Lyle Trachtenberg, a former American actor, and IATSE union organizer. He is best known for having been Whoopi Goldberg’s former husband, an actress, comedian, and television host. Trachtenberg, a native Californian, dreamed of being an actor when he was little. He enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1976 after finishing high school.
After receiving his degree in 1980, he joined the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a labor organization that today represents over 100,000 technicians, craftspeople, and craftsmen employed in the entertainment sector. By the middle of the 1990s, he had advanced fast through the ranks to become a powerful organizer.
He gained some popularity during this time due to the union’s disruptive behavior on the sets of different independent films. He has gotten recognition over the years for his involvement in a variety of ventures.
He appeared in the comedy Beach Movie in 1998 as an actor. Goldberg’s third and most recent husband was Trachtenberg. In the years 1994 to 1995, they were wed. He is the former stepfather of her daughter Alexandrea “Alex” Martin through Goldberg.
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Table of Contents
His Early Life
Lyle Trachtenberg, who was born in Los Angeles, California, on January 1, 1956, always had a passion for performing. He attended to the University of California, Los Angeles in 1976 after finishing high school, where he eventually received his degree in 1980.
Lyle Trachtenberg joined the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees after completing his studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. This organization represents more than 100,000 technicians, craftspeople, and artisans working in the theater, film, television, and trade show industries.
He eventually rose to prominence as a strong and effective union organizer and for his work as a union representative on several sets. Lyle Trachtenberg allegedly caused some issues for independent director Allison Anders and her producers during the production of her 1996 film Grace of My Heart, according to a Variety article from July 1995.
She and her producers, Ruth Charny and Dan Hassid, were able to re-engage a number of the non-union crew members she had previously worked with on her low-budget projects for the $5 million film.
Trachtenberg arrived for lunch the second week after filming started. He set up shop outside beside the food truck and started outlining the advantages of joining the IATSE after being refused access to the set.
IATSE had 25 additional members when lunch was over. There were discussions about calling an impromptu strike as things had grown pretty tense. A deal was eventually negotiated between the producers and the union, and production once more began.
Producer Lawrence Bender talked about his own experiences with Lyle Trachtenberg and the union in his January 1996 Los Angeles Times column. White Man’s Burden (1995), a movie he produced, was being shot when the union intervened, causing considerable delays and financial loss.
In a later interview with the L.A. Times, Bender provided a list of remedies to the issues associated with producing low-budget films alongside the unions. In reply, Trachtenberg cynically suggested that he forego his own earnings for films with a budget of under $3 million, in which the union’s rules would be disregarded. Bender claimed that this wasn’t a long-term effective solution, only an attempt to get around the problem.
Lyle Trachtenberg never achieved any success as an actor, despite his early hopes. He made his acting debut in 1996’s action-horror From Dusk Till Dawn, directed by Robert Rodriguez.
In the comedy Beach Movie, written and directed by John Quinn, he played a role known as the Husky Guy. Additionally, he was given “special thanks” for his work on the movies, Hello, My Name Is Doris (2006), Keeping Up with the Steins (2006), and Girl Fever.
On October 1, 1994, Lyle Trachtenberg and Whoopi Goldberg exchanged vows. The couple’s brief union ended in divorce in 1995.
Following their divorce from Goldberg, Trachtenberg married Adrianna Belan, a Canadian native. Together, they have two daughters: Gabriella and Natasha. Belan was once an actress.
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Who is Whoopi Goldberg?
On November 13, 1955, Caryn Elaine Johnson was born in New York, NY. She went to St Columba’s, a neighborhood Catholic school in the Chelsea-Elliot neighborhood. Whoopi dropped out of high school and spent time living and working in East Germany’s theater industry.
She then relocated to Berkeley and took on a variety of odd occupations, including bricklaying and serving customers at restaurants. She joined the Blake Street Hawkeyes theater troupe, where she performed in numerous plays while also instructing lessons in comedy and acting.
She made her debut in the 1982 film Citizen: I’m Not Losing My Mind, I’m Giving It Away. Then, in 1983, Whoopi wrote a one-woman story called Whoopi Goldberg that was made up of many character monologues.
There were 156 performances in total. Her second major break came in 1985 when Steven Spielberg noticed her and hired her in the lead part of Cecile in The Color Purple. The movie received positive reviews and did well financially. It received 11 Oscar nominations, with Goldberg receiving one for Best Actress.
Whoopi finally found her voice in the 1990s, beginning with her role as a psychic in the film Ghost (1990), which also starred Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. She was the second black woman to receive the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for that performance, thanks to that role. After that, Goldberg appeared in two Star Trek films, and Sister Act was released in 1992.
Goldberg received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in that movie, which brought in over $200 million. In the follow-up, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, she played the same part again. In 1994, she was the first African American woman to host the Academy Awards.
She also appeared in The Little Rascals, Corrina, and other well-known movies during the 1990s. Whoopi enjoyed success in the 2000s as well, appearing in films like Girl, Interrupted, and How Stella Got Her Groove Back in supporting parts. From 1998 to 2004, she co-produced Hollywood Squares. Whoopi has been in a number of Star Trek films as an actor.
Whoopi joined Janet Jackson in Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls in 2010. The movie garnered favorable reviews and made over $38 million worldwide. She provided voices for the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Toy Story 3 that same year. In 2016, Golberg created the reality program Strut for the Oxygen network. Tiffany Haddish co-starred in Tyler Perry’s Nobody’s Fool in 2018.
Whoopi is renowned for her role as co-host and moderator on the chat show The View. She joined the show in 2001 to take Rosie O’Donnell’s position. Her premiere attracted 3.4 million viewers, a 7 percent increase over O’Donnell’s debut the season prior. She frequently makes provocative remarks on the program and has sparked debate among fans over the years.
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In addition to writing for film and talk shows, Goldberg also writes nonfiction and children’s books. She has also performed as a lead on stage, most notably in a 2010 Broadway version of Sister Act. She cofounded Whoopi & Maya, a business that creates medicinal cannabis products for women who require relief from period cramps. She is an entrepreneur.
LGBTQ rights have always been supported by Goldberg. Her efforts to help the gay and lesbian community earned her the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Vanguard Award in 1999. She marched in support of AIDS awareness and LGBTQ rights during the 1987 March on Washington.
Together with other famous people, she started the Give a Damn campaign in April 2010 to raise awareness of the prejudice faced by the LGBT population. Additionally, Goldberg serves on the National Museum of American Illustration’s advisory national council board. Along with other charitable endeavors, she works with Comic Relief.
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Goldberg experienced a plane crash in San Diego in 1978. This caused her to experience PTSD and a lifetime dread of flying.
Whoopi has dated actors Ted Danson and Frank Langella in addition to being married three times. From 1973 to 1979, she was wed to Alvin Martin; from 1986 to 1988, to David Claessen; and from 1994 to 1995, to Lyle Trachtenberg. Alexandrea Martin, her daughter, is a producer as well as an actor. Whoopi gave birth to Alexandrea at the age of 18. In addition to one great-granddaughter, she has three grandchildren.