Whoopi is leaving 'Hollywood Squares'

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter  |  April 15, 2002 at 4:07 PM
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LOS ANGELES, April 15 (UPI) -- Whoopi Goldberg is leaving "Hollywood Squares" after four years as star and producer of the hit syndicated game show, a spokesman for the Oscar-winning actress said Monday.

"It's a done deal," said Goldberg's publicist, Brad Cafarelli. "She will not be back."

Goldberg has occupied the center square on the show and served as executive producer since the show -- originally hosted by Peter Marshall from 1966-82 -- was revived for syndication in 1998.

For the record, no one is saying why Goldberg is leaving the show. There have been reports that King World would not meet her salary demands. According to one report, the company asked Goldberg to take a pay cut.

"We wish her the best of luck," said King World -- which syndicates the current version of the show -- in a prepared statement.

Tom Bergeron's future as host of "Hollywood Squares" also may be up in the air. There has been speculation in Hollywood that Bergeron is being considered as a possible replacement for Bryant Gumbel, who is leaving as host of "The Early Show" on CBS.

"Hollywood Squares" is the third highest-rated syndicated game show on U.S. TV, after "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy!" The show is in the final weeks of production for its fourth season and is scheduled to run for at least two more seasons.

Goldberg's TV resume includes a five-season stretch on "Star Trek: The Next Generation." She co-starred with Jean Stapleton in a TV version of the movie "Bagdad Café" and hosted a syndicated late-night talk show, "The Whoopi Goldberg Show." She starred in TV movies "Cinderella" and "Alice in Wonderland," and headlined eight "Comic Relief" telethons with Billy Crystal and Robin Williams.

Goldberg won the supporting actress Oscar for "Ghost" (1990). She was nominated for best actress in her movie debut, "The Color Purple" (1985). She has also starred in "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Sister Act," "Sister Act 2."

"Hollywood Squares" is nominated for two Emmys at the upcoming 29th Daytime Emmy Awards -- one for best game show and one for best technical direction/electronic camera/video control. The Emmys will be presented on May 17 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

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