At 68 years old, Whoopi Goldberg has this physical status:
Goldberg trained under acting teacher Uta Hagen at the HB Studio in New York City. She first appeared onscreen in Citizen: I'm Not Losing My Mind, I'm Giving It Away (1982), an avant-garde ensemble feature by San Francisco filmmaker William Farley.
In 1983 and 1984, she "first came to national prominence with her one-woman show" in which she portrayed Moms Mabley, Moms, first performed in Berkeley, California, and then at the Victoria Theatre in San Francisco; the Oakland Museum of California preserves a poster advertising the show.
She created The Spook Show, a one-woman show composed of different character monologues in 1983. Director Mike Nichols "discovered" her when he saw her perform. In an interview, he recalled that he "burst into tears", and that he and Goldberg "fell into each other's arms" when they first met backstage. Goldberg considered Nichols her mentor. Nichols helped her transfer the show to Broadway; where it was retitled Whoopi Goldberg and ran from October 24, 1984, to March 10, 1985. It was taped during this run and broadcast by HBO as Whoopi Goldberg: Direct from Broadway in 1985.
Goldberg's Broadway performance caught the eye of director Steven Spielberg while she performed in The Belly Room at The Comedy Store. Spielberg gave her the lead role in his film The Color Purple, based on the novel by Alice Walker. It was released in late 1985 and was a critical and commercial success. Film critic Roger Ebert described Goldberg's performance as "one of the most amazing debut performances in movie history". It was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including a nomination for Goldberg as Best Actress.
Between 1985 and 1988, Goldberg was the busiest female star, making seven films. She starred in Penny Marshall's directorial debut Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986) and began a relationship with David Claessen, a director of photography on the set; they married later that year. The film was a modest success, and during the next two years, three additional motion pictures featured Goldberg: Burglar (1987), Fatal Beauty (1987), and The Telephone (1988). Though they were not as successful, Goldberg garnered awards from the NAACP Image Awards. Goldberg and Claessen divorced after the poor box office performance of The Telephone, in which she was contracted to perform. She tried unsuccessfully to sue the film's producers. Clara's Heart (1988) did poorly at the box office, though her own performance was critically acclaimed. As the 1980s concluded, she hosted numerous HBO specials of Comic Relief with fellow comedians Robin Williams and Billy Crystal.
In January 1990, Goldberg starred with Jean Stapleton in the situation comedy Bagdad Cafe (inspired by the 1987 film of the same name). The sitcom ran for two seasons on CBS. Simultaneously, she starred in The Long Walk Home, portraying a woman in the US civil rights movement. She played a psychic in the film Ghost (1990) and became the first black woman to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in nearly 50 years, and the second black woman to win an Academy Award for acting (the first being Hattie McDaniel for Gone with the Wind in 1940). She also won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture. Premiere named her character Oda Mae Brown in its list of Top 100 best film characters.
Goldberg starred in Soapdish (1991) and had a recurring role on Star Trek: The Next Generation between 1988 and 1993 as Guinan, a character she reprised in two Star Trek films. She made a cameo in the Traveling Wilburys 1991 music video "Wilbury Twist". On May 29, 1992, the film Sister Act was released. It grossed well over US$200 million, and Goldberg was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. That year, she starred in The Player and Sarafina!. She also hosted the 34th Annual Grammy Awards, receiving praise from the Sun-Sentinel's Deborah Wilker for bringing to life what Wilker considered "stodgy and stale" ceremonies. During the next year, Goldberg hosted a late-night talk show, The Whoopi Goldberg Show, and starred in two more films: Made in America and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. With an estimated salary of $7–12 million for Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993), she was the highest-paid actress at the time. From 1994 to 1995, she appeared in Corrina, Corrina, The Lion King (voice), Theodore Rex, The Little Rascals, The Pagemaster (voice), Boys on the Side, and Moonlight and Valentino, and guest-starred on Muppets Tonight in 1996.
In 1994, Goldberg became the first black woman to host the Academy Awards ceremony starting with the 66th Oscar telecast. She hosted it again in 1996, 1999, and 2002, and has been regarded as one of the show's best hosts.
Goldberg starred in four motion pictures in 1996: Bogus (with Gérard Depardieu and Haley Joel Osment), Eddie, The Associate (with Dianne Wiest), and Ghosts of Mississippi (with Alec Baldwin and James Woods). During the filming of Eddie, she began dating co-star Frank Langella, a relationship that lasted until early 2000. In October 1997, she and ghostwriter Daniel Paisner cowrote Book, a collection featuring Goldberg's insights and opinions.
Also in 1996, Goldberg replaced Nathan Lane as Pseudolus in the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's musical comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Greg Evans of Variety regarded her "thoroughly modern style" as "a welcome invitation to a new audience that could find this 1962 musical as dated as ancient Rome". The Washington Post's Chip Crews deemed Goldberg "a pip and a pro", and that she "ultimately [...] steers the show past its rough spots".
