The View co-host welcomed her only child with her first husband Alvin Martin
Whoopi Goldberg and her daughter, Alexandrea “Alex” Martin Dean, have lived many lives together.
The View moderator welcomed her only child with her first husband, Alvin Martin, on May 9, 1973. Although Goldberg and Martin's marriage later ended in 1979, the actress' relationship with Alex grew stronger.
Now, she dons the title “grandmother” to Alex’s three children — daughters Amara and Jerzey and son Mason — whom she shares with her husband, Bernard Dean. While Goldberg loves playing the role of grandma, she has been quick to admit to PEOPLE that her foul mouth can sometimes get the best of her.
“I’m a bad influence,” Goldberg said, referencing the time she taught her then-2-year-old grandson how to say the F-word. “My daughter said, ‘Where did he get that?’ And I said, ‘Well, it sounds like you taught it to him.’ She didn’t talk to me for a week.”
From their shared love of acting and entertainment to their beautiful mother-daughter bond, here’s everything to know about Whoopi Goldberg's daughter, Alexandrea "Alex" Martin Dean.
They struggled financially when she was a child
In an interview with TheGrio.com, Alex recalled the early beginnings of her mother’s acting and stand-up career. She opened up about what it was like before Goldberg made it big in Hollywood with her one-woman Broadway show followed by her role in the movie The Color Purple.
“I know what it’s like with the food stamps, because my mom has her [Welfare] cards framed,” she told the outlet. "Seriously … I remember that. I remember we had the one room space and we slept in the bed together."
Alex continued: “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.”
Though she faced hardship, Alex said it helped shape her into the person she’s become.
Goldberg has also spoken about the struggles of raising Alex as a single mom, telling her View co-hosts in June 2023 that, like her own mother before her, she "did what she needed to do" to make ends meet.
"When I was on welfare, because I was a welfare mom, they paid us $27 a week," she said. "All I wanted to do was work."
She made cameos in Goldberg's films
In the ‘90s, Alex began making a name for herself in Hollywood. She starred in the 1999 satire film American Intellectuals and went on to join the cast of Call Me Claus and Strange as Angels in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Alex also made minor appearances in two of her mother’s most iconic films, The Color Purple in 1985 and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit in 1993.
In addition to her film appearances, Alex also served as Miss Golden Globe at the 1994 Golden Globe Awards.
She starred in her own reality TV show
In 2015, the mother-daughter duo joined forces to create their own reality TV show, titled, According to Alex. Goldberg served as an executive producer while the six-episode series largely centered around Alex, her family, friends and business ventures.
“You will see everything,” Alex told MadameNoire while promoting the show. “You'll see all these different relationships and how they relate to each other. It’s kind of Modern Family-esque because there are many different moving variable things."
The series gave an inside look at Alex's young adult years and family life. In the trailer, fans learn how Alex and her husband met, that she went to culinary school and was part of a rap group at one time. Also caught on camera was the start of her and best friend Leisa Rachal’s pampering business, Nail Buzz.
She married her husband three times
Speaking with MadameNoire, Alex revealed that she has married her husband Bernard a total of three times. “It’s about love, it’s about growing up, it’s about coming full circle,” she explained. “It’s about destiny and fate and being where you’re supposed to be.”
“I’d do it again,” Alex added before joking, “The diamond gets bigger.”
In the According to Alex trailer, Bernard shared that the first time he met Alex was at a swimming pool and he was immediately enamored. The pair went on to get married and divorced twice before remarrying for a final time in 2011.
Goldberg considers Alex “one of my best, best, best friends”
Alex and her mom are two peas in a pod. “I’m proud to call her my best friend,” Goldberg said of her daughter while introducing her as a guest on The View. “She is one of the most trustworthy and loyal people I know.”
Goldberg went on to share that her daughter is also quite the comedian. “She is somebody who makes me laugh, like ‘bwuaha’ laugh,” she continued. “We can talk to each other any time during the day or night. I just like her a lot.”
She is a mom of three — and a grandma!
In addition to being a mom of three kids — daughters Amara and Jerzey and son Mason — Alex is a proud grandma. Her oldest child, Amara, welcomed a daughter of her own named Charli Rose Burr-Reynaud on March 15, 2014, making Alex a first-time grandmother and Goldberg a great-grandmother.
Just like her mother, Amara has a very close relationship with Goldberg. While competing on ABC’s Claim to Fame reality series, Amara explained that her famous grandma had given her her blessing to appear on the show — and shared some key advice: “Be a strong b----- and come back happy.”
Amara also revealed how the moniker “Whoopi" came to be.
“My grandma got her name because she likes to fart a lot. So, whoopee cushions, farts. That's how Caryn Johnson became Whoopi Goldberg,” she said on the show.
Goldberg was a fun grandma to Alex's kids when they were young
While Goldberg is very close with her grandkids, she did establish some boundaries when they were growing up. "I don’t cook, and everyone knows it. I mean, I don’t even cook for my grandkids," she told Parade in November 2007.
However, when it comes to planning exciting outings for Amara, Jerzey and Mason, Goldberg always had it covered. “For her kids, I’m just a grandmother. They look to me for adventure,” she quipped.
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