Influential Black Leaders- Whoppi Goldberg
Influential Black Leaders- Whoppi Goldberg
Caryn Elaine Johnson (born November 13, 1955), known professionally as Whoopi Goldberg (/ˈwʊpi/), is an American actor, comedian, author, and television personality. A recipient of numerous accolades, Goldberg is one of sixteen entertainers to have won an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, and a Tony Award.
Goldberg's breakthrough came in 1985 for her role as Celie, a mistreated woman in the Deep South, in Steven Spielberg's period drama film The Color Purple, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won her first Golden Globe Award. For her performance in the romantic fantasy film Ghost (1990) as an eccentric psychic, Goldberg won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, making her the second black woman to win an Academy Award for acting, and a second Golden Globe, her first for Best Supporting Actress. In 1992, Goldberg starred in the comedy Sister Act, earning a third Golden Globe nomination, her first for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical. She reprised the role in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993), making her the highest-paid actress at the time.
A theatre performer and producer, Goldberg has performed in Broadway productions, one of which produced a comedy album that earned her a Grammy Award. She has also won a Tony Award as a producer of the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. In television, Goldberg is known for her role as Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation and for co-hosting and moderating the talk show The View since 2007, for which she won a Daytime Emmy
Goldberg is an advocate for human rights, moderating a panel at the Alliance of Youth Movements Summit on how social networks can be used to fight violent extremism in 2008, and also moderating a panel at the UN in 2009 on human rights, children and armed conflict, terrorism, human rights, and reconciliation.
On April 1, 2010, Goldberg joined Cyndi Lauper in the launch of her Give a Damn campaign to bring a wider awareness of discrimination of the LGBT community. The campaign aims to bring straight people to ally with the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community. Other names included in the campaign are Jason Mraz, Elton John, Judith Light, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Kardashian West, Clay Aiken, Sharon Osbourne and Kelly Osbourne. Her high-profile support for LGBT rights and AIDS activism dates from the 1987 March on Washington, in which she participated.
On an episode of The View that aired on May 9, 2012, Goldberg stated she is a member of the National Rifle Association. Goldberg is on the Board of Selectors of Jefferson Awards for Public Service. She also serves on the National Council Advisory Board of the National Museum of American Illustration.
In 2006, Goldberg appeared during the 20th anniversary of Comic Relief. She was a speaker at the 2017 Women's March in New York City and was such again at the following year's event.
Goldberg has been married three times. She was married to Alvin Martin from 1973 to 1979; to cinematographer David Claessen from 1986 to 1988; and to union organizer Lyle Trachtenberg from 1994 to 1995.] She has been romantically linked to actors Frank Langella and Ted Danson. Danson controversially appeared in blackface during her 1993 Friars Club roast. She has stated that she has no plans to marry again, commenting "Some people are not meant to be married and I am not meant to. I'm sure it is wonderful for lots of people." In a 2011 interview with Piers Morgan, she explained that she never loved the men she married and commented: "You have to really be committed to them...I don't have that commitment. I'm committed to my family."
In 1973, Goldberg gave birth to a daughter, Alexandrea Martin, who also became an actress and producer. Through her daughter, Goldberg has three grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. On August 29, 2010, Goldberg's mother, Emma Johnson, died after suffering a stroke. She left London at the time, where she had been performing in the musical Sister Act, but returned to perform on October 22, 2010. In 2015, Goldberg's brother Clyde died of a brain aneurysm.
In 1991, Goldberg spoke out about her abortion in The Choices We Made: Twenty-Five Women and Men Speak Out About Abortion. In that book, she claimed to have used a coat hanger to terminate a pregnancy at age 10 Goldberg has stated that she was once a "functioning" drug addict. She has stated that she smoked marijuana before accepting the Best Supporting Actress award for Ghost in 1991.
Goldberg has dyslexia. She has lived in Llewellyn Park, a neighborhood in West Orange, New Jersey, saying she moved there to be able to be outside in private. She has expressed a preference for defining herself by the gender-neutral term "actor" rather than "actress", saying: "An actress can only play a woman. I'm an actor – I can play anything." In March 2019, Goldberg revealed that she had been battling pneumonia and sepsis, which caused her to take a leave of absence from The View.
On September 4, 2007, Goldberg became the new moderator and co-host of The View, replacing Rosie O'Donnell. Goldberg's debut as moderator drew 3.4 million viewers, 1 million fewer than O'Donnell's debut ratings. However, after 2 weeks, The View was averaging 3.5 million total viewers under Goldberg, a 7 percent increase from 3.3 million under O'Donnell the previous season.
Goldberg has made controversial comments on the program. One of her first appearances involved defending Michael Vick's participation in dogfighting as a result of "cultural upbringing". In 2009, she opined that Roman Polanski's rape conviction of a thirteen-year-old in 1977 was not "rape-rape", later clarified that she had intended to distinguish between statutory rape and forcible rape. The following year, in response to alleged racist comments by Mel Gibson, she defended Gibson and said that she knew that he was "not a racist".
In 2015, Goldberg was a staunch defender of Bill Cosby from the outset of his rape allegations, asserting he should be considered innocent until proven guilty, and questioning why Cosby had never been arrested or tried for them. She later changed her stance, stating that "all of the information that's out there kinda points to 'guilt'." After learning that the statute of limitations on these allegations had expired and thus could not be tried, she also stated her support for removing the statute of limitations for rape.
In June 2019, Goldberg's comments on nude photos provoked controversy after she suggested that "If you're famous, I don't care how old you are. You don't take nude photos of yourself". The actress Bella Thorne, who decided to share her own naked photos online, because a hacker was threatening to make them public, described Goldberg's remarks as "disgusting".