought that the family's original surname was "not Jewish enough" for her daughter to become a star. Researcher Henry Louis Gates Jr. found that all of Goldberg's traceable ancestors were African Americans, that she has no known German or Jewish ancestry, and that none of her ancestors were named Goldberg. Results of a DNA test, revealed in the 2006 PBS documentary African American Lives, traced part of her ancestry to the Papel and Bayote people of modern-day Guinea-Bissau. Her admixture test indicates that she is of 92 percent sub-Saharan African origin and of 8 percent European origin.According to an anecdote told by Nichelle Nichols in Trekkies (1997), a young Goldberg was watching Star Trek, and upon seeing Nichols's character Uhura, exclaimed, "Momma! There's a black lady on television and she ain't no maid!" This spawned lifelong fandom of Star Trek for Goldberg, who would eventually ask for and receive a recurring guest-starring role on Star Trek: The Next Generation. 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. In 1978, she witnessed a midair collision of 2 planes in San Diego causing her to develop a fear of flying and PTSD.

Movies & TV Series

2018.

7 Movies · 3 TV Series
TV
Citizen Rose

Citizen Rose

2018
Rose McGowan, artist and activist, documents the work being done to spread her message of “bravery, art, joy and survival.”
TV
Random Acts of Flyness

Random Acts of Flyness

2018
Late-night series featuring a mix of vérité documentary, musical performances, surrealist melodrama and humorous animation as a stream-of-consciousness response to the contemporary American mediascape...
TV
James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction

James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction

2018
Explore the evolution of sci-fi from its origins as a small genre with a cult following to the blockbuster pop-cultural phenomenon we know today. In each episode, James Cameron introduces one of the “...
Trump @War

Trump @War

2018
2016 marked a revolution in American politics when a political novice upended the entrenched political classes on both sides of the aisle, and achieved a stunning victory for the forgotten men and wom...
The Rolling Stones - Voodoo Lounge Uncut

The Rolling Stones - Voodoo Lounge Uncut

2018
Voodoo Lounge Uncut presents for the first time the full, unedited show filmed on November 25th 1994 at Miami's Joe Robbie Stadium. Originally directed by the legendary David Mallet, this new version ...
Olympia

Olympia

2018
Follow Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis behind the scenes in this affectionate profile of a stalwart New Yorker and beloved stage and screen treasure.
The Gospel According to André

The Gospel According to André

2018
From the segregated American South to the fashion capitals of the world, operatic fashion editor André Leon Talley's life and career are on full display, in a poignant portrait that includes appearanc...
Mister Rogers: It's You I Like

Mister Rogers: It's You I Like

2018
Join host Michael Keaton to celebrate "Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood," the pioneering children's series that premiered nationally 50 years ago. Celebrities, cast members and Joanne Rogers reveal their f...
Furlough

Furlough

8
2018
In between caring for her mother, a young woman works part time at a prison. The rookie guard gets a chance to prove her mettle when she's tasked with accompanying a hell-raising inmate on an emergenc...
Nobody's Fool

Nobody's Fool

7.5
2018
A woman, who gets released from prison and reunites with her sister, discovers she is in an online relationship with a man who may be "catfishing" her.

2017.

9 Movies
The Truth Is in the Stars

The Truth Is in the Stars

2017
William Shatner sits down with scientists, innovators and celebrities to discuss how the optimism of 'Star Trek' influenced multiple generations.
The Problem with Apu

The Problem with Apu

2017
In the history of “The Simpsons,” few characters outside the title family have had as much cultural impact as Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the Springfield convenience store owner. Comedian Hari Kondabolu i...
Gilbert

Gilbert

2017
The life and career of one of comedy's most inimitable modern voices, Mr. Gilbert Gottfried.
9/11

9/11

2017
A group of 5 people find themselves trapped in an elevator in the World Trade Center's North Tower on 9/11. They work together, never giving up hope, to try to escape before the unthinkable happens.
Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic

Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic

2017
Academy Award-Winning Actress and "The View" Co-Host Whoopi Goldberg Reveals Disney Holiday Secrets in Freeform's "Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic".
A Very Sordid Wedding

A Very Sordid Wedding

2017
Del Shores' follow-up to "Sordid Lives" revisits Winters, Texas for a showdown between the gradually liberalizing locals and the new fundamentalist preacher in the wake of the Supreme Court's marriage...
Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me

Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me

2017
A star-studded roster of interviewees (including Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal) pay tribute to the legendary, multi-talented song-and-dance man.
Yamasong: March of the Hollows

Yamasong: March of the Hollows

2017
An automated girl and tortoise warrior journey with a band of outlaws on an incredible quest. Their one hope is to find a legendary relic to defeat a sinister mechanized army and save the creatures of...
King of the Dancehall

King of the Dancehall

2017
Nick Cannon directs and stars in this high-energy musical about a young man from Brooklyn who gets caught up in the vibrant Kingston music scene during a visit to Jamaica.

