Following the resignation of Kevin Hart as Oscars host over past homophobic remarks, the academy need look no further than its board of governors for a replacement: Whoopi Goldberg. She has a rich history with the Academy Awards. This EGOT champ was the first woman to solo as Oscar emcee (and four times at that — 1994, 1996, 1999, 2002).
Before she was tapped as host, Goldberg had already made Oscar history as the first African American actress to reap two Oscar nominations. While she lost her 1986 lead actress bid for “The Color Purple,” she won Best Supporting Actress in 1991 for “Ghost.” As she revealed in her heartfelt acceptance speech: “As a little kid, I lived in the projects and you’re the people I watched. You’re the people that made me want to be an actor.”
Before her four well-reviewed turns as an Oscar host, Goldberg emceed the 1992 Grammys (she’d won music’s top award in 1985 for the comedy album recording of her one-woman Broadway show). And six years after winning a Tony in 2002 for producing the Best Musical winner “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” she presided over Broadway’s big night. Those awards were produced by Emmy-winning director Glenn Weiss, who is overseeing this year’s Oscars with rookie producer Donna Gigliotti (“Shakespeare in Love”).
The only one of the big four awards that Goldberg hasn’t hosted is the Emmys but she has a couple of those on her crowded mantle. She won her first in 2002 for producing the documentary “Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel.” That trailblazer was the first African American to win an Oscar for 1939’s “Gone With the Wind.”
Goldberg won her second Emmy in 2009 as the moderator of ABC’s daytime talk show “The View.” As she still sits in that chair, there would be ample opportunity to promote her stint as host of the Oscars, which also airs on the alphabet network.
Perhaps she could show highlights of her four previous turns in the spotlight. Among the most memorable moments were her entrance from the ceiling on a swing a la Nicole Kidman in “Moulin Rouge” (watch above) and walking out in whiteface a la Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth” and calling herself the first “African Queen.”
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own 2019 Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on January 22.