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Goldberg created The Spook Show, a one-woman show composed of different character monologues in 1983.Director Mike Nichols offered to take the show to Broadway.She has been the moderator of the talk show The View since 2007. Goldberg has described her mother as a "stern, strong, and wise woman" who raised her as a single mother with her brother Clyde (c.1949 – May 11, 2015), who died of a brain aneurysm.Her admixture test indicates that she is of 92 percent sub-Saharan African origin and of 8 percent European origin.According to an anecdote told by Nichelle Nichols in Trekkies (1997), a young Goldberg was watching Star Trek, and upon seeing Nichols's character Uhura, exclaimed, "Momma!
It was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including a nomination for Goldberg as Best Actress.
Goldberg's breakthrough came in 1985 for her role as Celie, a mistreated woman in the Deep South, in Steven Spielberg's period drama film The Color Purple, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won her first Golden Globe Award.