Whoopi Goldberg, born Caryn Elaine Johnson on November 13, 1955[1], is a American actress, comedienne, author and talk show host. She is known for her roles in The Color Purple, Sister Act, on The View and was a guest starred on Glee as Carmen Tibideaux.

Personal Life

Goldberg was born to Robert Johnson and Emma Harris in New York.[2] She has a brother, Clyde.[1]

Goldberg was married to Alvin Martin for nine years till 1979,[2] and they have a daughter, Alexandria.[3] Alexandria has two daughters, Amarah Skye and Jerzey, and a son, Mason.[3] She was married twice after that: David Claessen, for two years till 1988, and Lyle Trachtenberg, for a year till 1995.[2] She was in a relationship with Ted Danson in the early 1990s.[3]

She has a Ph.D. in literature from New York University and an honorary degree from Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.[3]

She changed her name when she decided that her given name was too boring. She claims to be half Jewish and half Catholic, and "Goldberg" is attributed to her family history.[1]


Goldberg made her film debut in Citizen in 1982, and was in The Color Purple in 1985, which won her first Golden Globe Award for her role. She had a recurring role on Star Trek: The Next Generation for five years till 1993, Bagdad Cafe for a year till 1991, Liberty's Kids: Est. 1776 for a year till 2003, and Whoopi for a year till 2004.

She has been co-hosting, The View, for nine years since 2005, and had a guest starring role on Glee for five episodes in 2012 and (so far) an episode in 2014.

Goldberg was announced to be a guest star in an upcoming episode of Law and Order: SVU in the seventeenth season. The episode will air in October 2015 and she will portray Janette Grayson.[4]


