What a Journey! See Iconic Comedian Whoopi Goldberg Through the Years

Everyone knows the name Whoopi Goldberg, and that’s because she has been quite successful in her incredible career — one that kicked off with her first screen appearance in 1982’s Citizen: I’m Not Losing My Mind, I’m Giving It Away, and has led her to her most current gig on The View panel.

The comedian was born in New York City on November 13, 1955, to Robert James Johnson Jr. and Emma Johnson. She was born Caryn Elaine Johnson, and chose her stage name as “Whoopi,” due to a whoopee cushion. “When you’re performing on stage, you never really have time to go into the bathroom and close the door,” the actress once told The New York Times. “So if you get a little gassy, you’ve got to let it go. So people used to say to me, ‘You’re like a whoopee cushion.’ And that’s where the name came from.”

Whoopi Goldberg
Marty Reichenthal/AP/Shutterstock

Whoopi would go on to make waves fairly quickly, especially when she landed a role in Steven Spielberg‘s The Color Purple — a performance that reeled in her first Oscar nomination. It was an award she would eventually win with 1991’s Ghost. Whoopi would also be known for her roles in Sister Act and her voice work in The Lion King. Aside from her career and her accolades, the legendary star also focused on having a family.

Whoopi would go on to tie the knot three times, with her first coming to Alvin Martin in 1973. The pair would have one daughter, Alex, that same year, before splitting in 1979. These days, the A-lister isn’t married, and she won’t be doing it anytime soon. “One day I thought, I don’t have to do this. I don’t have to conform. I tried marriage, and it wasn’t for me. You can’t be in a marriage because everybody’s expecting you to,” she explained.

Now scroll on down to see Whoopi through the years!

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