Birth Date: November 13, 1955 / Age: 61
Birth Place: New York, New York, USA
Biography: 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.
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 feature films.
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 July 2004, Slim Fast, a popular diet shake, dropped Goldberg from its advertisements in response to popular opposition to statements Goldberg made at a "John Kerry for President" rally in which Goldberg repeatedly referred to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney by pointing to her genital region. Here is an excerpt of what she said:
"I know I told you I'd get to this. (Reading from label on wine bottle) `When Bush comes to shove, don't whine. Vote Kerry.'
"And that's why I'm here tonight. Because I love bush. But someone's giving bush a bad name. Someone has tarnished name of `bush.' Someone has waged war, someone has deliberately misled the country, someone has attempted to amend the constitution, all in the name of bush. The bush I know and cherish would never do such things. My bush is smarter than that. And if my bush is smarter than that, you can understand just how dumb I think that other bush is. And anyone who would wave to Stevie Wonder is not fully there. I will do whatever it takes to restore bush to its rightful place and that ain't in the White House. Vote your heart and mind and keep bush where it belongs."
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 ATARI. ( Her stage name apparently came from her early tendency to have gas onstage ("whoopy" being slang for "flatulence").