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Whooping It Up On Broadway

The often outspoken Whoopi Goldberg seems to have said and done it all. As a performer and producer she has won an Emmy, Tony, Grammy and an Academy Award, in addition to hosting the Oscars telecast four times.

Now she has returned to the scene of her original triumph, the Broadway stage, with her one-woman show, "Whoopi." She visits The Early Show Monday to talk about the show and what else has been going on in her busy life. (Her Broadway show continues until Jan. 30, 2005.)

With the addition of two new characters, plus updated material from characters first introduced 20 years ago, "Whoopi" is the continuation of the eponymous Broadway show that launched Goldberg's career in October 1984.

Here are some facts about Whoopi Goldberg:

  • Born Caryn Elaine Johnson in New York City Nov. 13, 1955
  • Daughter Alexandrea Martin (married name) born in 1973
  • Two grandchilchildren
  • Education: Attended St Columbia Church Parish School in New York City; went to Washington Irving High School but dropped out after two weeks in her freshman year
  • Began performing at age 8 in New York with the Children's Program at the Hudson Guild and the Helena Rubinstein Children's Theatre
  • In 1975, she moved to San Diego, where she appeared in the San Diego Repertory Theatre's productions of Bertold Brecht's "Mother Courage" and Marsha Norman's "Getting Out," and honed her comedic skills as part of an improvisational group called Spontaneous Combustion.
  • Early '80s, moved to the Bay Area and joined the Blake Street Hawkeyes Theatre in Berkeley, partnered with David Schein.
  • Moving shortly into solo performances, Goldberg created "The Spook Show," which she performed in San Francisco and then toured throughout the United States and Europe.
  • In 1983, at a performance of "The Spook Show," Whoopi caught the attention of Mike Nichols, who offered to present her in her own Broadway show. An evening of original material, written and created by Whoopi, the show opened in 1984 at the Lyceum Theatre.
  • The record album of her Broadway show won a Grammy Award as Best Comedy Recording of the Year in 1985.
  • Makes movie debut in leading role in movie "The Color Purple, directed by Steven Spielberg. Won the 1985 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Dramatic Motion Picture, as well as the NAACP Image Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture.
  • Since "The Color Purple," Whoopi has starred in such motion pictures as "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Burglar," "Fatal Beauty" (for which she won a second Image Award), "Clara's Heart," "Ghost," "The Long Walk Home" (earning her a third Image Award), "Soapdish" and Robert Altman's "The Player."
  • Wins Academy Award in 1990 for her supporting performance in "Ghost"
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