Whoopi Goldberg

Comedienne, actress, author, talk show host and political activist Whoopi Goldberg was one of the more unique personalities to arrive on the entertainment scene of the 1980s and went on to become a lasting, formidable presence over the decades that followed. Mining her often unflattering early background for material, Goldberg first came to notoriety with her eponymous 1984 Broadway character sketch show, directed by the renowned Mike Nichols. Her auspicious feature film debut as the abused Celie in Steven Spielberg's acclaimed drama "The Color Purple" (1985) garnered her accolades and overnight stardom, which were then combined with box office gold and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her hilarious role in the blockbuster romance "Ghost" (1990). Other projects like "Sister Act" (1992) added to her commercial success, while her work with fellow comedians Billy Crystal and Robin Williams on the annual "Comic Relief" benefit concerts allowed her to do the two things she loved most - make people laugh and help those in need. A frequent personality on television, Goldberg acted as host of the Academy Awards no fewer than four times before becoming one of the more outspoken and controversial co-hosts of the daytime talk show "The View" (ABC, 1997- ) in 2007. One of the few people to have won an Oscar, Grammy, Tony and Emmy - not to mention the prestigious Mark Twain Award for Humor - Goldberg both entertained and inspired people across the globe, regardless of their sex, race, creed or color.