Whoopi Goldberg has pretty much done it all and won it all: She’s an EGOT winner!
Born Caryn Elaine Johnson in in New York City, Goldberg started her showbiz career as a standup comedian, earning the nickname “Whoopi” for her frequent (and we’re assuming hilarious) flatulence. “When you’re performing on stage, you never really have time to go into the bathroom and close the door. So if you get a little gassy, you’ve got to let it go,” she told The New York Times. “So people used to say to me, ‘You’re like a whoopee cushion.’ And that’s where the name came from.”
Goldberg moved to California in the 1970s, where she joined a theatre troupe, then taught comedy and acting lessons (for students including Courtney Love). Director Mike Nichols, who Goldberg said went on to become her mentor, discovered her when she performed her one-woman show The Spook Show. The rest, as they say, is history: Here’s Whoopi Goldberg’s net worth and how she made it, from her big break to The View.
How much is Whoopi Goldberg worth?
Goldberg’s net worth is estimated to be a cool $60 million.
Whoopi Goldberg made her mark onstage (and continues to do so)
After Nichols discovered Goldberg, he helped her transition The Spook Show, a series of brief, colorful character-themed monologues, to Broadway, where it was renamed eponymously after Goldberg and ran from 1984 to 1985. It also aired on HBO in 1985, titled Whoopi Goldberg: Direct From Broadway. The audio recording of the performance earned her a Grammy, and Goldberg is credited as a producer on the project through her company, Whoop Inc.
Related: Whoopi Goldberg on How Migraines Affect Her Work and Why She Finally Doesn’t ‘Fear’ Them
In 1996, Goldberg starred in Broadway’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. She won a Tony Award in 2002 as a producer for Thoroughly Modern Millie, and in 2003 produced and starred in the titular role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. She had another one-woman show, Whoopi, in 2004, and then played Aphrodite and Calliope in Xanadu in 2008.
She starred as Mother Superior in Sister Act in the West End (and produced it on Broadway) in 2010. Goldberg was slated to reprise her role on Broadway in 2021, but the plans were put on ice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She continues stage work as a host and presenter, with credits including:
- HBO’s Comic Relief
- 1991 Grammys
- 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2002 Academy Awards (she was also the first solo female Oscars host in history in 1994!)
- 2008 Tony Awards
Whoopi Goldberg is an acclaimed film actress
Director Steven Spielberg was such a fan of Goldberg’s one-woman show that in 1985, he tapped her to star in The Color Purple. Goldberg received a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her role of Celie. Since then, Goldberg has amassed more than 100 film credits. Her most notable roles have been her Best Supporting Actress Oscar-winning turn as medium Oda Mae Brown in 1990’s Ghost and Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. Goldberg is slated to produce and star in Sister Act 3, currently in pre-production. Her diverse resume boasts a slew of blockbusters, including:
- The Lion King (voicing the lead hyena, Shenzi)
- Corrina, Corrina
- The Little Rascals
- Boys on the Side
- How Stella Got Her Groove Back
- The Rugrats Movie (voicing Ranger Margaret)
- Girl, Interrupted
- Rat Race
- Madea Goes to Jail
- Toy Story 3 (voicing Stretch)
- For Colored Girls
- The Little Engine That Could (voicing Tower)
- The Muppets
- Top Five
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Nobody’s Fool
Related: Sharon Osbourne Net Worth
Whoopi Goldberg continues working in television
Though she’s a bona fide movie star, Goldberg still acts and produces consistently in TV. She will star in Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. later in 2021, which will likely not only pay well but may also net her some extra cash in merchandising. She also served as star and executive producer of her own sitcom, Whoopi, from 2003 to 2004, and starred in sitcom Bagdad Cafe from 1990 to 1991. While both series were short-lived, they established Goldberg as a marquee name for TV. Her other television acting credits include:
- Captain Planet and the Planeteers
- Star Trek: The Next Generation (and she may reprise her role as Guinan on Picard, thanks to an offer from star Sir Patrick Stewart)
- Happily Ever After: Tales for Every Child
- The Nanny
- Saturday Night Live
- Celebrity Deathmatch
- Absolutely Fabulous
- Strong Medicine (executive producer and writer)
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent
- Everybody Hates Chris
- The Cleaner
- 30 Rock
- The Middle
- Robot Chicken
- 666 Park Avenue
- Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
- The Tick
- When We Rise
- Bojack Horseman
- The Stinky & Dirty Show
- Elena of Avalor
- Blue Bloods
- The Stand
Whoopi Goldberg’s The View salary
Goldberg is most visible on The View, where she’s served as the show’s moderator since 2007. Her annual salary for the daily talk show is estimated to be in the $5 million to $6 million range. She told The New York Times in 2019 that The View is simply “a job” to her, explaining, “In a way, I am playing a role. These are not conversations that I’m having with my friends. If they were, we’d be doing it differently. My friends and I can talk about things in-depth in a different way than you can on television.”
