Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver

Infobox actor
name = Sigourney Weaver

caption = Sigourney Weaver at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival
birthdate = birth date and age|1949|10|8
birthplace = Manhattan, New York City
birthname = Susan Alexandra Weaver
spouse = Jim Simpson (1984-)
baftaawards = