There’s no doubt Whoopi Goldberg has a lot to be proud of. Besides being a beloved American comedian, talk show host, actress, author, singer-songwriter and political activist, she has collected a ton of accolades throughout her decades-long career.
The 63-year-old icon has been a living room staple for many years and has earned a pretty penny since her start in Hollywood in the ’70s. According to Celebrity Net Worth, she has accumulated a massive net worth of more than $45 million. Wow!
Although she has a lot to brag about now, the beginning of Whoopi’s career wasn’t as strong as you’d think. The beauty, who was born Caryn Elaine Johnson in New York City on November 13, 1955, first experienced dyslexia at a young age while enrolled at the Hudson Guild Children’s Theater in the Big Apple.
After her learning disorder went diagnosed for years, she slipped into a drug addition and began using heroin. In 2013, the Sister Act star opened up about struggles to Howard Stern and revealed that they went far beyond school.
Luckily, she was able to escape her drug addiction thanks to friends, family and drug counselor Alvin Martin — who she later ended up marrying in 1973. That same year, Whoopi and Alvin welcomed their daughter, Alex Martin, before sadly divorcing in 1979.
It was in the mid-’70s when Whoopi’s career really took off. After appearing in Citizen: I’m Not Losing My Mind, I’m Giving It Away and a few other projects, she finally got her big break in 1985’s The Color Purple. The film was nominated for 11 Oscars and Whoopi earned a nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role for the portrayal of Celie.
Her career continued to skyrocket as she starred in other critically acclaimed films, including Jumpin’ Jack Flash and Clara’s Heart. Whoopi even won the 1991 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for playing Oda Mae Brown in Ghost. Her win was monumental considering she became the first African American woman to take home the award in more than 50 years.
Between her plethora of movie gigs — which went on to include The Lion King, The Little Rascals, The Pagemaster, Boys on the Side, Ghosts of Mississippi, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Rat Race and Toy Story 3 — Whoopi maintained a stand-up career and eventually embarked into the world of television. In 1992, she starred on The Whoopi Goldberg Show — after having appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Captain Planet and the Paneteers — which led to appearances on Maury, The Roseanne Show, Sesame Street, Hollywood Squares, Whoopi, Glee and many more.
Since she joined The View in 2007, Whoopi’s career has only continued to flourish. Besides making guest appearances on more shows, she has dedicated a ton of her time to supporting the LGBTQ community. Whoopi also launched a medical marijuana startup with Om Edibles medical cannabis brand founder Maya Elisabeth in 2016 and a fashion line, DUBGEE, in 2019.
Whoopi is not only one incredible star, she is also extremely inspiring!