‘Sister Act’: The 1 Star Who Did Not Do Her Own Singing

Whoopi Goldberg proved from her first film role in 1985’s The Color Purple that she was a star. But the early 1990s saw Goldberg not only win an Academy Award for Ghost but also land one of the biggest hits of her career. Goldberg wasn’t the original choice for Sister Act, which was supposed to feature Bette Midler. But she delivered a standout performance. And the movie features a stellar supporting cast who almost universally did their own singing, with one notable exception.

Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Najimy, and Wendy Makkena perform on ‘The View’ with other singers dressed as nuns
Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Najimy, and Wendy Makkena | Paula Lobo/Disney General Entertainment Content

Whoopi Goldberg sings in 1992’s ‘Sister Act’

In Sister Act, Goldberg plays a Reno lounge singer who witnesses her mobster boyfriend (Harvey Keitel) commit a murder. To keep her safe until she can testify against him, the government hides Deloris Van Cartier (Goldberg) in a convent. But while there, she takes charge of the convent’s choir and gains widespread attention for her work.

Naturally, Goldberg’s role requires not only deft comic timing but also the willingness to sing onscreen. After all, Sister Act is as much a musical as it is a fish-out-of-water comedy. And the actor rises to the challenge with soulful vocals that make her wholly believable as an entertainer who finds a new outlet in the most unexpected of places.

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This co-star’s singing was dubbed over

Though most of the Sister Act cast did their own singing in the film, there was one notable exception. According to Mental Floss, Wendy Makkena — who plays Sister Mary Robert — did not sing onscreen. Rather, singer and actor Andrea Robinson (The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning) dubbed her vocal performance in Sister Act and its 1993 sequel.

Sister Mary Robert’s story in Sister Act centers on the timid young nun literally finding her voice. So perhaps it’s no surprise that a professional singer stepped in to give the character a more distinctive sound. Thanks to Makkena and Robinson’s collective efforts, Sister Mary Roberts emerges as easily one of the movie’s most endearing characters.

Who will return for ‘Sister Act 3’?

With Goldberg officially signed on to Sister Act 3, fans are buzzing about which actors from the previous films could also make their returns. In 2017, Goldberg reunited on The View with a variety of co-stars, including Kathy Najimy and Makkena. Then there’s the possibility that actors from Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit could return as well.

However, fans have to imagine that Najimy and Makkena would be at the top of the list for actors Goldberg would want back for the new movie. Their characters became particularly close in the first movie. The only big question then is whether Robinson will be invited to reprise her role as Sister Mary Robert’s singing voice in the new movie.

RELATED: Fans Are Not Happy That Tyler Perry Is Producing Whoopi Goldberg’s New ‘Sister Act 3’ Film