UNICEF People

Whoopi Goldberg

Goodwill Ambassador

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“Sometimes we remember that children are left without parents, but we don’t really think about the impact that AIDS has on children as another group.” – Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg, award-winning actor, producer and television host, is an outspoken human rights activist who is also well known for co-founding and hosting Comic Relief in the United States to raise funds for the homeless. She is a vigorous advocate for children, human rights, education, substance abuse, and in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Ms. Goldberg was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador on 17 September 2003. 

Ms. Goldberg began by helping to promote UNICEF’s work to ease the burden of HIV/AIDS on children and their communities around the world. She graciously lends her considerable talents by recording video messages, participating in fundraising events and giving press interviews. Her public service announcements following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and in support of the Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS campaign have been effective fundraising and advocacy tools for UNICEF. 

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Born and raised in New York City, Ms. Goldberg worked in theatre and improvisation in San Diego and San Francisco. In 1984, Spook Show, her series of monologues based on various character sketches was developed into a self-titled one-woman Broadway show, winning rave reviews at sold-out performances. The show won the 1985 Grammy Award for best comedy recording.

Ms. Goldberg made her film debut in The Color Purple, based on the book by Alice Walker, and won the Golden Globe Award for best actress. In 1991, she earned another Golden Globe and an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her performance in Ghost.  Her film credits include Jumpin' Jack Flash, Clara's Heart, Sister Act, Made in America, Corrina, Corrina, The Long Walk Home, Boys on the Side, Bogus, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Girl, Interrupted, and Rat Race, plus several animated voiceovers and documentaries.

Whoopi made her Broadway debut in Whoopi Goldberg: Direct from Broadway in 1985.  She returned to Broadway in 1997 in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. In 2003, she produced and starred in a revival of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Ms. Goldberg received the Tony Award in 2002 for producing the Broadway musical Thoroughly Modern Millie.  In 2004, she commemorated the anniversary of her original one-woman show with the Tony-nominated production Whoopi…The 20 Year Anniversary in 2004 and the HBO broadcast of the show was nominated for an Emmy Award.  In 2008, she performed in Xanadu for a limited engagement.

Ms. Goldberg’s television appearances include: Star Trek: The Next Generation; Baghdad Café; the Emmy-nominated HBO drama, In the Gloaming; The Wonderful World of Disney’s Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella; A Knight in Camelot; Alice in Wonderland; The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns; It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie; Showtime’s Good Fences; and Whoopi’s Littleburg on Nick Jr.  She received Emmy Award nominations for hosting the 66th, 68th and 71st Academy Awards shows. 

She executive produced the Lifetime series Strong Medicine and movie, What Makes a Family; and Showtime’s Ruby’s Bucket of Blood and Call Me Claus, in which she also starred. 
Ms. Goldberg has hosted her own syndicated late-night talk show and starred and executive produced in the NBC sitcom, Whoopi. She is currently a moderator on ABC’s long-running talk show The View.

In 1992, Ms. Goldberg debuted her first children’s book, Alice.  She also authored Book, an international bestseller and Whoopi’s Big Book of Manners. In 2006 she launched a new series of books, Sugar Plum Ballerinas, and Sugar Plum Ballerinas: Plum Fantastic (2008).

 


 

 

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Whoopi Goldberg speaks on her appointment as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
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