2013.

7 Movies · 1 TV Series
TV
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

4.25
2013
In Victorian England, the young and beautiful Alice tells a tale of a strange new land that exists on the other side of a rabbit hole. Thinking Alice insane, her doctors aim to make her forget everyth...
Kelly Clarkson's Cautionary Christmas Music Tale

Kelly Clarkson's Cautionary Christmas Music Tale

2013
Clarkson and guests will celebrate the festive season with a comedic musical take on a traditional Christmas morality tale. Song selection will come directly off her just-released Christmas album, "Wr...
Moms Mabley

Moms Mabley

2013
A feature documentary about Jackie "Moms" Mabley, an African-American stand-up comic and show-biz pioneer who emerged from the Chitlin' Circuit of African-American Vaudeville to become a mainstream st...
The Contradictions of Fair Hope

The Contradictions of Fair Hope

2013
This unique documentary sets the stage in rural Alabama, prior to Emancipation, and traces the development, struggles, contributions and gradual loss of tradition of one of the last remaining African ...
Why We Laugh: Funny Women

Why We Laugh: Funny Women

2013
An uncensored look into the lives of the female stand-up comedian. Featuring interviews and live performance footage from some of today's most prominent female voices in stand-up comedy and entertainm...
Miracle Rising: South Africa

Miracle Rising: South Africa

2013
MIRACLE RISING: SOUTH AFRICA is the epic legacy of South Africa's political transformation that culminated in the first free and fair elections in April 1994. Recounted through the personal accounts o...
Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic

Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic

2013
Mike Epps, Richard Pryor Jr. and others recount the culture-defining influence of Richard Pryor - one of America's most brilliant, iconic comic minds.
Blackfish

Blackfish

6
2013
Notorious killer whale Tilikum is responsible for the deaths of three individuals, including a top killer whale trainer. Blackfish shows the sometimes devastating consequences of keeping such intellig...

2007.

6 Movies · 2 TV Series
TV
The Naked Brothers Band

The Naked Brothers Band

2007
The Naked Brothers Band is an American musical comedy series created by Polly Draper. The show depicts the daily lives of Draper's sons, who lead a fictional world-renowned rock band from New York Cit...
Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden

Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden

2007
Elton John performs some of his biggest hits and several fan favourites in Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden. The release features appearances onstage by comedians Robin Williams and Whoopi Gold...
Farce of the Penguins

Farce of the Penguins

2007
In this spoof of "March of the Penguins," nature footage of penguins near the South Pole gets a soundtrack of human voices. Carl and Jimmy, best friends, walk 70 miles to the mating grounds where the ...
TV
The Graham Norton Show

The Graham Norton Show

9
2007
Each week celebrity guests join Irish comedian Graham Norton to discuss what's being going on around the world that week. The guests poke fun and share their opinions on the main news stories. Graham ...
Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens

Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens

2007
An account of the professional and personal life of renowned American photographer Annie Leibovitz, from her early artistic endeavors to her international success as a photojournalist, war reporter, a...
The Sophisticated Misfit

The Sophisticated Misfit

2007
The Sophisticated Misfit is a long-awaited must-have for fans of the artist Shag and Tiki culture alike. This documentary traces the artist’s roots growing up in Hawaii, his artistic journey in colleg...
Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project

Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project

2007
The documentary consists of tape of Don's show (never been filmed before), interviews with Don's contemporaries, (Steve Lawrence, Bob Newhart, Debbie Reynolds, etc.), established comedians (Billy Crys...
If I Had Known I Was a Genius

If I Had Known I Was a Genius

2007
A teenager with a high I.Q. who decides to become an actor. When his TV show gets cancelled, he is faced with a difficult career choice.

2003.

7 Movies · 2 TV Series
TV
Real Time with Bill Maher

Real Time with Bill Maher

6
2003
Each week Bill Maher surrounds himself with a panel of guests which include politicians, actors, comedians, musicians and the like to discuss what's going on in the world.
The Piano Man's Daughter

The Piano Man's Daughter

2003
Terrified of passing on the madness that runs in his family, Charlie Kilworth (Christian Campbell) stays away from relationships that could lead to marriage and children. Meanwhile, his grandparents (...
TV
Whoopi

Whoopi

2003
Whoopi was an American situation comedy, starring Whoopi Goldberg. The series revolved around the events and people at her hotel, the Lamont Hotel, in New York City. The show aired on Tuesdays from Se...
Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence

2003
Famous actors and actresses read the declaration of independence of the USA.
Blizzard

Blizzard

2003
A young girl's aunt tells her the tale of a young ice skater and an enchanted reindeer.
Richard Pryor: I Ain't Dead Yet, #*%$#@!!

