Caryn Elaine Johnson (born November 13, 1955), known professionally as Whoopi Goldberg, is an American actress, comedian, author and television host. She has been nominated for 13 Emmy Awards for her work in television and is one of the few entertainers who has won an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Oscar, and a Tony Award. She was the second black woman in the history of the Academy Awards to win an acting Oscar.
In the period drama film, The Color Purple (1985), her breakthrough role was playing Celie, a mistreated black woman in the Deep South, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. In the romantic fantasy film Ghost (1990), Goldberg played Oda Mae Brown, an eccentric psychic who helped a slain man (Patrick Swayze) save his lover (Demi Moore), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 1992, she starred as a pretend nun in the comedy Sister Act. From 1998 to 2002, she was co-producer of the television game show Hollywood Squares. Since 2007, she has been the moderator of the daytime television talk show, The View.
oldberg 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; the couple 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 these were not as successful as her prior motion pictures, Goldberg still garnered awards from the NAACP Image Awards. Goldberg and Claessen divorced after the poor box office performance of The Telephone, which Goldberg was under contract to star in. She tried unsuccessfully to sue the producers of the film. Clara's Heart
did poorly at the box office, though her own performance was critically
acclaimed. As the 1980s concluded, she participated in the 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. The show ran for two seasons on CBS. Simultaneously, Goldberg starred in The Long Walk Home, portraying a woman in the civil rights movement. She played a psychic in the 1990 film Ghost 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 1939's Gone with the Wind). 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 as Guinan, which she would reprise in two Star Trek films. On May 29, 1992, Sister Act was released. The motion picture grossed well over US $200 million and Goldberg was nominated for a Golden Globe. Next, she starred in Sarafina!. During the next year, she hosted a late-night talk show titled The Whoopi Goldberg Show and starred in two more motion pictures: Made in America and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. From 1994 to 1995, Goldberg appeared in Corrina, Corrina, The Lion King (voice), The Pagemaster (voice), Boys on the Side, and Moonlight and Valentino. Goldberg guest starred on Muppets Tonight in 1996. She became the first African-American woman to host the Academy Awards show in 1994, and the first woman to solo host. She hosted the awards show again in 1996, 1999, and 2002.