Happy Birthday, Whoopi!

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Saturday, Nov 13 2021 by

Whoopi Goldberg was born today in 1955, making the world a funnier, and more entertaining world! She got her start in comedy, but has been involved in some of Hollywood’s most moving and memorable films, and is a mainstay on the long-running and very popular daytime talk and news show The View.

So on this icon’s birthday, let’s learn a little more about Whoopi!

Chelsea-Elliot Projects, New York City, NY

Whoopi was born  Caryn Elaine Johnson in Manhattan, to a Baptist minister and a homemaker. Despite her Baptist father’s influence, Whoopi identifies as Jewish, and adopted the name Goldberg in her early years, with the influence of her mother.

Whoopi was raised in the Chelsea-Elliott Projects, a large housing project on the west side of the city. The development has four buildings and houses more than 1,000 families.

In addition to Whoopi, the Chelsea-Elliott Projects produced several other superstars, including several members of the Wayans family, including Damon Wayans, Jr. and others!

Chelsea-Elliot Projects (Birds Eye)
Chelsea-Elliot Projects

HB Studio, New York City, NY

Whoopi had an early and obvious talent for comedy, and that’s how she earned her moniker we all know her by today. She was dedicated to becoming a better comedian and actor, so she attended the renowned HB Studio in Greenwich Village. Some courses and events are free, but others require auditions and acceptance before allowing students to attend.

Whoopi’s classes paid off because after taking classes, her career took off! Other famous actors who had studied at the Studio include Bette Midler, Jack Lemmon, Marlo Thomas, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Herbert Berghof Studio (StreetView)
Herbert Berghof Studio

Steven Spielberg, Pacific Palisades, CA

While Whoopi started out as a comedian, her big break in Hollywood came when she starred in The Color Purple. She was specifically cast by super-director Steven Spielberg, in 1985, and she was nominated for several awards for her role in the moving drama.

Steven owns real estate around the world, but his main residence for decades has been a five-acre estate in the tony LA-area Pacific Palisades. The director spent $6.5 million on the home, and promptly renovated it down to the nails. When he rebuilt it, he was sure to add a hobbit-themed living room. The estate, which overlooks the Pacific coast even has a vineyard, something that is rare, even in LA.

Steven Spielberg's House (Birds Eye)
Steven Spielberg's House

St. Paul’s Catholic Church, San Francisco, CA

After starring in The Color Purple, Whoopi went on to make several other box office hits, but one of the all-time most popular was Sister Act. The comedy, which centers around a group of nuns acting as witness protection for a loud-mouthed Las Vegas singer, was largely filmed on location at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in San Francisco.

The church, which is still in use, has actually been used in other television shows and movies.

St. Paul's Catholic Church (Birds Eye)
St. Paul's Catholic Church

Joy Behar’s House, Sag Harbor, NY

Whoopi has done it all in acting: comedy, stage, serious film making, and sitcom work. But for the last 14 years, she has served as a co-host of the daily morning talk show, The View. It is the most-watched talk and news show on daytime television.

Co-host Joy Behar has been on the show since its inception in 1997. Joy has loved owning expensive real estate, and her most recent investment was a home in Sag Harbor, in the Hamptons. The home is around 100 years old, and cost Joy top dollar, as it wasn’t even for sale when she decided she just had to buy it!

Joy Behar's House (Google Maps)
Joy Behar's House

Whoopi’s Current Home, West Orange, NJ

Whoopi has owned several homes and apartments, many in or near New York City. In 2009, she bought a home in West Orange, New Jersey, for just under $3 million. The 100-year home in a gated community has 23 rooms, including eight bedrooms, a gym, pool, and more, spread out over 9,450 square feet.

Whoopi, a born-and-bred New Yorker, felt she needed to leave the city in order to have enough privacy to live her life comfortably. West Orange is a great choice as it’s close to the city,  and has so many other celebrities and wealthy people that no one bothers the highly-recognizable celebrity.

Whoopi Goldberg's House (Birds Eye)
Whoopi Goldberg's House

Since today is Whoopi’s birthday, it would be great to celebrate her by watching some of her work. And since she has starred in more than 200 shows and movies, there’s sure to be something that everyone likes. So sit back, sing a little Happy Birthday, and celebrate Whoopi with whatever show works for you!

Happy Birthday, Whoopi!