Whoopi Goldberg’s Remarkable Journey from Homelessness and Heroin Addiction to Becoming a Co-host on “The View”

Whoopi Goldberg’s journey to becoming one of the main co-hosts of “The View” and an Oscar-winning actress is marked by a remarkable transformation from a challenging past. The 66-year-old star has openly shared her struggles with homelessness and heroin addiction, as well as her stint as a phone sex operator before joining the popular American talk show approximately 15 years ago.

Reflecting on her earlier life, Whoopi disclosed in 2009 that she had faced the daunting challenges of youth, homelessness, and heroin addiction. She revealed how she had dropped out of high school and become entangled in substance abuse during her younger years, explaining, “I was a child of the Sixties, so I ingested as many mind-altering substances as I could. It was a rite of passage. And when I got clean, I was convinced I wanted to be an actor. I just needed some time to convince the acting profession, so in between, I needed a job.”

Whoopi’s upbringing was marked by the departure of her father when she was just 18 months old, leaving her mother, Emma, to raise her on her own.

A pivotal moment in her life occurred when she sought counseling, eventually marrying her counselor at the age of 20, having a child, and subsequently divorcing. This relationship helped her break free from substance abuse and the challenging life she was leading.

In a March 1991 issue of Ebony Magazine, Whoopi candidly discussed the difficulty of getting clean, saying, “I didn’t stop altogether at once. It took many, many tries. You fall a lot because it’s hard.” She admitted to experimenting with various drugs, including LSD.

Reflecting on her past struggles, she emphasized, “There ain’t no joy in a high – none. You think there’s a joy in a high because it feels good temporarily. But it feels good less and less often, so you’ve got to do it more and more often. It ain’t your friend.”

In 1986, Whoopi disclosed that she had been “real close” to homelessness and sometimes didn’t have a place to live, relying on the kindness of friends.

She also candidly revealed that she had worked as a phone sex operator in her past during a December 2011 episode of “The View,” acknowledging that the pay was lucrative. She had previously worked in various roles, including as a funeral home makeup artist and a bricklayer.

Regarding her recent performance on “The View,” some fans have expressed frustration, calling for her retirement due to perceived mistakes and conflicts with co-hosts. In particular, she faced criticism for comments related to the Holocaust earlier this year, which led to a public apology.

Despite these challenges, Whoopi Goldberg, born Caryn Elaine Johnson on November 13, 1955, has enjoyed a successful career as an American actor, author, comedian, and television personality. She has received numerous accolades, including an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, and a Tony Award.



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