Whoopi Goldberg

Born Caryn Elaine Johnson on Nov. 13, 1955, in New York, N.Y., the future Whoopi Goldberg worked odd jobs while taking small acting roles on Broadway. She eventually moved to California to hone her improv and acting skills.

Goldberg's one-woman show brought her national attention and led to her being cast as the lead in The Color Purple (1985), for which she received a Best Actress Oscar nomination. A string of film comedies led to her Oscar-winning supporting role in the blockbuster Ghost (1990), which resulted in more substantial parts in Soapdish (1991) and Sister Act (1992).

After memorable voice work in The Lion King (1994), Goldberg shined again in Ghosts of Mississippi (1996). From 1998 to 2002, she occupied the center square on "Hollywood Squares" and took supporting roles in movies such as The Deep End of the Ocean (1999), Girl, Interrupted (1999) and Rat Race (2001).