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Whoopi Goldberg

@ National Portrait Gallery


With her trademark dreadlocks and confrontational humor, Whoopi Goldberg became one of the first minority women to enter the mainstream comedy field and the second black woman to receive an Academy Award. Born Caryn Elaine Johnson, Goldberg rose from meager beginnings in a Manhattan housing project to fame as an actress, comedian, singer, and activist. She adopted her stage name while working with the San Diego Repertory Theatre and achieved success as a stand-up comedian in a one-woman Broadway show before her debut in the lead role of Stephen Spielberg's film adaptation of Alice Walker's book The Color Purple (1985). Widely acclaimed, Goldberg soon appeared in several movies, including Ghost (1990), for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. John Kascht drew this caricature for the Washington Times in October 2001, when Goldberg received the Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Watercolor, Colored Ink And Graphite On Paper
Created Date:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the artist in honor of Mary Beth Charland
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Record Contributed By

National Portrait Gallery

Record Harvested From

Smithsonian Institution