Goldberg on November 13, 2008
|Birth name||Caryn Elaine Johnson|
|Born||(1955-11-13) November 13, 1955
Manhattan, New York, United States
|Medium||Stand-up, film, television, theatre, books|
|Genres||Observational comedy, black comedy, insult comedy, musical comedy, character comedy, satire|
|Subject(s)||African-American culture, American politics, race relations, racism, marriage, sex, everyday life, pop culture, current events|
|Influences||Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Carol Burnett, Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, Judy Garland|
|Spouse||Alvin Martin (m. 1973; div. 1979)
David Claessen (m. 1986; div. 1988)
Lyle Trachtenberg (m. 1994; div. 1995)
When I listen to these women, it makes what I thought were my hard knocks feel like little nudges.
I grew up in a time when it would never have occurred to anyone to tell me there was anything I couldn’t do.
If every American donated five hours a week, it would equal the labor of 20 million full-time volunteers.
We’re born with success. It is only others who point out our failures, and what they attribute to us as failure.
And I don’t believe that I have to stay on one side of the fence or the other. I don’t believe that there is any good career move or bad career move. I believe there are only the things that make me happy.
When you are kind to someone in trouble, you hope they’ll remember and be kind to someone else. And it’ll become like a wildfire.
That’s the thing about Mother Nature, she really doesn’t care what economic bracket you’re in.
I don’t look like Halle Berry. But chances are she’s going to end up looking like me.
When I was doing ensemble theater and comedy work, I felt I had some talents. But when I started doing my shows in Berkeley and found that I could be funny on my own, I was shocked.
You’ve got to vote for someone. It’s a shame, but it’s got to be done.
I am the American Dream. I am the epitome of what the American Dream basically said. It said you could come from anywhere and be anything you want in this country. That’s exactly what I’ve done.
I don’t have to be bam, bam, bam, funny when I’m working. I can tell stories, and there’s some funny in them.
It’s being willing to walk away that gives you strength and power – if you’re willing to accept the consequences of doing what you want to do.
I think the idea that you know who your inner self is on a daily basis, because… you know. What’s good for you 25 years ago may not be good for you now. So, to keep in touch with that, I think that’s the first ingredient for success. Because if you’re a successful human being, everything else is gravy, I think.
If I was doing a talk show, I would do the kind of show that comes on just once a month, with amazing guests.
There are roles I am never considered for. Meryl Streep roles, let’s say. Why not? I really wanted to do ‘Ironweed,’ for example, because the depression era in this country was one of the best for multiracial people, because everybody was poor. Everybody lived in the tents, and under buildings, and under gratings, together.
Things happen to you out of luck, and if you get to stick around it’s because you’re talented.
You know, be an actor because you love to act. Don’t be an actor because you think you’re going to get famous, because that’s luck.
When I started, I knew I didn’t fit any visual that anyone was going to lie down and take their clothes off about. Work doesn’t come to me; I go out and look for it.
My family is Jewish, Buddhist, Baptist and Catholic. I don’t believe in man-made religions.
Sitting at the table during Color Purple and looking up and suddenly realizing I was acting in front of Steven Spielberg, was pretty cool. It was pretty good.
Most of all, I dislike this idea nowadays that if you’re a black person in America, then you must be called African-American. Listen, I’ve visited Africa, and I’ve got news for everyone: I’m not an African.
It bums me out tremendously what the church has become, and if it’s got me bummed, imagine what Jesus Christ must be feeling.
I’m fighting the label of ‘Black’ actress simply because it’s very limiting in people’s eyes, especially people who are making movies.
I have the strangest time to get cast in anything. ‘Ghost’ was the same thing. Six months I had to wait for them to decide they had seen everybody possible. Why not? What limits me? I’m black? Oh, am I black?
All I really want to do is just keep acting, and some of it will stink, and some of it will be really good, and maybe when I’m 85 and presenting an Oscar like Bette Davis did, I can look back and say, ‘It was okay, I did all right.’