Richard Pryor: I Ain't Dead Yet, #*%$#@!!

2003
This documentary praises comedian Richard Pryor by showing fragments of various shows Pryor made and having famous comedians talk about the importance and greatness of Pryor. Different themes are revi...
Good Fences

Good Fences

2003
Set in the 1970s, Tom Spader is an attorney who is determined to end what he has dubbed "the colored man's losing streak." When his winning of a high-profile case thrusts him into the limelight, he de...
Pauly Shore Is Dead

Pauly Shore Is Dead

2003
Hollywood comedian/actor Pauly Shore loses everything: his house, nobody in Hollywood wants to represent him, he moves back home with his mom and is now parking cars at the Comedy Store. Then one nigh...
Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives

Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives

2003
When the Civil War ended in 1865, more than four million slaves were set free. Over 70 years later, the memories of some 2,000 slave-era survivors were transcribed and preserved by the Library of Cong...

1999.

8 Movies · 2 TV Series
TV
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

6.03
1999
In the criminal justice system, sexually-based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squ...
Our Friend, Martin

Our Friend, Martin

1999
What begins as a routine class project for a diverse group of sixth-graders turns into a magical, time-traveling adventure they'll never forget! Authentic historical footage of Martin Luther King Jr. ...
Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

1999
Alice follows a white rabbit down a rabbit-hole into a whimsical Wonderland, where she meets characters like the delightful Cheshire Cat, the clumsy White Knight, a rude caterpillar, and the hot-tempe...
Girl, Interrupted

Girl, Interrupted

5.87
1999
Set in the changing world of the late 1960s, Susanna Kaysen's prescribed "short rest" from a psychiatrist she had met only once becomes a strange, unknown journey into Alice's Wonderland, where she st...
TV
The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns

The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns

6
1999
In a land of myth and magic, a forbidden love affair ignites an ancient war between the leprechauns and the trooping fairies. Jack Woods is appointed to restore harmony...but will peace prevail before...
Jackie's Back!

Jackie's Back!

1999
A mockumentary of Jackie Washington, a fictonal star of music, stage and screen played by Jenifer Lewis. The movie now follows Jackie as she tells her story to stardom and fall from grace as she prepa...
Get Bruce!

Get Bruce!

1999
Affectionate tribute to Bruce Vilanch, who writes material for celebrities who make public appearances, from Oscar hosts and award recipients to Presidents. We meet his mom and see photos of his child...
Whoopi Goldberg Presents Billy Connolly

Whoopi Goldberg Presents Billy Connolly

1999
HBO stand up comedy presents Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Connolly
The Deep End of the Ocean

The Deep End of the Ocean

6
1999
Michelle Pfeiffer is ferocious in the role of a desperate mother whose 3-year-old son disappears during her high school reunion. Nine years later, by chance, he turns up in the town in which the famil...
Alegría, the film

Alegría, the film

1999
Frac, a mime who is suffering from a severe bout of depression, happens to meet a troupe of circus entertainers and immediately falls in love with one of the stars, Giulietta. But while his affection ...

1998.

6 Movies · 2 TV Series
TV
Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

6.75
1998
The show where everything's made up and the points don't matter. Not a talk show, not a sitcom, not a game show, Whose Line Is It Anyway? is a completely unique concept to network television. Four tal...
TV
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies

AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies

1998
To commemorate the first century of American filmmaking, the American Film Institute embarked on a celebration of America's greatest movies from the first 100 years of American cinema — 1896-1996.
A Knight in Camelot

A Knight in Camelot

1998
Yet another variation on Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee At King Arthur's Court." Here, a computer malfunction causes a science researcher to be sent back in time with her laptop, which she uses to...
An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn

An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn

1998
Filmmaker Alan Smithee finds himself the unwilling puppet of a potentially bad, big budget action film which he proceeds to steal the reels and leave the cast and crew in a frenzy.
How Stella Got Her Groove Back

How Stella Got Her Groove Back

1998
Through good times and bad, Stella and Delilah have always had each other. Now, Stella's so busy building a life that she's forgotten how to really live. But Delilah is about to change all that. What ...
The Rugrats Movie

The Rugrats Movie

5.44
1998
Tommy faces responsibility when Dil, his new baby brother, is born. As with all newborns, the child becomes a bane to Tommy and the rest of his gang. They decide to return Dil to where he came from, t...
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie

1998
Young Rudolph suffers a childhood accident that sees his nose turn from the publicly accepted norm of black to a glowing red colour. His parents worry about him getting teased, and indeed he does in t...
Jackie Chan: My Story

Jackie Chan: My Story

1998
Jackie Chan is one of the world's biggest action stars, famed for his wacky sense of humor, remarkable martial arts techniques, and willingness to perform incredible stunts without the use of doubles ...
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