Whoopi was born in New York City in 1949 and her real name is Caryn Johnson. She was already appearing on stage at the age of eight and was a member of a New York children's theater. Whoopi played roles in the Broadway cult musicals 'Hair' and 'Jesus Christ Superstar'. Her daughter Alexandra was born in 1974, the same year in which her marriage ended in divorce.
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Whoopi Goes Hollywood
Whoopi left that New York chapter of her life behind and tried her luck in theater groups in San Diego and San Francisco. During this period she came up with the idea of a lifetime and began appearing on stage in a one-woman show in which she changed characters in rapid succession. These performances were so successful that she took her Spook Show on a European tour. Whoopi became a hot performer in New York and director Mike Nichols produced her stage show as a television series, which also sold well on video. Goldbergs success drew Steven Spielbergs attention and he cast her in the main role in The Color Purple. She was so convincing in her first film role as the oppressed farmers wife Celie that she won an Oscar nomination.
Whoopi married Dutch cameraman David Edgar in 1986, but divorced him shortly thereafter. Her career continued in Hollywood where she made one comic thriller after another. She was only able to prove her acting talent again playing the role of the experienced domestic servant Clara, in the drama Claras Heart. Whoopi finally became a star after playing a supporting role in the film Ghost, and won an Oscar for her portrayal of the absurd and chaotic fortune teller Oda Mae Brown. Since then, she has not only appeared in gossip columns (she had a short affair with Ted Danson), but also in financial sections (she scored a worldwide hit with Sister Act). She has gained the respect of serious film critics. She earned $20 million with her next two films and is now one of the highest paid actresses. In 1994, however, Whoopi made perhaps one of the greatest cameo appearances for which she was neither paid nor given credit. She played the role of Guinen, a wise and mysterious extraterrestrial in the film Star Trek: Generations. With only a few exceptions, Whoopi rarely works in television. She had her own talk show for a while called 'Whoopi', and played the enigmatic Guinen in many episodes of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'. She also appeared in episodes of 'Tales from the Crypt' and 'Moonlighting'. In her most movies in Germany is Regina Lemnitz her wonderful German voice.
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