Whoopi Goldberg is one of Hollywood’s most versatile figures – actor, comedian, author, talk show host, etc. – but she’s also mom to her daughter Alex Martin. Keep reading to find out more about their interesting relationship.
Before Whoopi became the household name she is today, the NYC native was a high school teenage dropout addicted to heroin. It was around that time that she met her first husband, drug counselor Alvin Martin.
Studio portrait of Whoopi Goldberg leaning on a chair, 1988. |Photo: Getty Images
In May of 1973, when Whoopi was only 17, she and Alvin welcomed their daughter, Alexandrea "Alex" Martin. The marriage eventually hit the rocks in 1979 and Whoopi went on to have two more short-lived nuptials, but there was now one constant in her life – Alex.
Whoopi went everywhere with her daughter, and so in the mid-70s when she moved to California in search of an acting/comedy career, it was with Alex by her side.
Whoopi Goldberg & Alex Martin at the 17th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Party in New York on Feb. 22, 2009. |Photo: Getty Images
It wasn’t exactly a smooth ride at the beginning, and Whoopi told The Telegraph in 2009 that she had to take available jobs. She worked as a bricklayer and at a mortuary where she applied makeup for the bodies.
“Well, I needed money, and I needed to work,” she said. “So I figured I would rather lay bricks than lay men for money.”
Whoopi Goldberg at the Lincoln Center Fashion Gala - An Evening Honoring Coach at Lincoln Center Theater on Nov. 29, 2018 in New York City. |Photo: Getty Images
In a more recent interview with theGrio.com, Alex also recalls growing up poor and having to make do with almost nothing:
“I know what it’s like with the food stamps, because my mom has her [Welfare] cards framed. Seriously… I remember that. I remember we had the one room space and we slept in the bed together. I remember when we wanted to travel we would drive across the country in broke down bugs. We didn’t have the money to go to movies. I found friends, I walked down the street, I climbed trees, I did camping.”
Whoopi Goldberg & Alex Martin at the 88th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood on Feb. 28, 2016. |Photo: Getty Images
The good times eventually came for mother and daughter after Whoopi created and starred in a one-woman Broadway show and later landed the career-defining role of Celie in the 1985 film “The Color Purple.”
From then on, the only way’s been up for Whoopi who is one of only 15 people in the world to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony award (EGOT).
And even though she eventually gave up on marriage, Whoopi remains close to her only daughter. In 2016, the “The View” co-host said on the show that Alex was her "best friend" and "one of the most trustworthy and loyal people" she's ever known.
“She’s somebody who makes me laugh. …and we can talk to each other at any time of the day or night. I just like her a lot.”
(L-R) Alex Martin, Whoopi Goldberg and Alex’s daughter Jerzey Martin at the premiere of 'Sister Act' on Oct. 23, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. |Photo: Getty Images
Earlier in 2015, Alex said as much when she and Whoopi stopped by the Wendy Williams Show. According to Alex, she speaks with her mom “multiple times a day” and can talk to her about anything.
“That’s how best friends do,” Alex told the show host. “We support each other.”
In 2014, however, Whoopi claimed that Alex was a better mother than she ever was. “Alex is a better mother to her three kids than I ever was,” she reportedly said.