Whoopi Goldberg Q&A: ‘Moms Mabley’
Whoopi Goldberg once told talk show host Larry King that she was giving up acting. She took the moderator's position on ABC daytimer "The View" soon after in 2007 and didn't think she would look back.
"I just wanted to back off some of the things I felt I was going to have to start doing because I just didn't think they were right for me," she tells Gold Derby in an exclusive webchat (watch video below). "I said I needed to take a break, so that's what I did."
In recent years, the break has been over as Goldberg has starred in "For Colored Girls," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," and now the Lifetime telefilm "A Day Late and a Dollar Short."
She also executive produced the TV movie based on a book by Terry McMillan. She plays "irascible" family matriarch Viola Price who learns that her next asthma attack will likely kill her. Before she goes, she is determined to repair the problems in her large fractured family, which includes her husband (Ving Rhames), four children, and grandchildren.
Goldberg is one of just 12 members of the exclusive EGOT club. Her major awards run began in 1985 with a Grammy win for the comedy recording of her Broadway show.
She was then nominated for an Oscar in 1985 for her film debut in Steven Spielberg's "The Color Purple." Her formidable competition included past winners Anne Bancroft ("Agnes of God"), Jessica Lange ("Sweet Dreams"), and Meryl Streep ("Out of Africa"). The winner that night was Geraldine Page ("The Trip to Bountiful"), who prevailed on her eighth attempt.
Goldberg didn't mind, though. She says, "If you've watched the Oscars all your life and suddenly you're nominated for one, it doesn't even matter if you win. It was a huge deal for me because my mother and I and my brother, we would watch. I would make speeches all the time."
She adds, "The greatest thing was that I got to watch someone I respected dearly win. Geraldine had been nominated several times and never won. I like to feel all of our collective energy went into securing her win."
Goldberg then earned a second Oscar nomination in 1990 and won as Best Supporting Actress for "Ghost." That made her the first African-American actress to receive two bids. She garnered lots of industry support for her career and was asked to host the Academy Awards ceremony four times (1994, 1996, 1999, 2002).
Her Tony Award came for producing Best Musical champ "Thoroughly Modern Millie" in 2002. And she picked up a pair of Daytime Emmys for producing a documentary about Oscar champ Hattie McDaniel ("Gone with the Wind") in 2002 and for co-hosting "The View" in 2009 (she is nominated again this year for that ABC program).
While she has never won a Primetime Emmy, she has had seven previous nominations, the most recent for hosting the Tony Awards in 2009. She will be on the nominations ballot four times this summer: as the producer, lead actress, and narrator of the Lifetime movie and also as a producer of the HBO documentary "Moms Mabley."