Actress and comedienne Whoopi Goldberg has riveted audiences with her on-screen performances for the last 30 years. Starring in movies like “The Color Purple,” “Sister Act” and “Ghost,” Goldberg, 64, has made a name for herself in the industry.
She’s done stand-up comedy, television and musical theater, and today serves as peacemaker and moderator on ABC’s daytime talk show “The View.” But there’s so much more to know.
Here are five surprising facts about the award-winning actress.
She Once Worked as a Phone Sex Operator
The New York native worked several odd jobs before eventually making it big. These included gigs as a beautician, bricklayer and even a phone sex operator.
“When I was younger, the money was great,” she recalled on “The View.” “See now, people would know my voice.”
She’s Been Married / Divorced Three Times
After three tries, Goldberg said she realized marriage just wasn’t for her. In 1973, she wed Alvin Martin but the couple divorced six years later. She and cinematographer David Claessen got hitched in 1986. They split in 1988, and Goldberg would marry for a third time in 1994, this time to fellow actor Lyle Trachtenberg.
“Some people are not meant to be married and I am not meant to,” she said of her failed unions in 2010. “I’m sure it is wonderful for lots of people.”
She Doesn’t Have Eyebrows
Yeah, look again. They’re not there. In a 2016 interview, Goldberg told VH1 that she doesn’t like facial hair and chooses to shave them. They later grew back and gave her issues, so she’s continued to buzz them off.
Whoopi Isn’t Her Real Name
Goldberg was born Caryn Elaine Johnson on Nov. 13, 1955. She earned the nickname Whoopi as a stand-up comic because of her “gas” issues backstage. People said her flatulence reminded them of a whoopee cushion.
She Has an EGOT
Goldberg is one of few entertainers who can brag about having an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award under their belt. The achievement was a historic one, with Goldberg becoming only the second Black woman to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.