Happy Birthday, Whoopi Gee!

I am a huge Whoopi Goldberg fan.  From the first time I saw her perform her one-woman act which included a charcter named Fontaine–I was hooked.  She is a preacher’s kid–who knew? These days, thanks to Barbara Walters and her show “The View” I can see Whoopi G. everyday before I head off to work. I thought Whoopee was much older than me because I first saw her as a young girl. It never dawned on me that she could be my age and be performing on television and stage.  I always admired her locs and eventually I wore my hair locd for 10 years. When I finally visited Los Angeles, I was photographed by Whoopi’s Star on the famed sidewalk.  I love Whoopi Goldberg and I’ve included some history on her for your enjoyment.

Happy Birthday, Whoopee! May you be blessed with many more!

Whoopee Goldberg
Whoopee Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg ( Caryn Elaine Johnson; November 13, 1955) is an American actress, comedienne, and television host.  Goldberg was born in New York City and raised in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, the daughter of Emma (née Harris), a nurse and teacher, and Robert James Johnson, a clergyman. Goldberg’s mother was a “stern, strong and wise woman” who raised her as a single mother after Goldberg’s father had left the family. Her stage name was taken from whoopee cushion, which she initially used as her stage name; she stated that “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.” She chose the surname “Goldberg” after Jewish ancestors of hers who bore the surname, having said that “Goldberg’s a part of my family somewhere.” In 1991, she referred to herself as a “Jewish-Catholic girl from New York”; she has also stated that her mother is Jewish and referred to herself as a “Jewish-American Princess”. A DNA test, broadcast in the 2006 PBS documentary African American Lives, traced most of her ancestry to the Papel and Bayote people of modern-day Guinea-Bissau. Her racial admixture test revealed her genetic makeup to be 92 percent sub-Saharan African and 8 percent European.

She is one of only thirteen people who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award, including Daytime Emmy Awards. In 1990, she became the second African American female performer after Hattie McDaniel to win an Academy Award for acting. She has won two Golden Globe Awardsand two Saturn Awards for her performances in Star Trek Generations and Ghost.

On September 4, 2007, Goldberg became the new moderator and co-host of The View,  replacing Rosie O’Donnell. O’Donnell stated on her official blog that she wanted Goldberg to be moderator. Goldberg’s debut as moderator drew 3.4 million viewers, 1 million fewer than O’Donnell’s debut ratings. After two weeks, The View, under Goldberg, was averaging 3.5 million total viewers, a 7% increase from 3.3 million under O’Donnell the previous season.

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