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The film was a modest success, and during the next two years, three additional motion pictures featured Goldberg: Burglar (1987), Fatal Beauty (1987), and The Telephone (1988).
Though these were not as successful as her prior motion pictures, Goldberg still garnered awards from the NAACP Image Awards.
From 1998 to 2001, Goldberg took supporting roles in How Stella Got Her Groove Back with Angela Bassett, Girl, Interrupted with Winona Ryder, and Angelina Jolie, Kingdom Come and Rat Race with an all-star ensemble cast.
She tried unsuccessfully to sue the producers of the film.
Between 19, she lived in East Germany, Goldberg trained under acting teacher Uta Hagen at the HB Studio in New York City.
She first appeared onscreen in 1982 in Citizen: I'm Not Losing My Mind, I'm Giving It Away, an avant-garde ensemble feature by San Francisco filmmaker William Farley.
She has stated that her stage forename ("Whoopi") was taken from a whoopee cushion; "If you get a little gassy, you've got to let it go.
So people used to say to me, 'You're like a whoopee cushion.' And that's where the name came from." Henry Louis Gates, Jr., in his book In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past, found that all of Goldberg's traceable ancestors were African Americans, that she has no known Jewish ancestry, and that none of her ancestors were named Goldberg.