Whoopi Goldberg - Biography

Last Modified: Aug 31, 2022

Whoopi Goldberg
Profession: Actress, Comedian, Author, Television host
Best Known For: The Color Purple (film)
Salary: $8 million
Net Worth: $60 million

Personal Details

Born on : November 13, 1955 (age 68)
Birth Name /
Full Name:
Caryn Elaine Johnson
Birth Place: New York City, USA
Horoscope: Scorpio
Father's Name: Robert James Johnson Jr.
Mother's Name: Emma Johnson
Siblings: 1

Clyde K. Johnson (brother)

High School: Washington Irving High School
University: Tisch School Of The Arts
Ethnicity: African-American
Nationality: American


Sexual Orientation: Straight
Marital Status: Divorced

Alvin Martin (1973 - 1979)
David Claessen (Sept 1, 1986- 1988)
Lyle Trachtenberg (Oct 1, 1994- 1995)

Children: 1

Alexandrea Martin (daughter)

Body Measurements

Height: 1.65 meter (5 feet 5 inch)
Weight: 59 kg (130.07 lb)
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Dark Brown
Shoe Size: N/A
Dress Size: N/A
Breast Size: N/A
Waist Size: N/A
Hip Size: N/A
Bra Size: N/A
Cup Size: N/A

Table of contents [Hide]

Who is Whoopi Goldberg?

Whoopi Goldberg has established as a pioneering black woman in Hollywood. But things were not as easy for the actress, comedian, author, and television host.

Read on, and know more about her journey to stardom.

Source: The Cannifornian (Whoopi Goldberg)

Whoopi Goldberg – Age, Parents, Siblings

Whoopi Goldberg was born Caryn Elaine Johnson on November 13, 1955, in New York City, U.S.A. Her parents are Robert James Johnson Jr., a clergyman, and Emma Johnson, a nurse, and a teacher. She was raised by her single mother along with her brother Clyde Johnson.  

Education, Ethnicity, Stage name

For her education, she attended St Columba's, a local Catholic school. She later attended Washington Irving High School but dropped out. She also went to Tisch School Of The Arts. Her ethnicity is African-American.

No, her mother did not name her Whoppi! She later revealed that her name, in fact, came from whoopee cushion! This is an interesting interpretation!

Explaining her stage name, she said,

"When you're performing on stage, you never really have time to go into the bathroom and close the door. 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.

My mother did not name me Whoopi, but Goldberg is my name, it's part of my family, part of my heritage. Just like being black."

Whoopi Goldberg – Boyfriend, Husband, Divorce, Children

Whoopi Goldberg dated Alvin Martin and got married to him in 1973, while she was still a teenager. The marriage was a happy one and the couple was also blessed with a beautiful, healthy girl named Alexandrea Martin on May 9, 1973. But six years into the marriage, their entire relationship crumbled, and ended in divorce in 1979.  

Related: DeWanda Wise - Actress of Jurassic World: Dominion (film) 

Source: Pinterest (Whoopi Goldberg with daughter Alexandrea Martin)

Sad as it is, Goldberg moved on. She found love with David Claessen, her second husband. The “crazy in love” couple got married on September 1, 1986. Claessen worked as a cinematographer and the two had actually met on the sets of Jumpin' Jack Flash. Again, the marriage was not meant to be. They divorced in 1988. They had no children together. 

Whoopi Goldberg married for the third time on October 1, 1994, and this time to union organizer Lyle Trachtenberg. This union was very short-lived, lasting only about a year. They divorced in 1995.

Three failed marriages, but she did not give up on love. She was also romantically linked with Frank Langella, Timothy Dalton, and Ted Danson. Talking about her future plans to marry again, she shared,

“Some people are not meant to be married and I am not meant to. I'm sure it is wonderful for lots of people. You have to really be committed to them. And I'm jus — I don't have that commitment. I'm committed to my family."

Goldberg's daughter, Alexandrea Martin has taken up her mother’s work and is now an actress and a producer.

Related: Issa Rae - Actress of Awkward Black Girl

Whoopi Goldberg – Career

Early Days

Whoopi Goldberg's first appearance was in Citizen: I'm Not Losing My Mind, I'm Giving It Away (1982). The next year in 1983, she created The Spook Show, a one-woman show which was retitled Whoopi Goldberg when taken up by Broadway. Her performance was very impressive and managed to catch the attention of director Steven Spielberg.

Spielberg then offered her a lead role in The Color Purple alongside Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, Margaret Avery, and Rae Dawn Chong. The movie was released in 1985. The movie was nominated for eleven Academy Awards including the title of Best Actress for Goldberg. The movie was the breakthrough movie for Goldberg, opening doors for her.

Related: Jeremy Pope - Actor of Choir Boy fame

Films, Series

Over the years, she has starred in Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986),  Burglar (1987), Fatal Beauty (1987),  The Telephone (1988),  Bagdad Café (1990), The Long Walk Home, Ghost (1990),  Soapdish (1991), Star Trek: The Next Generation, Sarafina!, Cinderella, A Knight in Camelot, Call Me Claus, among others.

Since the 2000s, Goldberg has appeared in Whoopi (2003), Everybody Hates Chris, The Naked Brothers Band, Glee, The Middle, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Top Five, 30 Rock, among others.

In addition, Goldberg has hosted the show The View and produced several Television shows. Her lifetime achievement includes an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, and a Tony Award.

Source: Hollywood (Whoopi Goldberg with Patrick Swayze in ghost)


On the set of Whoopi, Goldberg starred alongside Elizabeth Regen, Wren T. Brown, Gordana Rashovich, Omid Djalili.

Related: Ariana DeBose - Actress of West Side Story 

Whoopi Goldberg – Net Worth, Salary

The net worth and annual salary Goldberg are estimated to be around $60 million and $8 million respectively.

Whoopi Goldberg – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

On social media handles including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, Whoopi Goldberg is followed by millions of followers.

RelatedList of African-American personalities

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Tags : actress comedian author television host Star Trek: The Next Generation Sarafina! A Knight in Camelot Call Me Claus Emmy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg