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Caryn Elaine Johnson, better known by her
stage name, Whoopi Goldberg (born November 13, 1955 in Chelsea,
Manhattan New York), is a well-known American movie actress, comedian,
and singer. She says she is both Catholic and Jewish.
After success as a stand-up comedian in the
San Francisco Bay Area, Goldberg created a one woman show in 1983 called
The Spook Show. This show caught the attention of Mike Nichols who
produced a one-woman show for Goldberg on Broadway, called simply Whoopi
Goldberg, which ran from October 24, 1984 to March 10, 1985 for a total
of 156 performances. Goldberg's performance caught the eye of Steven
Spielberg, who was inspired to cast Goldberg in her film debut, an
adaption of the award-winning novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker.
This performance garnered her an Oscar nomination for best actress in
1986. She followed up this performance with a sell-out, highly acclaimed
one-woman show on Broadway. The majority of the films she made in the
1980s featured her in tough-woman comedic roles (Burglar, Fatal Beauty,
Jumpin' Jack Flash), though she regularly balanced them out by
performing in family-oriented films (Clara's Heart).
In danger of fading from public acclaim,
she revitalized her career in the role of a fake "spiritualist" who
manages to actually make contact with the dead in the tear-jerker Ghost,
for which she won her first Oscar award for best supporting actress. She
cemented her status as a legendary comedic actress in 1992 as a lounge
singer who is hidden in a convent (and consequently revitalises their
choir) in Sister Act. She had a recurring role on Star Trek: The Next
Generation as Guinan, which she also reprised in two of the Star Trek
Goldberg has appeared in 149 films as of
October 2002. She has received two Oscar nominations and won one. She
has received five Daytime Emmy nominations, winning one. She has
received five Emmy nominations. She has received three Golden Globe
nominations, winning two. She has won three People's Choice Awards. In
1999 she received the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
Vanguard Award for her continued work in supporting the gay and lesbian
community. She has been nominated for five American Comedy Awards with
two wins. In 2001 she won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. She
also hosted the Oscars in 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2002.
Goldberg was paired with Jean Stapleton in
the CBS sitcom Bagdad Café (with a plot differing from the 1987 movie in
several respects), which lasted two seasons (1990-1991). She hosted a
syndicated talk show (The Whoopi Goldberg Show) in 1992-1993. She also
starred in the sitcom, Whoopi, which began broadcasting in fall 2003 on
NBC. Whoopi starred as Mavis Rae, the owner of a small New York Hotel
(called the Le Mont Hotel). An ex-singer in a girl group, Mavis was as
much of a diva running the hotel as she was in the group’s glory days.
The sitcom was cancelled due to low ratings in May 2004.
Rather than the tradional autobiography,
Goldberg wrote "Book" in October 1997, a collection of stories from her
past and opinions.
In August 2004, Goldberg announced that she
would be reviving her one-woman show on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre.
Goldberg also hosts the Arts and
Entertainment section of Trivial Pursuit Unhinged, the PC game from
Her stage name apparently came from her
early tendency to have gas onstage ("whoopy" being slang for
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August 7, 2005
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