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Goldberg, Whoopi (1950–)

theater sister act won

GOLDBERG, WHOOPI (1950–). Actress, comedian, producer. She was born Caryn Johnson in New York City and grew up in a Manhattan housing project. She made her performing debut when she was eight years old with the Helena Rubinstein Children’s Theater at the Hudson Guild. She dropped out of high school and worked as a summer camp counselor before appearing on Broadway in the choruses of shows, such as Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar , and Pippin . She moved to California, where she co-founded the San Diego Repertory Theater and performed with the improvisational theater group Spontaneous Combustion. At this time, she adopted her stage name of Whoopi Goldberg. She moved to the San Francisco Bay area and joined the improvisational group The Blake Street Hawkeyes Theater in Berkeley. Goldberg further developed her stand-up routine and toured the U. S. and Europe with her one woman production, The Spook Show . She returned to Broadway in another one-woman performance of her original work at the Lyceum Theater, which was taped for an HBO special titled Whoopi Goldberg: Direct From Broadway . The record album of the show won a Grammy Award as Best Comedy Recording of the Year. She was later cast in the lead role of The Color Purple , 1986, for which she was nominated for an Oscar and won both a Golden Globe and an NAACP Image Award. After a number of back-to-back hit films, such as Jumpin’ Jack Flash , 1986; Burglar , 1987; and Fatal Beauty , 1987, her big-screen career was set. She won an Academy Award for her performance as an unwitting psychic in the smash hit Ghost , 1990, and received critical acclaim for her performances in Sister Act , 1992, and Sister Act 2 , 1993. Goldberg has also hosted her own talk show, starred in her own sitcom, produced and guest starred on the TV game show Hollywood Squares , and hosted the 66th annual Academy Awards telecast. With fellow comedians Billy Crystal and Robin Williams, she co-hosted HBO’s Comic Relief , a series of cable shows that raised over $40 million to benefit America’s homeless population. Numerous awards, movie roles, and television appearances followed, and she is currently one of the most sought-after entertainers in the industry.

Filmography: The Color Purple , 1985; Jumpin’ Jack Flash , 1986; The Telephone , 1987; Fatal Beauty , 1987; Burglar , 1987; Clara’s Heart , 1988; The Long Walk Home , 1989; Kiss Shot , 1989; Homer and Eddie , 1989; Ghost , 1990; Soapdish , 1991; Sister Act , 1992; Sarafina , 1992; The Player , 1992; Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit , 1993; Naked in New York , 1993; Made in America , 1993; Star Trek: Generations , 1994; The Little Rascals , 1994; The Lion King , 1994; Corina, Corina , 1994; Boys on the Side , 1994; Ghosts of Mississippi , 1996; Eddie , 1996; The Associate , 1996; Cinderella , 1997; A Knight in Camelot , 1998; How Stella Got Her Groove Back , 1998; The Deep End of the Ocean , 1998; Jackie’s Back , 1999; Girl Interrupted , 1999; Alice in Wonderland , 1999; The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle , 2000; Rat Race , 2001; Monkeybone , 2001; Kingdom Come , 2001; Call Me Claus , 2001.

Golden Globe Awards, The [next] [back] Goldbach, Christian

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