If you don't know who Leslie Jones is, she's about to be a household name.

The 48-year-old comedian, actor, and "Saturday Night Live" cast member is one of the stars of the hotly anticipated remake of "Ghostbusters," which opened July 15, 2016.



Jones at the "Ghostbusters" premiere in her Christian Siriano dress. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Jones' stand-up comedy and work on "SNL" has already earned her some serious street cred in the comedy world, and now she's about to be officially launched into stardom.

Like most people in show business, Jones was once just a kid inspired by the people she saw on TV.

Chief among them? Whoopi Goldberg, the EGOT-winning actress and comedian who currently co-hosts "The View."

Whoopi's famous one-woman show "Whoopi Goldberg: Direct from Broadway" appeared on TV in 1985 — when Jones was just 18 years old.

Goldberg in her 1985 HBO special. Image via OWN/YouTube.

Recently, Jones appeared on "The View" to promote "Ghostbusters," and she finally got to thank the woman who inspired her all those years ago:

"When I was young, my dad always let me listen to comedy albums. I always knew about comedy. I always loved comedy. The day I saw Whoopi Goldberg on television, I cried so hard. Because I kept looking at my daddy going, 'Oh my god! There's somebody on TV who looks like me! She looks like me! Daddy! I can be on TV. I can be on TV. I can do it. Look at her. Look at her. She looks just like me!"

Leslie Jones on "The View." Image via The View/YouTube.

Jones went on to describe a communications class she took in college where she performed a monologue as one of Whoopi's characters, including a white sweatshirt draped over her head.

Image via The View/YouTube.

Then, as if she'd been waiting her whole life to do it, Jones eloquently and emotionally thanked Whoopi for the inspiration she gave her as a child:

"I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart because now I know what I'm doing when I put on that Ghostbusters suit and little girls see me on TV now. They're gonna go, 'I can do it,' and you gave that to me, and I love you. I love you from my heart and my soul. I love you for what you've done for black women. I love you for what you'd done for black comedians, and I love you."

Image via The View/YouTube.

With the opening of "Ghostbusters" and her continued work in comedy, Jones is passing that torch of inspiration forward.

Millions of people will get to see Leslie Jones in a summer blockbuster, and millions more watch her every Saturday night on one of the most important and iconic comedy programs of all time.

If even one of them sees her and says: "She looks like me. Maybe I can do that too," then that's a job well done.

Watch Leslie Jones' full interview on "The View":

Let's Do More Together

A Boston couple moved into a new place the week of lockdown. Here’s how they kept their sanity.

The new litmus test for domestic partnerships? A pandemic.

For medical workers in a pandemic, protecting loved ones can be tricky.

To support this effort and other programs like it, all you have to do is keep doing what you're doing — like shopping for laundry detergent. Turn your everyday actions into acts of good every day at P&G Good Everyday.

True

When Jonathan Irons was 16, he was put on trial for burglary and assault with a weapon. According to CBS Sports, Irons was tried as adult, and an all-white jury found him guilty—despite there being no witnesses, no fingerprints, no footprints, and no DNA proving his guilt.

Irons began his 50-year sentence in a Missouri state prison in 1998. Now, 22 years later, he's a free man, largely thanks to the tireless efforts of a WNBA superstar.

Maya Moore is arguably the most decorated professional women's basketball player in the U.S. A first-round draft pick in 2011, she's played for the Minnesota Lynx, where she became a six-time WNBA All-Star, a five-time All-WNBA First Team player, a four-time WNBA champion, and the WNBA Most Valuable Player in 2014.

But before the 2019 season, in the peak of her career, Moore decided to take the year off for a different kind of court battle—one that had wrongfully convicted a young man and doomed him to spend most of his life behind bars. Her decision rocked her sport, and there was no guarantee that sacrificing an entire season to fight for criminal justice reform would bear any fruit.

Keep Reading Show less