Whoopi Goldberg has been performing since the tender age of eight. She was Performing with the children's programme at the Hudson Guild and Helena Rubinstein's children's theatre. She worked as a Bricklayer and a make up artist in a funeral parlour whilst appearing in small Broadway parts.
In San Diego 1975 she appeared in the San Diego Repertory production of Brecht's Mother Courage and Marsha Norman's Getting Out. Whoopi married, got hooked on heroin, got divorced, kicked heroin, had a child and chose a unique stage name for herself. (Refer to her book to find out how she got it and the reason why)
Later Whoopi joined the Blake St Hawkeye's theatre in Berkley alongside David Schein. Shortly she moved into Solo performances, she created The Spook Show which first played in San Francisco and she toured the USA and Europe. When performing in The Spook Show Director Mike Nichols spotted her and gave Whoopi her own one-woman Broadway Show, in 1984 an evening of her own material, the show opened to critical acclaim. Audiences unable to see her New York Show were able to see an HBO Special Whoopi Goldberg Direct from Broadway. The Album won a Grammy Award for best recording of the year.
Whoopi returned to San Francisco to star in Moms as Moms Mabley, a one-woman Show she co-wrote based on the Comedian Moms Mabley's work.
The following Year Steven Spielberg found her and cast her as Celie in the film version of the Novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker. This not only her Debut Movie but it also won Whoopi a Golden Globe for best Actress in a Motion Picture, an Oscar Nominee and an NAACP Image Award for best actress in a Motion Picture. Since then Whoopi has starred in a long string of hit movies including Jumping Jack Flash, Burglar, Fatal Beauty, Clara's Heart and Ghost. In 1990 Whoopi was nominated and won the Oscar for best supporting Actress for her role as Oda Mae Brown in Ghost.
She starred in The Long Walk Home, Homer and Eddie, The Telephone, TV Movie Kiss Shot, Soapdish, The Player, Corrina Corrina, Sister Act, (a huge Box Office smash hit which won her a golden globe and an NAACP Image Award for best actress) Sarafina, Made in America and Boys on the Side. The success of Sister Act spawned a whopping 8 million sequel Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Another successful movie.
Whoopi is also involved with different campaigns for homeless children, Aids, Human Rights and abuse amongst others, She received an NAACP Entertainer of the year award in 1991. She's co-hosted alongside Billy Crystal and Robin Williams in various Comic Relief Shows.
In 1999 Whoopi was voted Woman of the Year for Essence Magazine. From 1995 onward she has starred in Moonlight and Valentino, EDDIE, The Associate, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Theodore Rex, A Knight in Camelot, Cinderella, The Deep End of the Ocean, Girl Interrupted, Monkeybone, Kingdom Come and most recently Rat Race. She has also done various voiceover roles in films such as The Lion King, Alice in Wonderland, The Pagemaster, The Rugrats-The Movie. She had also written a children's book called Alice. She has also had cameo appearances in The Little Rascals and In and Out
Whoopi has also been the star of the 1989-1990 sitcom Bagdad Cafe, and has also had a recurring role in Star Trek, The Next Generation. In 1992/1993 she hosted her own chat show. She was also Centre Square for American Game Show Hollywood Square's.
Whoopi has also executive produced and starred in TV Movie Call Me Claus and has also executive produced some Broadway shows such as Amour. She's also starred in 1997's Broadway Show A funny thing happened on the way to the forum and most recently in Ma Rainey.
On 13th November 2001 (on her 46th birthday) she received her star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame just outside the Kodak Theatre where the Annual Oscar ceremony is held, which throughout the years Whoopi has also hosted the last one being the 2002 Oscars
Whoopi has also placed prints of her hands, feet and her trademark dreadlocks in the cement just outside Mann's Chinese theatre in 1995.
This is one actress and entertainer that has definitely made it to the top and she deserves all the credit she can get and every success in the future. If you want to know more about her I'd recommend that you read the Biography by James R Parrish Whoopi Goldberg: Her Journey from poverty to mega stardom and her stunning Autobiography entitled Book.