10+ Facts About Whoopi Goldberg Fans Didn't Know

There are a lot of adjectives I could throw out to describe Whoopi Goldberg. But if you were looking to describe Whoopi using only a single word, it would be this — inspirational.

Whoopi has spent her career tearing down walls and defying expectations. She deserves not only our praise but our respect as well.

Get to know her better and check out these 10+ facts about Whoopi Goldberg fans didn't know.

Whoopi Goldberg is one of the most famous women in the entire world.

She is known for her comedic presence, her acting skills, and the fact that she is not afraid to say exactly how she feels about anything!

We love to watch her on the big screen.

While people might be huge fans, that doesn't mean that they know everything about the star.

Luckily, we are here to help with that.

Have a look at these amazing facts about the star and let us know which one was your favorite to learn about!

1. Whoopi Goldberg is a stage name.

Whoopi's birthname is Caryn Elaine Johnson. She got the nickname Whoopi because of her tendency to pass gas freely; her friends used to call her a whoopee-cushion.

She took the surname Goldberg because she thought she'd be more well-received in Hollywood if she sounded Jewish.

2. She's won nearly every major award there is to win.

Whoopi is a member of the prestigious EGOT group. She's one of only four actresses who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, as well as a Tony Award.

Her trophy room must be overflowing by this point!

3. Whoopi was the center-square on *Hollywood Squares* for years!

Hollywood Squares was a game show version of tic-tac-toe.

Host Tom Bergeron would read Trivial Pursuit-style questions and guests would have to discern whether or not the answers given to them were either true or false.

4. She knows how to belt out a tune!

Of all the films in Whoopi's canon of work, perhaps none is more revered and beloved than Sister Act.

It may surprise you to learn that Whoopi didn't use a voice double in either film, that's really her singing.

5. Whoopi is an Oscar winner!

Whoopi was nominated for Best Actress in 1985 for her work in the film The Color Purple. She took home the Oscar in 1991 for Best Supporting Actress in the film Ghost.

Ironically, years later, something pretty spooky happened to her statue.

In February of 2002, Whoopi's Oscar disappeared from a sealed shipping container.

She was sending it back, via the Academy, to have it cleaned and restored. Somehow, her Oscar ended up in the trash bin at an airport in Ontario, CA!

Whoopi has said she'll never let the award out of her sight again.

6. Whoopi once had an incredibly macabre job.

Before breaking into comedy, Whoopi was working to become a licensed beautician.

One of the first jobs she ever had was in a funeral parlor, doing hair and makeup for the recently deceased.

7. She's a stand-up comedian!

Many people nowadays might only know Whoopi as a cohost on The View. But back in the early '90s, she was one of the most popular comedians in Hollywood!

She was introduced by the legendary Robin Williams at the Shrine Auditorium in L.A.

8. She was the second Black woman in history to win an Academy Award for acting.

The first to do so was a woman by the name of Hattie McDaniel. She won Best Supporting Actress in 1939 for Gone With The Wind — that's a 50-year gap!

Fun fact: every single Best Actor winner for the last decade has been White.

9. Whoopi was the first woman to host the Academy Awards, solo.

The first time that Whoopi picked up the reins was in 1994. She did such a fantastic job and was so well-received that she was invited back two years later.

Whoopi has hosted the Oscars a grand total of four separate times.

10. Whoopi has confirmed that a *Sister Act* sequel is in the works!

For years, fans of the Sister Act franchise have been wishing and hoping for a sequel.

Now, after nearly two decades, it appears that wish may just come true!

Disney was having a lot of doubts about wanting to bring it back, assuming people didn't want to see that. But Goldberg, of course, had a response.

"And I say, ‘Well, actually it’s not dated and people do want to see it. And I notice you’ve done, you know, lots of reboots of lots of things. And ‘Sister Act III’ makes sense to me, ‘cause Maggie Smith want to do it and all the nuns want to do it and I want to do it. And, you know, I have a great idea for what would work for what we’re doing," she said to Mcall.

11. She lent her voice to an incredibly popular Disney Villain.

Did you know that Whoopi voiced Shenzi the Hyena in the animated version of The Lion King?

Her performance is hands down one of the most memorable aspects of the entire film.

12. Whoopi has a severe fear of flying.

For good reason, I might add. Back in 1978, Whoopi had the great misfortune of witnessing a mid-air collision between two passenger planes.

She can't step foot on a plane without suffering a panic attack.

It got so bad that Whoopi developed PTSD.

PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

In order to help alleviate her fears as much as possible, Whoopi elects to travel the country by private bus as opposed to a plane.

13. She's set to star in a brand new Stephen King TV series!

If you call yourself a Stephen King fan then you're probably already more than familiar with the post-apocalyptic tale known as The Stand.

Whoopi is set to portray Mother Abagail in this 21st-century reboot.

14. She admitted to the *New York Times* that getting married felt more like a requirement than about her actually being in love.

"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," she said.

"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."

"I’d be thinking, why don’t I feel the thing that I’m supposed to? Then one day I thought: I don’t have to do this. I don’t have to conform. I tried marriage, and it wasn’t for me. You can’t be in a marriage because everybody’s expecting you to."

15. Yes, people have given her trouble when it came to her hair.

Unfortunately, this is a problem that Black people still face. What's worse is that this issue isn't strictly happening just in Hollywood.

It is something many Black folk face regularly.

16. She already knows what she would be if she wasn't an actor.

She has mentioned that she would either be a shrink or a lawyer.

Both involve stories, just with one you're listening to them, and the other, you're telling them.

17. She acknowledges that not every part of the job is good.

Despite what people think, Hollywood really isn't a walk in the park most of the time.

"People forget that you’re a human being so they will come up to you and say the strangest stuff," she said to Marie Claire.

"And now I think it happens to everybody, but people just forget that you’re human or that you have a life or that you have a family that you want to hang out with, too."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

18. She has thought about running for office.

What has held her back?

For the most part, it is all the attacks and racism that the Obamas faced under their leadership. It has held her back from ever attempting to make a play for political power.

19. She is a great-grandmother!

Her daughter, Alexandrea Martin, has three children of her own, and one of her daughters had a child!

This has allowed Whoopi Goldberg to be a very famous great-grandmother. Martin was even in Sister Act 2.

20. In her eyes, *The View* changed her life for the better.

"Listen, I got very, very lucky because I got into some trouble where I pissed off a politician and then I lost everything really," Whoopi said on Drew Barrymore's show called The Art of the Interview.

"I lost my ability to make a living, I lost any kind of things that I had going on that would bring money in, so I didn't work for five years."

"Barbara Walters, God bless her, said, ‘I need another person. Would you ever consider?' And I was like, ‘Yes.' Because I had gone through all of my savings. You know taking care of your family, everything is sitting on you. And so, I went through everything and she gave me a job which has lasted ten years now and I'm really grateful for."

Do you know any other interesting facts about Whoopi Goldberg?

Or were you completely surprised by the facts that we presented you with in this article?

Either way, let us know down below in the comment section! We would love to hear from you!