She’s in an elusive category of performers who’ve won an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Oscar, and a Tony Award (EGOT), and now Whoopi Goldberg, iconic actor, comedienne, and television personality, is about to win yet another honor: the title of birthday girl!
Happy Birthday, Whoopi Goldberg!
And that’s because she was born on November 13, 1955, in New York City, New York, which means that this talented multi-hyphen is turning 65 years old today! Christened Caryn Elaine Johnson, Goldberg adopted her stage name after relocating to Berkeley, California, and joining the avant-garde theater troupe, the Blake Street Hawkeyes.
To supplement her income Goldberg toiled through numerous odd jobs including bank teller, mortuary cosmetologist, and bricklayer. She also took to teaching comedy and acting classes — among her many students was future singer/songwriter and actress Courtney Love.
In the 1980s, Goldberg moved yet again – this time back to her old stomping grounds in New York City. She continued to hone her own craft under the auspice of Uta Hagen and in 1982, she landed her first film assignment: William Farley’s Citizen: I’m Not Losing My Mind, I’m Giving It Away.
Goldberg next embarked on a one-woman theatrical experience titled The Spook Show. Director Mike Nichols viewed Goldberg’s performance and helped her transition the act to a Broadway stage.
The Spook Show’s Broadway incarnation proved to a massive hit with critics and audiences alike and wound up running from October 24, 1984 to March 10, 1985. Whoopi Goldberg’s natural talent and charisma netted her the lead role in Steven Spielberg’s 1985 period melodrama The Color Purple and that film’s success lead to further film offers.
Between 1985 and 1988, Goldberg appeared in seven pictures, including Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986) – which served as Penny Marshall’s directorial debut – and Fatal Beauty (1987).
The 1990s would prove to be Goldberg’s most creatively successful period and 1990, in particular, would prove to be her banner year: she co-stared with Jean Stapleton in the situation comedy Bagdad Café, and appeared in both The Long Walk Home and Ghost.
Goldberg’s work in the latter picture – in which she played reluctant ghost whisperer Oda Mae Brown – resulted in her winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Among Goldberg’s other acting credits are the films Soapdish (1991), Sister Act (1992), Sarafina! (1992), Made in America (1993), The Lion King (1994; voice), The Little Rascals (1994), Moonlight and Valentino (1995), Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), and Monkeybone (2001).
She also had a recurring role on Star Trek: The Next Generation and served as hostess of her own eponymous talk show. Goldberg has been a co-host and moderator on The View since September 4, 2007.
Goldberg holds the distinction of being the first African American woman to host the Academy Awards – a task she performed in 1994, 1996, 1999, and 2002 – as well as the first woman to solo host.
Outside of her acting, Goldberg is known as an advocate for human rights. She is a mother to Alexandrea Martin – an actress and producer – a grandmother to three as well as a great-grandmother.
Entertainment Hub would like to wish Whoopi Goldberg a very happy birthday and you can too by clicking on the Twitter link below!