Whoopi Goldberg born Caryn Elaine Johnson – was born in New York on November 13, 1955. Their father left them early so Whoopi and her brother, Clyde were raised by their mother, Emma. She had to do many jobs in other to support the family.
Whoopi always knew that something was wrong with her as she was finding it hard to grasp things in school. It was later discovered that she had dyslexia.
She told Ebony Magazine in 1991, “You don’t want to be retarded all your life. I was retarded for a good part of mine, according to all the paperwork, and I just couldn’t handle it.”
Everyone called her ‘dumb’ but her mother kept reminding her that she can be anything she wants and that she was talented.
Whoopi said in 1994, “I knew I wasn’t stupid, and I knew I wasn’t dumb. My mother told me that.”
Whoopi always dreamed of becoming an actress, but her dreams had to wait after she got married to Alvin Martin at the age of 18 and they had a daughter, Alexandra.
She didn’t give up on her dreams after her marriage ended. She moved to sunny California, along with her daughter. She started working as a mortuary beautician to make ends meet.
Whoopi Goldberg said on Oprah’s Master Class, “I did hair and makeup on dead people. There was an ad in the paper! And I’m a licensed beautician as well because I went to beauty school.”
She continued: “It’s a rough gig. You have to be a certain kind of person. And you have to love people to make them worthy of a great send-off.”
Whoopi was still pursuing a career in stand-up comedy and choose the stage name, Whoopi Goldberg. It was in the honor of Jewish forebears and she was soon known by people.
Whoopi also went on to film appearing in Sisters Act amongst others.
She also started her talk show called The Whoopi Goldberg Show where she interviewed politicians and celebrities, but it was canceled in 1993 due to low ratings.
Speaking about her marriage, Whoopi has been married three times in total. After divorcing her first husband in 1976, she remarried between 1986 and 1988 to David David Claessen and Lyle Trachtenberg between 1994 and 1995.
Whoopi revealed that she knows the reason why her relationships don’t work.
She told the New York Times, “Look, people expect you to have a boyfriend. They expect you to get married. So I kept trying to do that, but I didn’t want to share information with somebody else. I didn’t want anybody asking me why I was doing what I was doing or to have to make the other person feel better.”
“But if you’re in a relationship, you have to do those things, and it took me a while to figure out that I didn’t want to,” she added.
She also revealed that she didn’t love her ex-husbands and she’s not very good at the relationship.