- Susan Alexandra Weaver
October 08, 1949 (age 71)
- Actor, Voice Actor, Environmentalist
- Jim Simpson
- Sylvester Weaver, Elizabeth Inglis
Sigourney Weaver (born Susan Alexandra Weaver; October 8, 1949) is an American actress. She is known especially for the lead role of Ellen Ripley in the four Alien films: Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection. She is also well known for her roles in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl, and Avatar.
Her 1986 Academy Award nomination for Aliens is considered as a landmark in the recognition of science fiction, action, and horror genres, as well as a major step in challenging the gender role in cinema. Weaver progressively received fame for her numerous contributions to the science fiction film history (including minor roles in successful works such as Futurama, WALL-E, Paul and The Cabin in the Woods) and gained the nickname of "The Sci-Fi Queen". She also played the lead role as Secretary of State Elaine Barrish on USA Network's Political Animals miniseries.
Weaver has been nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Actress for Aliens and Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey, and Best Supporting Actress for Working Girl. She also won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Ice Storm, and Saturn Awards for Aliens and Avatar. She also earned Emmy Award, Drama Desk Award and Tony Award nominations. She has been nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards and won both Best Actress in Drama and Best Supporting Actress in 1988 for Gorillas in the Mist and Working Girl, becoming the first person ever to have won two acting Golden Globe Awards in the same year.
Weaver was born Susan Alexandra Weaver in Manhattan, New York City, the daughter of Elizabeth Inglis (née Desiree Mary Lucy Hawkins; 1913 - 2007), an English actress, and the NBC television executive and television pioneer Sylvester "Pat" Weaver (1908 - 2002). Her uncle, Doodles Weaver (1911 - 1983), was a comedian and actor. She began using the name "Sigourney Weaver" in 1963 after a minor character (Sigourney Howard) in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby.
Weaver attended the Ethel Walker School, a girls' preparatory school in Simsbury, Connecticut. She also attended The Chapin School. Sigourney was reportedly 5′ 10½″ (179 cm) tall by the age of 14, although she only grew another inch during her teens to her adult height of 5′ 11½″ (182 cm). In 1967, at the age of 18, Weaver visited Israel and volunteered on a kibbutz for several months.
Weaver attended Sarah Lawrence College as well as Stanford University ]where she first began her involvement in acting, by living in Stanford's co-ed Beta Chi Community for the Performing Arts. Weaver earned her Master of Fine Arts degree at the Yale University School of Drama in 1974, where one of her appearances was in the chorus in a production of Stephen Sondheim's musical version of The Frogs, and another was as one of a mob of Roman soldiers alongside Meryl Streep in another production. Weaver later acted in original plays by her friend and classmate Christopher Durang. She later appeared in an "Off-Broadway" production of Durang's comedy Beyond Therapy in 1981, which was directed by the up-and-coming director Jerry Zaks.
Weaver's first role is often said to be in Woody Allen's 1977 comedy Annie Hall playing a minor role opposite Allen, whereas she appeared at least in Sidney Lumet's Serpico three years before (she meets Al Pacino at a party). Weaver appeared two years later as Warrant Officer/Lieutenant Ellen Ripley in Ridley Scott's blockbuster 1979 film Alien, in a role initially designated to co-star Veronica Cartwright, until a late change in casting. She reprised the role in the three sequels of the Alien movie franchise, Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien Resurrection. Ty Burr of The Boston Globe states, "One of the real pleasures of "Alien" is to watch the emergence of both Ellen Ripley as a character and Sigourney Weaver as a star." In the sequel Aliens directed by James Cameron, critic Roger Ebert writes, "Weaver, who is onscreen almost all the time, comes through with a very strong, sympathetic performance: She's the thread that holds everything together." Weaver followed the success of Alien appearing opposite Mel Gibson in The Year of Living Dangerously released to critical acclaim and as Dana Barrett in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II.
By the end of the decade, Weaver appeared in two of her most memorable and critically acclaimed performances in 1988 as Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist. The same year she appeared opposite Harrison Ford in a supporting role as Katharine Parker in the film Working Girl. Weaver won Golden Globe awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for her two roles that year. She received two Academy Award nominations in 1988, for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Working Girl and Best Actress for Gorillas in the Mist, making her one of the few actors nominated for two acting awards in the same year.
Weaver was engaged to reporter Aaron Latham in 1967. She has been married to the filmmaker Jim Simpson since October 1, 1984. They are the parents of one daughter, Charlotte Simpson, who was born on April 13, 1990.