November 13 – Happy Birthday, Whoopi Goldberg!

Posted on November 13, 2018

Approximately seven billion, five hundred million humans in the universe have NOT won an EGOT.

But exactly fifteen people in the entire universe have!

And one of the 15 EGOT winners is today's famous birthday, actor Whoopi Goldberg!

Now, you may be wondering what in the heck an EGOT is, and why it is so scarce. 

Well, the EGOT is considered the "grand slam" of entertainment. It's when one entertainer wins at least one each of the four biggest awards in the industry: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony.
Emmy awards are for excellence in television (TV).
Grammy awards are for excellence in the recording arts (music and spoken-word CDs/records/etc.)

Oscars are the famous Academy Awards for excellence in motion pictures (movies or films).

And Tonys are for excellence in theatre.

Whoopi Goldberg, who was born Caryn Elaine Johnson on this date in 1955, in New York City, won these coveted awards for the following work:
Emmy - two Daytime Emmy's for Outstanding Talk Show Host for The View
Grammy - for Best Comedy Recording
Oscar - for Best Supporting Actress in the movie Ghost 
Tony - as producer for the Broadway musical Thoroughly Modern Millie

And she's won lots of other prizes as well, and has been nominated for even more, and has earned honors such as being an honorary member of the Harlem Globetrotters and being named a Disney Legend!

Earlier I referred to Goldberg as an actor, but she is way more than that. She is also a comedian, author, producer,
and TV host. She's an entrepreneur and serves on several boards. She is an activist and a humanitarian. She is also a ground breaker and record setter. 

She was only the second black woman ever to win an Oscar for acting: there was Hattie McDaniel, way back in 1939, and then NO WINS at all for half a century! - until Whoopi Goldberg won in 1990. 

For a while in the early 1990s, she was the highest-paid female actor of all time.

The Sister Act movies were some of
Goldberg's biggest hits!
Goldberg has appeared in more than 150 films!

Goldberg has been nominated for at least 17 Emmys.

Whoopi is the first African American to have received Academy Award nominations for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. 

She was the second woman (and the first black woman) to have won a Best Comedy Recording Grammy.

Goldberg became the first African American woman to host the Academy Awards show in 1994 - and the first woman to solo host the show! Since then she has hosted the show three more times.

Notice that I am following the modern tendency to call people who act -
no matter what their gender - "actors."

We no longer call a female pilot "aviatrix,"
nor a female author "authoress,"
nor a female manager "manageress."

Goldberg gave a cool reason why most journalists and many people
are giving up "actress" just like all of us have already given up other
 gender-specific job titles.

Goldberg has done a lot of activism on behalf of the
LGBTQ+ community.

--- So, an amazing career and an amazing life! Pretty good for someone who dropped out of high school and worked as a bricklayer, mortuary cosmetologist, and bank teller as she waited for her big break in acting!

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