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whoopi

In 2002, Whoopi Goldberg became one of a very elite group of artists who have won the Grammy (“Whoopi Goldberg,” 1985), the Academy Award (“Ghost,” 1991), the Golden Globe (“The Color Purple,” 1985 and “Ghost,” 1991), the Emmy (as host of AMC’s “Beyond Tara:  The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel,” 2002) and a Tony (Producer of “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” 2002).  She is equally well-known for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of children, the homeless, human rights, education, substance abuse and the battle against AIDS, as well as many other causes and charities.  Among her many charitable activities, Whoopi is a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations.

Born and raised in New York City, Whoopi worked in theatre and improvisation in San Diego and the Bay Area, where she performed with the Blake Street Hawkeyes theatre troupe.  It was there that she created the characters which became “The Spook Show” and evolved into her hit Broadway show, Grammy Award-winning album and the HBO special that helped launch her career.

Whoopi made her motion picture debut in Steven Spielberg’s film version of Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple,” for which she earned an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award.  Her performance in “Ghost” earned her the Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. 

On television, Whoopi appeared for five seasons on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and hosted her own syndicated late-night talk show.  She starred in the NBC sitcom, “Whoopi,” which she executive produced. She currently appears as moderator on ABC’s long-running talk show “The View.”

As she has in every other facet of her career, Whoopi has made her mark as a producer.  She executive produced the Lifetime original drama series “Strong Medicine,” the longest-running original drama created for basic cable and the first cable show to go into syndication.   From 1998-2002, she executive produced and appeared in the center square on the Emmy Award-winning “Hollywood Squares.”  Whoopi executive produced the hit Broadway musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” which won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical.  She was also a producer on George C. Wolfe’s “Harlem Song,” her own “Whoopi…The 20th Anniversary” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (in which she also starred).  She will also produce “Bricktop – Queen of the Night,” as well as the West End debut of the new musical, “Sister Act,” at the London Palladium later this year.

Whoopi has appeared on many television series and specials, including her own HBO specials, and nine “Comic Relief” telecasts with Billy Crystal and Robin Williams.  Whoopi received Emmy Award nominations for hosting the 66th, 68th and 71st “Academy Awards” telecasts and returned to host the 2002 telecast at the new Kodak Theatre.  In 2008, Whoopi hosted the Tony Awards for the first time.

She returned to Broadway in 1997, garnering rave reviews in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”  In 2001, Whoopi returned to her performing roots, on tour for the first time in over 10 years, performing one-night-only engagements across the U.S She commemorated the 20th anniversary of her original one-woman show with a Tony-nominated engagement production on Broadway last year and the HBO broadcast of the show was nominated for an Emmy Award. 

In addition to the Oscar, the Grammy and two Golden Globe Awards, Whoopi has been honored with multiple NAACP Image Awards, numerous People’s Choice Awards (including a special tribute in 1998) and five Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards as “Favorite Movie Actress,” as well as various awards and honors for her many humanitarian efforts. 

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