Illustration by Michael White
Words by Mike Voss
To today’s young people, Whoopi Goldberg may best be known as one of the cohosts on The View, but she has accomplished so much more than being part of a long-running talk show in her illustrious career, spanning three decades.
Born Caryn Elaine Johnson, she became enthralled with acting at a young age, being inspired by seeing black actress Nichelle Nichols portraying Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek, being that her character was not a maid or servant. Fast forward to the early 90’s, when Whoopi came into her own as a respected actress, even landing on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Talk about full circle.
Her film catalog is an impressive one, with memorable roles in Ghost, Sister Act (and its sequel), How Stella Got Her Groove Back, 2 Star Trek films, and voiceover parts in The Lion King, The Rugrats Movie, Toy Story 3 plus more. Whoopi is also an accomplished standup comedian and has done Broadway plays as well, on stage and as a producer. She is one of the few entertainers to ever win Oscar, Emmy, Grammy AND Tony Awards.
Throughout her diverse career, Goldberg remained true to herself, letting her vibrant, unique personality shine in every role she portrayed and every interview she’s given. She never changed her look or stance on social issues, either; an active supporter of underprivileged children, it’s as if Whoopi brought her Sister Act role to reality in a way. The iconic Whoopi Goldberg is a living pillar of modern era black history.