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Whoopi Goldberg ( born Caryn Elaine Johnson; November 13, 1955) is an American comedienne, actress, political activist, writer and television host. Although Goldberg made her film debut in the avant-garde ensemble film Citizen: I'm Not Losing My Mind, I'm Giving It Away (1982), her breakthrough role was playing Celie, a mistreated black woman in the Deep South in the period drama film The Color Purple (1985). For her performance, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
She played Oda Mae Brown – a wacky psychic helping a slain man (Patrick Swayze) save his lover (Demi Moore) – in the romantic fantasy film Ghost (1990), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Goldberg was the second black woman in the history of the Academy Awards to win an acting Oscar (the first being Hattie McDaniel, who won for Gone with the Wind in 1939). She was co-producer of the television game show Hollywood Squares from 1998 to 2004. She has been the moderator of the daytime television talk show The View since 2007. Goldberg has been nominated for 13 Emmy Awards for her work in television. She is one of the few entertainers who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. In the 1990s, Goldberg was rumored to be the highest paid actress for her appearances in film.