Whoopi Goldberg: her journey from poverty to megastardom

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Carol Pub. Group, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 390 pages
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Karen Johnson, born in 1949, was raised by her mother in the racially mixed Chelsea district of New York City. By ninth grade she had quit school and spent most of her time in Central Park searching for drugs. While Karen Johnson's experiences may seem like many urban horror stories, hers took a dramatic turn the day she decided to move west and change her name to Whoopi Goldberg.

Relocating to San Diego with Alexandrea, her daughter from her first marriage to her drug counselor, was not easy. She lived on welfare and scrambled for whatever jobs she could get, including work as a bricklayer and a makeup artist for a mortician. While in San Diego, Whoopi joined an improvisational troupe where she honed her comedic talents.

She began doing standup comedy, eventually moving to San Francisco, where her one-woman program was discovered by director/producer Mike Nichols. Nichols brought her show to Broadway, and she won a Grammy for it. But her big break came when Steven Spielberg cast Whoopi inthe demanding role of Celle in the film version of Alice Walker's novel The Color Purple, a performance that won a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nomination. She went on to win an Academy Award for her role in Ghost. Whoopi Goldberg had finally made it big.

Whoopi Goldberg: Her Journey From Poverty to Mega-Stardom goes behind the scenes to examine:

- How her secret romance with married actor Ted Danson climaxed in the "notorious" Friars club roast

- Whoopi's confrontation with her absentee father, who died of AIDS in 1993

- Her three failed marriages and her once troubled relationship with her daughter

- Her legendary feud with Disney studio management over the making of Sister Act

-Why her precedent-setting hosting of the Academy Awards ceremonies in 1994 and 1996 set

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Whoopi Goldberg: Her Journey from Poverty to Megastardom

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Seasoned celebrity biographer Parish here serves up the usual fare, this time focusing on comedian Goldberg. Covered are Goldberg's less-than-promising, poverty-ridden, drug-addled beginnings in New ... Read full review


A Night at the Friars
The World Reacts
Modest Beginnings

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