Began her career at age 8 with the Hudson Guild children's program and the Helena Rubenstein Children's Theater.
Moved to San Diego, CA, with her 1-year-old daughter in 1974 and co-founded the San Diego Repertory Theater; worked as a bricklayer and a mortuary cosmetologist during this time to support herself.
Co-wrote the play Moms, about Jackie "Moms" Mabley, in 1983.
Performed in her own one-woman Broadway show in 1984, directed by Mike Nichols.
Became the first female host of the Academy Awards in 1994; returned to host the ceremony in 1996, 1999 and 2002.
Holds the rare distinction of having won an Oscar (Ghost, 1991), an Emmy (Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel, 2002), a Grammy (Whoopi Goldberg, 1985), a Tony (Thoroughly Modern Millie, 2002) and 2 Golden Globes (The Color Purple, 1985 and Ghost, 1991).
2002, Tony — Musical: Winner
1996, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Actress in a Comedy Motion Picture: Winner
2009, Emmy — Outstanding Special Class Program: Nominee
1985, Grammy — Best Comedy Album: Winner
1986, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Winner
1991, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
2005, Emmy — Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program: Nominee
1993, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
2014, Critics' Choice Television Awards — Best Actress in a Movie or Mini-Series: Nominee
2011, Tony — Musical: Nominee
1990, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Winner
1991, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Winner
1996, Emmy — Outstanding Performance for a Variety or Music Program: Nominee
1991, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Winner