Awards of Courage
New York Gala 2007 Honoree
Whoopi Goldberg is one of an elite group of artists who have won the Grammy (Whoopi Goldberg, 1985), the Academy Award (Ghost, 1991), the Golden Globe (The Color Purple, 1985, and Ghost, 1991), the Emmy (as host of AMC’s Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel, 2002) and a Tony (as producer of Thoroughly Modern Millie, 2002). She is equally well known for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of children, the homeless, human rights, education, substance abuse, and the battle against AIDS, as well as many other causes and charities. Among her many charitable activities, Whoopi is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations.
Born and raised in New York City, Whoopi made her motion picture debut in Steven Spielberg’s film version of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. She has also appeared in such films as Jumpin’ Jack Flash, The Player, Sarafina!, Sister Act, Ghosts of Mississippi, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and Girl, Interrupted. She has voiced characters in such animated features as The Lion King, Racing Stripes, Doogal, and Everyone’s Hero.
On television, Whoopi appeared for five seasons on Star Trek: The Next Generation, co-starred with Jean Stapleton in Bagdad Café, and hosted her own syndicated late-night talk show. She appeared in the Emmy-nominated HBO drama In the Gloaming, directed by Christopher Reeve, The Wonderful World of Disney’s Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, A Knight in Camelot, and in the mini-series Alice in Wonderland and The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns. She starred in the NBC sitcom Whoopi, which she executive produced, and co-starred in the television movies It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie and Showtime’s Good Fences, which she co-produced with co-star Danny Glover. She has appeared in her own HBO specials, produced and appeared on Nick Jr’s Whoopi’s Littleburg, guest-starred on NBC’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and recently appeared on two episodes of Chris Rock’s Everybody Hates Chris.
Whoopi has also made her mark as a producer. She executive produced the Lifetime series Strong Medicine, and from 1998 to 2002, she executive produced and appeared in the Emmy Award-winning Hollywood Squares. Other executive producer credits include What Makes a Family, Ruby’s Bucket of Blood, and Call Me Claus, in which she also starred. She also executive produced the hit Broadway musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, which won six Tony Awards including Best Musical.
Whoopi has hosted nine Comic Relief telecasts with Billy Crystal and Robin Williams. She received Emmy Award nominations for hosting the 66th, 68th, and 71st Academy Awards telecasts and hosted once again in 2002.
In early 2003, Whoopi returned to Broadway, co-starring with Charles Dutton in August Wilson’s acclaimed Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which she also produced. She had last appeared on Broadway in 1997 in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
In July 2006, Whoopi conquered yet another frontier when she made her debut as a radio host with Clear Channel’s nationally broadcast Wake Up with Whoopi.
She recently published her third book, Whoopi’s Big Book of Manners.
Whoopi has been honored with multiple NAACP Image Awards, numerous People’s Choice Awards (including a special tribute in 1998), and five Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards as Favorite Movie Actress, as well as awards and honors for her many humanitarian efforts.