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Whoopi Goldberg (born Caryn Elaine Johnson on November 13, 1955) is an American comedian, actor, author, political activist, and talk show host. She was also the executive producer and center square of the 1998–2004 version of Hollywood Squares.
- I'm an actor. That's what I do. I'm not a stand-up comic. I do characters. I'm very good. I'll be better. But right now I'm a very good actor.
- As quoted in "Whoopi Goldberg, A One-Woman Character Parade" by Michael Kuchwara, AP Drama Writer, The Fremont News-Messenger (November 29, 1984), p. 31.
- But I want very much to be accepted as a good actor, and I have to admit this. Just before the first screenings of The Color Purple, I had some doubts about my name. Steven had told me the billing would read, "And Introducing Whoopi Goldberg as Celie." I had nightmares that when it appeared, a little ripple of laughter would run through the audience and it would grow and grow until it became a horrendous roar of guffaws. Well, I forced myself to go to a screening, and when my name appeared, all I could think was, "Oh, my, how elegant that looks!" And no one laughed at all."
- As quoted in "Hoopla of Movie Stardom Catches Up With Whoopi" by Philip Wuntch, Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel (January 3, 1986), p. 6S.
- Actresses can only play women. I'm an actor, I can play anything.
- Speaking on The Today Show on January 13, 1986; as quoted in Whoopi Goldberg on Stage and Screen (2013) by Lisa Pertillar Brevard, p. 18.
- The name was a fluke. A joke. It started when I was doing A Christmas Carol in San Diego. We'd sit backstage and talk about names we'd never give our children, like Pork Pie or Independence. Of course, now people are walking around with those names. A woman said to me, "If I was your mother, I would have called you Whoopi, because when you're unhappy you make a sound like a whoopee cushion. It sounds like a fart." It was like "Ha-ha-ha-ha—Whoopi!" So people actually started calling me Whoopi Cushion. After about a year, my mother said, "You won't be taken seriously if you call yourself Whoopi Cushion. So try this combination: Whoopi Goldberg.
- Playboy interview, Playboy magazine, June 1988
- Most of all, I dislike this idea nowadays that if you're a black person in America, then you must be called African-American. Listen, I've visited Africa, and I've got news for everyone: I'm not an African. The Africans know I'm not an African. I'm an American. This is my country. My people helped to build it and we've been here for centuries. Just call me black, if you want to call me anything.
- The Daily Telegraph interview, 20 April 1998
- I know it wasn't rape-rape. I think it was something else, but I don't believe it was rape-rape.
- In defense of Roman Polański, as quoted in "Roman Polanski: backlash as Whoopi Goldberg says director didn't commit 'rape-rape'", The Telegraph, Nick Allen, 30 Sep, 2009.
- For many, many, many years, there were not Jews in Israel. Okay?
- "My View on Helen Thomas, Israel and the Terror Flotilla"; as quoted by Miriam Metzinger, Families.com
- Well, when I was nine years old, Star Trek came on, I looked at it and I went screaming through the house. 'Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there's a black lady on television and she ain't no maid!'
- Normal is nothing more than a cycle on a washing machine.
- Thanks! Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted this! You don't know...my brother sitting there, he says "Thank God we don't have to listen to anymore... you can do it now!" My mom's home, everyone's watching... I have to thank the people at Paramount; I have to thank Jerry Zucker for taking the time he took before he decided to use me because he was sure it was for me... I have to thank Patrick Swazye... he was a stand up guy and went to them and said "I wanna do it with her"… I wanna thank Demi... I wanna thank everybody who makes movies... I come from New York; as a kid, I lived in the projects and you're the people I watched...you're the people that made me wanna be an actor... I'm so proud to be here, I'm proud to be an actor and I'm gonna keep on acting, and thank you so much!