Though she doesn’t take the job too seriously in itself, it’s served her well, earning her a slew of Daytime Emmy nominations and one win for Outstanding Talk Show Host.
Related: 13 of Whoopi Goldberg’s Best Moments from The View
Whoopi Goldberg has written several books
Goldberg is an accomplished author. Her books include The Sugar Plum Ballerinas series and Whoopi’s Big Book of Manners for kids, as well as The Unqualified Hostess: I Do It My Way So You Can Too!; If Someone Says “You Complete Me,” Run!: Whoopi’s Big Book of Relationships and Is It Just Me? Or Is It Nuts Out There?.
Whoopi Goldberg has had endorsement deals, a clothing line and a cannabis business
Goldberg branched out using the platform The View gave her without letting it trap her on the panel. She explained to The New York Times, “What you’re asking is ‘Is The View enough?’ It’s not. Ten years is a long time, and now I’m starting to do other stuff. I’m doing books. I’m adventuring into THC products. I’m creating the clothes.”
Whoopi Goldberg’s brand endorsements
She expanded into endorsements, appearing in ads for Slim-Fast, Poise and Gap. Her Slim-Fast contracted was terminated early after she made an off-color joke about then-President George W. Bush.
Whoopi Goldberg’s Dubgee clothing line
Goldberg developed her Dubgee clothing line to fit a variety of standard and plus sizes with a focus on comfort. She explained to The Business of Fashion that she’s super hands-on when it comes to the designs for Dubgee.
“There are a million people who put their name on clothes, you know, the ‘Pooky Poo’ collection. It’s not a licensing deal to me,” Goldberg said. “I want to wear what we are making. I want to say, ‘Here’s why I love it, here’s why I think you’ll love it.’ I can convince people to take a shot at feeling better.”
She added, “This is as serious to me as anything else I’ve done in my life. The first thing you should communicate is, ‘I like me.’ I think the motto of the company is, ‘The last thing you should ever fret about is what’s in your closet.’”
Whoopi Goldberg had a cannabis line, but it went up in smoke
In 2016, Goldberg, who lives in West Orange, New Jersey, teamed up with Om Edibles founder Maya Elisabeth to create and co-found Whoopi & Maya, a medical cannabis company for women suffering from menstrual pain. “They wanted to include menstrual cramps in the list of things you can prescribe medical marijuana for, but the governor said that will never happen in New Jersey because our doctors only prescribe marijuana for ‘real’ pain,” she fumed told The Cannabist. “The fact that people think of [women’s health] as a niche market—that he didn’t think of menstrual cramps as ‘real’ pain—tells me that there’s a lot of education to do on this subject.”
Unfortunately, the company ceased operations in February 2020.
Whoopi Goldberg’s real estate portfolio is stellar
Goldberg resides in a 23-room mansion in West Orange, New Jersey, that she reportedly purchased for $2.8 million in 2009. She purchased the property after listing a Manhattan loft in 2009 for $3.99 million.
In 2004, Goldberg purchased a massive 745-acre farm in Marlboro, Vermont (though 640 of those acres were conserved land). Seven years and several renovations later, Goldberg listed the property for $2.3 million.
Goldberg had a modest home in Berkeley, California, that she purchased in 1985 for $335,000. She made a major profit, listing the house for $1.275 million in 2015. She may be an East Coast gal at heart: In 2018, she listed her Pacific Palisades home for $8.8 million after paying $2.5 million for the property in 1993.
Next, find out how much Sharon Osbourne is worth (and how much she made from The Talk).