Year Title Role Notes
1982 Citizen
1985 The Color Purple Celie Johnson
1986 Moonlighting Camille Brand uncredited ("Camille" and "The Straight Poop")
Jumpin' Jack Flash Terry Dolittle
1987 Fatal Beauty Rita Rizzoli
Burglar Bernice Rhodenbarr
Repairs The voice short
1988 Whoopi Goldberg: Fontaine... Why Am I Straight Fontaine TV Movie
Clara's Heart Clara Mayfield
The Telephone Vashti Blue
Star Trek: The Next Generation Guinan 1988 - 1993 (28 episodes)
1989 Homer and Eddie Eddie Cervi
Kiss Shot Sarah Collins TV movie
CBS Schoolbreak Special Mariah Johnston ("My Past Is My Own")
Michael Jackson: Liberian Girl video short
1990 Captain Planet and the Planeteers Gaia 1990 - 1992 (60 episodes)
Bagdad Cafe Brenda 1990 - 1991 (15 episodes)
Ghost Oda Mae Brown
1991 Blackbird Fly short
Noel's Christmas Presents' TV Movie
House Party 2 The Professor uncredited
Soapdish Rose Schwartz
A Different World Dr. Jordan ("If I Should Die Before I Wake")
1992 Sarafina! Mary Masembuko
Sister Act Deloris Van Cartier/Sister Mary Clarence
The Player Detective Avery
Defenders of Dynatron City Ms. Megawatt voice and TV movie
1993 A Cool Like That Christmas Mom/Irwin voice and. TV movie
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit Deloris Van Cartier/Sister Mary Clarence
Made in America Sarah Mathews
Loaded Weapon Sgt. Billy York uncredited
Naked in New York Tragedy Mask on Theater Wall
1994 The Pagemaster Fantasy voice
Animated StoryBook: The Lion King Shenzi voice and video game
Star Trek: Generations Guinan uncredited
Corrina, Corrina Corrina Washington
The Little Rascals Buckwheat's Mom
The Lion King Shenzi short
1995 Theodore Rex Katie Coltrane video
Moonlight and Valentino Sylvie Morrow
Boys on the Side Jane
Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Mother Goose/Zenobia The Hoodoo Diva 1995 - 1997 (2 episodes) voice
1996 Ghosts of Mississippi Myrlie Evers
The Associate Laurel Ayres
Bogus Harriet Franklin
Bordello of Bloodmm Hospital Patient uncredited
Eddie Edwina 'Eddie' Franklin
The Sunshine Boys Nurse uncredited and TV movie
1997 A Christmas Carol Spirit of Christmas Present vidoe and voice
Cinderella Queen Constantina voice and TV movie
Mother Goose: A Rappin' and Rhymin' Special Mother Gooseberg voice and TV movie
An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn Whoopi Goldberg
Destination Anywhere Cabbie video
In the Gloaming Nurse Myrna TV movie
Tracey Takes On... God voice ("Supernatural")
1998 Titey The Iceberg voice and short
A Knight in Camelot Dr. Vivien Morgan TV movie
The Rugrats Movie Ranger Margaret voice
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie Stormella - The Evil Ice Queen voice
L.A. Doctors Whoopi Goldberg uncredited ("A Prayer for the Lying")
How Stella Got Her Groove Back Delilah Abraham
The Nanny Edna ("The Pre-Nup")
Saturday Night Live The Iceberg voice ("Steve Buscemi/Third Eye Blind")
1999 Our Friend, Martin Mrs. Peck video and voice
Girl, Interrupted Valerie Owens, RN
The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns The Grand Banshee TV movie
Foxbusters voice
Jackie's Back! Nurse Ethyl Washington Rue Owens (Jackie's Sister) TV movie
The Deep End of the Ocean Candy Bliss
Alice in Wonderland Cheshire Cat TV movie
Alegría Baby Clown
2000 Strong Medicine Dr. Lydia Emerson (4 episodes)
More Dogs Than Bones Cleo
The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle Judge Cameo uncredited
2001 Call Me Claus Lucy Cullins TV movie
The Hollywood Sign One of the women throwing dirt on coffin at funeral scene uncredited
Rat Race Vera Baker
The Weber Show Whoopi Goldberg ("...And Then the Sex Freaked Jack Out")
Monkeybone Death
Golden Dreams Califia, the Queen of California short and narrator
Kingdom Come Raynelle Slocumb
What Makes a Family Terry Harrison TV movie
2002 Absolutely Fabulous Goldie ("Gay")
Star Trek: Nemesis Guinan uncredited
It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie Daniel's 'Boss' TV movie
Madeline: My Fair Madeline'm Miss Clavel voice and TV movie
Liberty's Kids: Est. 1776 Deborah Samson/Robert Shurtleff 2002 - 2003 (36 episodes)
2003 Blizzard Blizzard voice
Good Fences Mabel Spader TV movie
Freedom: A History of Us Harriet Tubman/Sojourner Truth/Lucy Parsons (5 episodes)
Pauly Shore Is Dead Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Mavis Rae 2003 - 2004 (19 episodes)
2004 Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 Whoopi Goldberg
Pinocchio 3000 Cyberina voice
The Lion King 1 1/2 Shenzi voice and video
Littleburg Mayor Whoopi
2005 Bear in the Big Blue House The Great Bandini ("The Great Bandini")
Whoopi: Back to Broadway - The 20th Anniversary Fontaine/Lurleen/Crippled Lady TV movie
Racing Stripes Franny voice
2006 Everybody Hates Chris Louise Clarkson (2 episodes)
Everyone's Hero Darlin' voice
Homie Spumoni Thelma
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Chesley Watkins ("To the Bone ")
So noTORIous MaMa Belle ('Cursed")
Doogal Ermintrude voice
Farce of the Penguins Helen voice
2007 If I Had Known I Was a Genius Mom
30 Rock Whoopi Goldberg 2007 - 2009 (2 episodes)
2008 A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa Taxi Driver TV movie
Life on Mars Brother Lovebutter uncredited ("Things to Do in New York When You Think You're Dead")
Entourage Whoopi Goldberg ("Fire Sale")
Descendants Red Flower voice and short
Snow Buddies Miss Mittens voice and video
2009 The Cleaner Paulina Kmec/Paulina 'PK' Kmec (3 episodes)
Stream Jodi short
Madea Goes to Jail Whoopi
2010 For Colored Girls Alice/White
Toy Story 3: The Video Game Stretch voice and video
Toy Story 3 Stretch voice
See You in September Lindsay's Therapist uncredited
2011 A Poem Is... Narrator
The Little Engine That Could Tower voice
A Little Bit of Heaven God
2012 Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Lady Whoopi 2012 - 2013 (3 episodes)
Glee Carmen Tibideaux 2012 ("Choke", "Nationals", "Props", "The New Rachel" and "Swan Song"); 2014 ("Bash")
666 Park Avenue Maris Elder ("Hypnos")
Robot Chicken HAL 9000/Celie Johnson/Swift Wind voice ("Choked on Multi-Colored Scarves")
Suburgatory Yakult voice ("The Motherload")
The Middle (TV Series) Jane Marsh ("The Guidance Counselor")
The Daly Show ("The Daly Whoopi")
The Contradictions of Fair Hope
2013 Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Mrs. Rabbit voice, 2013 - 2014 ("Home" and "And They Lived")
2014 Black Dog, Red Dog Calliope
Sensitive Men Spiritual Leader TV Movie
Big Stone Gap Fleeta Mullins
Top Five Herself
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Bernadette Thompson
The 7D Magic Mirror voice (3 episodes)
A Day Late and a Dollar Short Viola TV Movie
2015 Savva. Heart of the Warrior Mama Zho Zi English version, voice; post-production
I Do, I Do Shanna Tee pre-production


  • She is good friends with Patrick Stewart and Marlon Brando.
  • She was awarded The Annual Kennedy Centre Mark Twain Prize for Comedy.
  • She was the first woman to host the Academy Awards on her own. She hosted them in 2002, 1999, 1996 and 1994.
  • She studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village in New York City.
  • She is an active pro-abortion campaigner, having undergone the procedure herself at the age of 14.
  • She travels to locations by bus since she dislikes flying.
  • She won a Grammy for "Whoopi Goldberg: Direct From Broadway."
  • She once worked in a mortuary where her job was applying makeup to corpses.



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