Whoopi Goldberg rose to prominence with her role in the iconic movie The Color Purple, and the rest, as they say, is history.

It’s safe to say that she became a huge star almost overnight and captured the attention of millions with this Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film four stars, calling it “the year’s best film” thus referring to Goldberg’s role as “one of the most amazing debut performances in movie history.” Eventually, she became the first Black woman to win all four major North American entertainment awards, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony.

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Living in a housing project in Manhattan with her mother as a young child, Goldberg knew that comedy was her calling in life. She dropped school and married at the age of around 18 to Alvin Martin, the first of Whoopi’s three husbands, and that many failed marriages. From this union, which didn’t last long, the actress got her daughter Alexandra.

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Once she divorced, Goldberg and Alexandra moved places and lived in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

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Her dream of becoming comedian was always there, but she was forced to do other jobs in order to provide for her daughter.

Speaking to Oprah, Goldberg revealed she once worked as a mortuary beautician.

“I did hair and makeup on dead people,” Goldberg said.

“There was an ad in the paper! And I’m a licensed beautician as well, because I went to beauty school.

“It’s a rough gig,” she added. “You have to be a certain kind of person. And you have to love people in order to make them worthy of a great send-off.”

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At the same time, she did comedy and toured across the US and Europe with her one-woman production, The Spook Show. It was then that she was discovered by legendary director Mike Nichols. He was enchanted with Goldberg’s talent and soon after her show got a Broadway production.

What followed was The Color Purple and then a number of other smash hit films, including Ghost, for which she received an Academy Award, and the everlasting Sister Act, which made her the highest paid actress in history at the time.

Recently, Goldberg was suspended from the award-winning talk show The View for using what the audience considered foul language.

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When it comes to her private life, Goldberg says she is at he best when she’s single because it gives her peace.

Between 1986 and 1988, Goldberg married her second husband, David Claessen, and then in 1994, she tied the knot with Lyle Trachtenberg. None of the marriages lasted long, and the actress believes she is the one to be blamed for that.

Goldberg shared that she has a hard time sharing things with others, which was the case with her ex-husbands.

“Look, people expect you to have a boyfriend. They expect you to get married,” she told the New York Times. 

“So I kept trying to do that, but I didn’t want to share information with somebody else. I didn’t want anybody asking me why I was doing what I was doing or to have to make the other person feel better.”

She then added: “But if you’re in a relationship, you have to do those things, and it took me a while to figure out that I didn’t want to.”

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Goldberg says she’s not good at relationships. “I wish I was, but I’m not. I gave my child all the time and money that I had, now I want it for me,” during a 2009 interview with The Guardian.

“The only way I could be married to anyone ever again is if they lived in another country,” Whoopi said. “They could come and visit, it would be like, ‘Oh, my goodness, I haven’t seen you in so long. Come here!’”

Nowadays, Goldberg enjoys in the company of her cat, Oliver.

She is accredited as a truly unique and visible talent in Hollywood. We only wish her success in the years to come.

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