From 1998 to 2001, Goldberg took supporting roles in How Stella Got Her Groove Back with Angela Bassett, Girl, Interrupted with Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie, Kingdom Come, and Rat Race with an all-star ensemble cast. She starred in the ABC-TV versions of Cinderella, A Knight in Camelot, and Call Me Claus. In 1998 she gained a new audience when she became the "Center Square" on Hollywood Squares, hosted by Tom Bergeron. She also served as executive producer, for which she was nominated for four Emmy Awards. She left the series in 2002. In 1999, she voiced Ransome in the British animated children's show Foxbusters by Cosgrove Hall Films. AC Nielsen EDI ranked her as the actress appearing in the most theatrical films in the 1990s, with 29 films grossing $1.3 billion in the U.S. and Canada.
Goldberg hosted the documentary short The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas (2001). In 2003, she returned to television in Whoopi, which was canceled after one season. On her 46th birthday, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She also appeared alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett in the HBO documentary Unchained Memories (2003), narrating slave narratives. During the next two years, she became a spokeswoman for Slim Fast and produced two television series: Lifetime's original drama Strong Medicine, which ran six seasons; and Whoopi's Littleburg, a children's television series on Nickelodeon.
Goldberg returned to the stage in 2003, starring as blues singer Ma Rainey in the Broadway revival of August Wilson's historical drama Ma Rainey's Black Bottom at the Royale Theatre. She was also one of the show's producers.
Goldberg was involved in controversy at a fundraiser for John Kerry at Radio City Music Hall in New York in July 2004 when she made a sexual joke about President George W. Bush by waving a bottle of wine, pointed toward her pubic area, and said, "We should keep Bush where he belongs, and not in the White House." As result, Slim-Fast dropped her from their ad campaign. Later that year, she revived her one-woman show at the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway in honor of its 20th anniversary; Charles Isherwood of The New York Times called the opening night performance an "intermittently funny but sluggish evening of comic portraiture". Goldberg made guest appearances on Everybody Hates Chris as elderly character Louise Clarkson.
From August 2006 to March 2008, Goldberg hosted Wake Up with Whoopi, a nationally syndicated morning radio talk and entertainment program. In October 2007, Goldberg announced on the air that she was going to retire from acting because she was no longer sent scripts, saying, "You know, there's no room for the very talented Whoopi. There's no room right now in the marketplace of cinema". On December 13, 2008, she guest starred on The Naked Brothers Band, a Nickelodeon rock- mockumentary television series. Before the episode premiered, on February 18, 2008, the band performed on The View and the band members were interviewed by Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd. That same year, Goldberg hosted 62nd Tony Awards.
In 2010, she starred in the Tyler Perry movie For Colored Girls, alongside Janet Jackson, Phylicia Rashad, Thandie Newton, Loretta Devine, Anika Noni Rose, Kimberly Elise, Kerry Washington, and Macy Gray. The film received generally good reviews from critics and grossed over $38 million worldwide. The same year, she voiced Stretch in the Disney/Pixar animated movie Toy Story 3. The movie received critical acclaim and grossed $1.067 billion worldwide.
Goldberg had a recurring role on the television series Glee during its third and fourth seasons as Carmen Tibideaux, a renowned Broadway performer and opera singer and the dean at a fictional performing arts college NYADA (New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts). In 2011, she had a cameo in The Muppets. In 2012, Goldberg guest starred as Jane Marsh, Sue Heck's guidance counselor on The Middle. She voiced the Magic Mirror on Disney XD's The 7D. In 2014, she also portrayed a character in the superhero film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014). She also appeared as herself in Chris Rock's Top Five and starred in the romantic comedy film Big Stone Gap.
In 2016, Goldberg executive produced a reality television series called Strut, based on transgender models from the modeling agency Slay Model Management in Los Angeles. The series aired on Oxygen. In 2017, she voiced Ursula, the Sea Witch and Uma's mother, in the TV movie Descendants 2. In 2018, she starred in the Tyler Perry's film Nobody's Fool, alongside Tiffany Haddish, Omari Hardwick, Mehcad Brooks, Amber Riley and Tika Sumpter. That same year, she also starred in the comedy-drama film Furlough, alongside Tessa Thompson, Melissa Leo and Anna Paquin.
In an appearance on The View on January 22, 2020, Patrick Stewart invited Goldberg to reprise her role as Guinan during the second season of Star Trek: Picard. She immediately accepted his offer. Goldberg also starred in The Stand, a CBS All Access miniseries based on the 1978 novel of the same name by Stephen King, portraying Mother Abagail, a 108-year-old woman. In 2020, it was announced Goldberg was set to return in Sister Act 3 with Tyler Perry producing. The film is slated to debut on Disney+.
Goldberg is also set to star in the biographical film Till, written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu which she also produced. The film is set to debut at the 60th New York Film Festival.
Goldberg guest starred on the Disney Channel show Amphibia as the character Mother Olms.
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You never know when you’re going to learn something life-changing!
On Tuesday’s episode of Keke Palmer’s podcast, Baby, This Is Keke Palmer, the actress revealed the game-changing sex advice she learned from Whoopi Goldberg… on The View, of all places! While opening up about her relationship with her own sensuality, the Nope star got candid, recalling: