There are few people who haven’t seen at least one movie featuring Whoopi Goldberg as she has been acting in films for four decades and her work covers almost every genre. However, she is usually associated with comedic roles as she has a talent for comedy acting. After a prolific career in the film industry, it is now estimated that Whoopi Goldberg has a net worth of $45 million. Here is how this talented actress became so wealthy.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
Born in the Manhattan borough of New York City on November 13, 1955, Whoopi Goldberg’s real name is Caryn Elaine Johnson. She and her brother Clyde were raised by their single mother in the Chelsea-Elliot Houses. Goldberg relocated to southern California in the 1970s where she settled in Berkley. Before becoming an actress, she worked in many different jobs, including as a mortuary cosmetologist, a waitress, a bank teller, and a bricklayer. She then joined the ‘Blake Street Hawkeyes’, which was an avant-garde theater troupe. She also taught acting and comedy classes before beginning to perform in theater productions.
It wasn’t until 1982 that Goldberg landed her first film role, which was in ‘Citizen: I’m Not Losing My Mind, I’m Giving It Away’. She then wrote her own one-woman show called ‘The Spook Show’, which consisted of the monologues of various characters. This was retitled ‘Whoopi Goldberg’ when director Mike Nichols agreed to take the show to Broadway. Between 1984 and 1985, Goldberg performed this show 156 times, and it was also recorded and broadcast on HBO.
Steven Spielberg saw Goldberg performing, and thought she was ideal for his film ‘The Color Purple.' He cast her in the role and the film was released in 1985. For her performance in this film, Whoopi was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Next, Goldberg starred in the moderately successful film ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’, which was Penny Marshall’s directorial debut. Over the next few years, she had lead roles in films including ‘The Telephone’, ‘Fatal Beauty’, ‘Burglar’, and ‘Clara’s Heart’.
Whoopi Goldberg’s Career in the 1990s
By the early 1990s, Whoopi Goldberg was well-established in the film industry, and this was a significant decade in her career as she appeared in a total of 29 theatrical films. This decade began with her starring in the sitcom ‘Bagdad Café’ along with Jean Stapleton. In 1990, she also starred in two films; ‘The Long Walk Home’ and ‘Ghost’. For the latter, she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. This meant she was the first black woman to win this ward for almost 50 years. The following year, she had a recurring role in ‘Star Trek: Next Generation’ and starred in ‘Soapdish’. She then played the lead role in ‘Sister Act’, which was released in 1992, followed by ‘Sarafina!’ a year later. Goldberg continued to combine working in television and starring in films as she hosted ‘The Whoopi Goldberg Show’ at the same time as starring in ‘Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit’ and ‘Made in America’.
Between 1994 and 1995, Goldberg starred in or provided voices for films including ‘Corrina, Corrina’, ‘The Pagemaster’, ‘Moonlight and Valentino’, ‘The Lion King’, ‘Theodore Rex’, ‘Boys on the Side’, and ‘The Little Rascals’. A year later, she was a guest star on ‘Muppets Tonight’. Goldberg had become the first woman to solo host the Academy Awards in 1994, and she returned as host in 1996, 1999, and 2002. 1996 was a busy year for the actress as she starred in four motion pictures in this year. The first of these was ‘Bogus’ alongside Gerard Depardieu and Haley Joel Osment. The others were ‘Ghosts of Mississippi’, ‘The Associate’, and ‘Eddie’. Between 1998 and 2001, Goldberg undertook several supporting roles in films, including ‘Rat Race’, ‘Kingdom Come’, ‘Girl, Interrupted’, and ‘How Stella Got Her Groove Back’. She also starred in several television films.
In the early 2000s, Goldberg focused more on her television career. She appeared in several documentaries, hosted a few shows, and guest-starred in various television series. She announced in 2007 that she was retiring from acting because nobody was sending her scripts anymore. However, the retirement was short-lived as she starred in the 2010 Tyler Perry movie ‘For Colored Girls’ and voiced Stretch in ‘Toy Story 3’ in the same year. She has continued to guest star in many television series, and her most recent films are the Tyler Perry movie ‘Nobody’s Fool’ and the comedy-drama film ‘Furlough’, both of which were released in 2018.
Goldberg on ‘The View’
When Rosie O’Donnel left ‘The View’ in 2007, she was replaced by Whoopi Goldberg. Her role on this talk show is moderator and co-host. The show's ratings and views showed a dramatic increase after Goldberg joined the show. While Goldberg has been a popular choice for this show, she has also raised controversy with many of her comments.
Whoopi Goldberg’s Net Worth
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Whoopi Goldberg has accrued an estimated net worth of $45 million. This is predominantly from her successful career as an actress in the film industry. However, she has also made some money from other ventures. For example, she is the co-founder of a company called Whoopi & Maya. This company makes medical cannabis products for women who suffer from menstrual cramps. She began this company after suffering from heavy periods herself and discovering that the only relief from her menstrual cramps came from cannabis. Whoopi Goldberg is also an author. She has written eight children’s books between 2006 and 2012, and four non-fiction books between 1992 and 2015.
Her Personal Life
Goldberg has been married three times and has one daughter. She married her first husband, Alvin Martin, in 1973. The couple had one daughter together, Alexandrea Martin, who is now an actress and producer. They divorced in 1979 but through their daughter, they share three grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. He second husband was cinematographer David Claessen, to whom she was married from 1986 to 1988. She was then married to union organizer Lyle Trachtenberg from 1994 to 1995. Goldberg has also been romantically linked to several famous men, including Ted Danson, Timothy Dalton, and Frank Langella.
Written by Liz Flynn
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