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Whoopi Goldberg (born Caryn Elaine Johnson, November 13, 1955) is an American actress, comedian, radio DJ, and author.
Goldberg is one of only ten individuals who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award, counting Daytime Emmy Awards. She is the second African American female performer to win an Academy Award for acting (the first being Hattie McDaniel); she has also won two Golden Globe Awards.
On the August 1, 2007 broadcast of The View, Barbara Walters introduced Goldberg as the show's new moderator as of September 4. Meredith Vieira and Rosie O'Donnell previously held the position.
Whoopi Goldberg was born on November 13, 1955 in New York City. Later in life, a DNA test traced her ancestry to the Papel and Bayote peoples of Guinea-Bissau.
Her stage name was taken from "whoopie cushion", which she initially wanted as her name, but chose the last moniker of Goldberg after her mother pointed out that her initial name pick was not Jewish enough to make her rich. According to a 2006 interview, she stated that, "If you get a little gassy, you've got to let it go. So people used to say to me, 'You're like a whoopee cushion.' And that's where the name came from."
Goldberg's on-screen talent first emerged in 1981-82 in Citizen : I'm Not Losing My Mind, I'm Giving It Away, an avant-garde ensemble feature by San Francisco filmmaker William Farley. Goldberg created The Spook Show, a one-woman show devised of different character monologues, in 1983. Director Mike Nichols was instantly impressed and offered to bring the show to Broadway. The self-titled show ran from October 24, 1984 to March 10, 1985 for a total of 156 sold-out performances. While performing on Broadway, Goldberg's performance caught the eye of director Steven Spielberg. He was about to direct the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Color Purple written by Alice Walker. Having read the novel, she was ecstatic at being offered a lead role in her first motion picture. She later stated, that "I would have taken any role in that movie - including dirt on a venetian rug." Goldberg received compliments on her acting from Spielberg, Walker, and music consultant Quincy Jones, and became a bona-fide movie star.The Color Purple was released in the late autumn of 1985 and was a critical and commercial success. It was later nominated for 11 Academy Awards including a nomination for Goldberg as Best Leading Actress. The movie did not win any of its Academy Award nominations, but Goldberg won the Golden Globe Award.
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