Whoopi Goldberg Net Worth & Biography [UPDATED]

By Mixxerly Updated: SEPTEMBER 22, 2021

Find out how much money does Whoopi Goldberg make monthly and yearly? How much is Whoopi Goldberg's net worth?

Introduction

NET WORTH
$70M

Whoopi Goldberg is an American actress, author, comedian, and television personality. A recipient of numerous accolades, she is one of sixteen entertainers to win an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Academy Award and a Tony Award. As of , Whoopi Goldberg's estimated net worth is at least $70M.

Goldberg started her career on stage in 1983 with her one-woman show, Spook Show, which transferred to Broadway under the title Whoopi Goldberg, running from 1984 to 1985. She won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album for the recording of the show. Her film breakthrough came in 1985 with her role as Celie, a mistreated woman in the Deep South, in Steven Spielberg's period drama film The Color Purple, for which she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.

In theatre, Goldberg has starred in the Broadway revivals of Stephen Sondheim's musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and August Wilson's play Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. She won a Tony Award as a producer of the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. In television, Goldberg portrayed Guinan in the science fiction series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Since 2007, she has co-hosted and moderated the daytime talk show The View, for which she won a Daytime Emmy Award. She has hosted the Academy Awards ceremony four times.

Net Worth

For her performance in the romantic fantasy film Ghost (1990) as an eccentric psychic, Whoopi Goldberg won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a second Golden Globe Award. She starred in the comedy Sister Act (1992) and its sequel, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993), and became the highest-paid actress at the time. As of , Whoopi Goldberg's estimated net worth is at least $70M.

Favorite Quotes from Whoopi Goldberg

“We’re born with success. It is only others who point out our failures, and what they attribute to us as failure.” – Whoopi Goldberg
“When I was a kid they didn’t call it dyslexia. They called it you know, you were slow, or you were retarded, or whatever. What you can never change is the effect that the words ‘dumb’ and ‘stupid’ have on young people. I knew I wasn’t stupid, and I knew I wasn’t dumb. My mother told me that. If you read to me, I could tell you everything that you read. They didn’t know what it was. They knew I wasn’t lazy, but what was it?” – Whoopi Goldberg
“I’d like somebody to get rid of the death tax. That’s what I want. I don’t want to get taxed just because I died. I just don’t think it’s right. If I give something to my kid, I already paid the tax. Why should I have to pay it again because I died?” – Whoopi Goldberg
“I am the American Dream. I am the epitome of what the American Dream basically said. It said you could come from anywhere and be anything you want in this country. That’s exactly what I’ve done.” – Whoopi Goldberg
“There are roles I am never considered for. Meryl Streep roles, let’s say. Why not? I really wanted to do ‘Ironweed,’ for example, because the depression era in this country was one of the best for multiracial people because everybody was poor. Everybody lived in the tents, and under buildings, and under gratings, together.” – Whoopi Goldberg

Early life

Caryn Elaine Johnson was born in Manhattan, New York City, on November 13, 1955, the daughter of Robert James Johnson Jr. (1930–1993), a Baptist clergyman, and Emma Johnson (née Harris; 1931–2010), a nurse and teacher. She was raised in the public housing project, Chelsea-Elliot Houses, in NYC.

Goldberg described her mother as a "stern, strong, and wise woman" who raised her as a single mother with her brother Clyde (c. 1949 – 2015). She attended a local Catholic school, St Columba's. Her more recent forebears migrated north from Faceville, Georgia; Palatka, Florida; and Virginia. She dropped out of Washington Irving High School.

She has stated that her stage forename ("Whoopi") was taken from a whoopee cushion: "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."

About her stage surname, she claimed in 2011, "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", and "I just know I am Jewish. I practice nothing. I don't go to temple, but I do remember the holidays." She has stated that "people would say 'Come on, are you Jewish?' And I always say 'Would you ask me that if I was white? I bet not.'" One account recalls that her mother, Emma Johnson, thought the family's original surname was "not Jewish enough" for her daughter to become a star. Researcher Henry Louis Gates Jr. found that all of Goldberg's traceable ancestors were African Americans, that she had no known German or Jewish ancestry, and that none of her ancestors were named Goldberg. Results of a DNA test, revealed in the 2006 PBS documentary African American Lives, traced part of her ancestry to the Papel and Bayote people of modern-day Guinea-Bissau. Her admixture test indicates that she is of 92 percent sub-Saharan African origin and of 8 percent European origin.

