Comedienne Whoopi Goldberg is turning 55 this Saturday.
She made her film debut as the strikingly memorable Celie in The Color Purple. And a mere 5 years later, she wins top actor honors with an Oscar for her portrayal of Oda Mae Brown in Ghost. Whether on the couch speaking politics and current issues with the ladies of The View, or working on her latest film... she is an undeniable force in Hollywood.
Whoopi was the first one to say “Get rich or die trying”, she inspired people like 50 cent and Barack Obama, and she made people believe that they can change their lives.
She is one of only ten individuals who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award. She is the second African American female performer to win an Academy Award for acting (the first being Hattie McDaniel). She has won two Golden Globe Awards.
In conclusion, we present you with the quote which explains how Caryn Elaine Johnson became "Whoopi Goldberg":
"A woman said to me, "If I was your mother, I would have called you Whoopi, because when you're unhappy you make a sound like a whoopee cushion."
Happy Birthday Whoopi!
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This contest is fueled by the following news: Whoopi Goldberg (birth name: Caryn Elaine Johnson, born November 13, 1955) is an American theater and film actress, producer, script writer and a television host. One of the brightest Hollywood stars of the 1980s and 1990s.
Whoopi Goldberg was born on November 13, 1955 in New York's predominantly emigrant area of Chelsea in a poor family. Caryn used the nickname "Whoopi" (from "whoopee cushion"), which came from her childhood, and used as her stage name during her film career.
From the age of 8 years, she performed in the experimental children's theatre of Ellen Rubenstein, where she gained first hand experience of performing on stage and gained unique lessons in acting skills. Teachers highly praised the early talent displayed by the girl.
Caryn did not receive a full-fledged general education. She performed poorly at school for several years and then was compelled to leave due to difficulties in reading and writing - dyslexia.
In the late 1960s, Caryn connected to the hippie movement and left home to live in a commune, where she developed a liking to marihuana and later to much heavier narcotics. She did not work for long at any one place and survived on unemployment benefits.
She tried hard many times to get rid of her narcotic dependence but all her efforts were unsuccessful until she met Alvin Martin, and active worker for the organization "Anti-Narcotics" in the beginning of 1970s. Alvin convinced her that she needed to change her life and helped her in overcoming her drug dependence. Soon they got married and a year later, Caryn gave birth to daughter Alexandrea.
Caryn worked as night guard, stacked bricks and was a make up artist in a mortuary. She eventually found an actor vacancy in the new theater of San Diego through one of the theatrical agencies in 1974. Alvin refused to leave New York and they decided to part ways and divorced. Caryn relocated to the West Coast of America along with her daughter Alexandrea.
In 1985, having heard about the upcoming screen version of epic novel by Alice Walker "The Color Purple" (which was called the black analogue of "Gone with the Wind"), Whoopi sent a letter to author, requesting she include Whoopi in the film. Alice Walker, who was already familiar with the theatrical works of Whoopi, approached director Steven Spielberg with the offer and the actress received the leading role of Celie Johnson, the black American, spiritually evolving throughout the movie from oppressed housewife to an independent resolute woman. The bright film debut of Whoopi Goldberg was marked with a "Golden Globe" award and an "Oscar" nomination.
Starting her film career with an intense dramatic role, Whoopi Goldberg continued her film career by predominantly acting in entertaining genres: comedies, criminal comedies, detective serials and fantasy. Among the most popular films are - "Jumping' Jack Flash", "Burglar", "Fatal Beauty", "Sister Act!", "Ghost" and "A Knight in Camelot". Her widely acclaimed dramatic films performances for example are "Ghosts of Mississippi", "The Long Walk Home", in film by Andrei Konchalovsky and "Homer and Eddie", which brought her the Grand Prize at the International Film Festival in San Sebastian.
In 1991, Whoopi Goldberg received an "Oscar" for an actress in a supporting role for her performance as Oda Mae Brown in the film by Jerry Zucker "Ghost". At the 1992 Cannes Film Festival, huge interest was generated by the films "Sarafina", in which Whoopi Goldberg played the leading role and the film "The Player" by Robert Altman. Whoopi Goldberg also became a voice actress in cartoon films and read the announcer's text in unreleased movies.
While working in films, she also made time to simultaneously act on television. For several years, she was a regular participant on the comic show "Comic Help" and host on the author's talk show.
For several seasons she acted in the fantasy television series "Star Trek", and appeared in other TV serials as a guest (Detective agency "Moonlight", 2nd season and 8th series).
In 1994, Whoopi Goldberg debuted as host at the "Oscar" awards as master of ceremonies. Since then, she has been a huge success at hosting various ceremonies.
Personal life, views and opinions:
Whoopi Goldberg was officially married three times: Alvin Martin, father of her only daughter Alexandrea (1970s), to cinematographer David Claessen (1988-1990) and to businessman Michael Trachtenberg (1994-1995).
She has also been involved in some romantic relationships, mainly with Hollywood actors and other film personalities such as Frank Langella, Ted Danson, Timothy Dalton and Eddie Gold.
Whoopi Goldberg does not hide her radical social views and openly criticizes conservative actions of the US Administration and the Republican Party, supporting equality of cultures and religions and the legalization of unisex marriages. In 1998, she published a book under the name "The Book", in which, eccentric mannered Goldberg derides the hypocrisy of modern society, hiding behind the mask of political correctness.
Awards & Honors:
1986 - "Golden Globe" award and nomination for an "Oscar" in the Best Actress category for the film "The Color Purple";
1989 - Grand Prize at the International Film Festival in San Sebastian for the film "Homer and Eddie";
1991 - An "Oscar" and a "Golden Globe" award in the "Best Supporting Role" category for the film "Ghost".