I was one of those kids who was raised on Sci-fi, and one of my favorite shows was Star Trek: The Next Generation. I got a kick out of the characters, the storylines and the writing. As I grew older, I learned more about the actors and gained a renewed affection for many of them.
One actress who I’ve grown to admire played Guinan on the series, and I’ve enjoyed her work on the movies I’ve caught with her in them as well. This lady’s name is Caryn Elain Johnson, better known as Whoopi Goldberg. Like 20% of the population, she’s dyslexic.
She had a rough time growing up. Her family situation was difficult, as she was raised by a single mother on a nurse’s income in public housing. On top of that, learning disabilities weren’t as well known as they are today. As a result, she dropped out of high school at 17.
Whoopi had struggled with drug addiction in her teens, but she was able to defeat them when she had her daughter at the age of 18.
In addition to her broad range of acting experience, she has had a long time interest in civil activism.
- In the late 1980s, she lent her comedic skills to a series, Comic Relief, which supported resources to help the homeless.
- She also stood up against California’s Prop 8 in 2008, which forbid same sex marriage.
- In 2009, she moderated a UN panel about children and armed conflict, human rights and other issues.
This remarkable actress, activist, comedian, singer, songwriter, author and mother is a true inspiration.
Whoopi’s amazing commencement address at SCAD.