Whoopi Goldberg is a superstar and icon who has originated roles in dramatic works and also voiced beloved children’s characters. Many who have opportunities in the entertainment industry today are afforded them because of the trailblazing work that Whoopi managed in her multi-disciplinary career. As the star turns 65 today, take a look at 5 facts about her life in celebration of her birthday.
1. She battles with dyslexia
Whoopi has openly discussed how she has battled with dyslexia her entire life and has been a vocal advocate for research into remedies for the learning disorder. She has also given multiple speeches and public appearances to kids who struggle with dyslexia and shared her tips on reading scripts and writing books despite the learning disorder.
2. She writes children’s books
Whoopi has written multiple books over her career but has specifically written seven books for children. She started with Whoopi’s Big Book of Manners in 2006 and has written six others in a series titled Sugarplum Ballerinas. 3. She’s a great-grandmother Whoopi gave birth to her daughter, Alexandrea, in 1973. Alexandrea has three children of her own and her eldest, Amarah, gave birth to a daughter in 2014. Charli Rose Burr-Reynaud is Whoopi’s great-granddaughter.
4. She’s an EGOT holder
Whoopi is one of only 16 people who can call themselves EGOT winners. The honour refers to people who have achieved the four major American entertainment awards. Namely an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award. Whoopi has achieved all four.
5. She named herself ‘Whoopi’
The star’s real name is actually Caryn Johnson. The name ‘Whoopi’ came from a whoopee cushion. She has famously retold the story to the New York Times magazine and said:
“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.”
— The View (@TheView) November 12, 2020