According to an anecdote told by Nichelle Nichols in Trekkies (1997), a young Goldberg was watching Star Trek, and on seeing Nichols's character Uhura, exclaimed, "Momma! There's a black lady on television and she ain't no maid!" This spawned Goldberg's lifelong Star Trek fandom, and she eventually asked for and received a recurring guest-star role as Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In the 1970s, Goldberg moved to Southern California, then Berkeley, where she worked odd jobs, including as a bank teller, a mortuary cosmetologist, and a bricklayer. She joined the avant-garde theater troupe the Blake Street Hawkeyes and gave comedy and acting classes; Courtney Love was one of her acting students. Goldberg was also in a number of theater productions. In 1978, she witnessed a midair collision of two planes in San Diego, causing her to develop a fear of flying and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Career

Goldberg trained under acting teacher Uta Hagen at the HB Studio in New York City. She first appeared onscreen in Citizen: I'm Not Losing My Mind, I'm Giving It Away (1982), an avant-garde ensemble feature by San Francisco filmmaker William Farley. She created The Spook Show, a one-woman show composed of different character monologues in 1983. Director Mike Nichols "discovered" her when he saw her perform. In an interview, he recalled that he "burst into tears", and that he and Goldberg "fell into each other's arms" when they first met backstage. Goldberg considered Nichols her mentor. Nichols helped her transfer the show to Broadway; where it was retitled Whoopi Goldberg and ran from October 24, 1984, to March 10, 1985. It was taped during this run and broadcast by HBO as Whoopi Goldberg: Direct from Broadway in 1985.

Goldberg's Broadway performance caught the eye of director Steven Spielberg while she performed in The Belly Room at The Comedy Store. Spielberg gave her the lead role in his film The Color Purple, based on the novel by Alice Walker. It was released in late 1985 and was a critical and commercial success. Film critic Roger Ebert described Goldberg's performance as "one of the most amazing debut performances in movie history". It was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including a nomination for Goldberg as Best Actress.

In January 1990, Goldberg starred with Jean Stapleton in the situation comedy Bagdad Cafe (inspired by the 1987 film of the same name). The sitcom ran for two seasons on CBS. Simultaneously, she starred in The Long Walk Home, portraying a woman in the US civil rights movement. She played a psychic in the film Ghost (1990) and became the first black woman to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in nearly 50 years, and the second black woman to win an Academy Award for acting (the first being Hattie McDaniel for Gone with the Wind in 1940). Premiere named her character Oda Mae Brown in its list of Top 100 best film characters.

In 1994, Goldberg became the first African-American woman to host the Academy Awards ceremony at 66th Oscar telecast, and the first woman to solo host. She hosted it again in 1996, 1999, and 2002, and has been regarded as one of the show's best hosts.

Goldberg starred in four motion pictures in 1996: Bogus (with Gérard Depardieu and Haley Joel Osment), Eddie, The Associate (with Dianne Wiest), and Ghosts of Mississippi (with Alec Baldwin and James Woods). During the filming of Eddie, she began dating co-star Frank Langella, a relationship that lasted until early 2000. In October 1997, she and ghostwriter Daniel Paisner cowrote Book, a collection featuring Goldberg's insights and opinions.

Goldberg hosted the documentary short The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas (2001). In 2003, she returned to television in Whoopi, which was canceled after one season. On her 46th birthday, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She also appeared alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett in the HBO documentary Unchained Memories (2003), narrating slave narratives. During the next two years, she became a spokeswoman for Slim Fast and produced two television series: Lifetime's original drama Strong Medicine, which ran six seasons; and Whoopi's Littleburg, a children's television series on Nickelodeon.

From August 2006 to March 2008, Goldberg hosted Wake Up with Whoopi, a nationally syndicated morning radio talk and entertainment program. In October 2007, Goldberg announced on the air that she would be retiring from acting because she is no longer sent scripts, saying, "You know, there's no room for the very talented Whoopi. There's no room right now in the marketplace of cinema". On December 13, 2008, she guest starred on The Naked Brothers Band, a Nickelodeon rock- mockumentary television series. Before the episode premiered, on February 18, 2008, the band performed on The View and the band members were interviewed by Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd. That same year, Goldberg hosted 62nd Tony Awards.

In 2010, she starred in the Tyler Perry movie For Colored Girls, alongside Janet Jackson, Phylicia Rashad, Thandie Newton, Loretta Devine, Anika Noni Rose, Kimberly Elise, Kerry Washington, and Macy Gray. The film received generally good reviews from critics and grossed over $38 million worldwide. The same year, she voiced Stretch in the Disney/Pixar animated movie Toy Story 3. The movie received critical acclaim and grossed $1.067 billion worldwide.

In 2016, Goldberg executive produced a reality television series called Strut, based on transgender models from the modeling agency Slay Model Management in Los Angeles. The series aired on Oxygen. In 2017, she voiced Ursula, the Sea Witch and Uma's mother, in the TV movie Descendants 2. In 2018, she starred in the Tyler Perry's film Nobody's Fool, alongside Tiffany Haddish, Omari Hardwick, Mehcad Brooks, Amber Riley and Tika Sumpter. That same year, she also starred in the comedy-drama film Furlough, alongside Tessa Thompson, Melissa Leo and Anna Paquin. On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Goldberg among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

In an appearance on The View on January 22, 2020, Patrick Stewart invited Goldberg to reprise her role as Guinan during the second season of Star Trek: Picard. She immediately accepted his offer. Goldberg also starred in The Stand, a CBS All Access miniseries based on the 1978 novel of the same name by Stephen King, portraying Mother Abagail, a 108-year-old woman. In 2020, it was announced Goldberg was set to return in Sister Act 3 with Tyler Perry producing. The film is set to debut on Disney+.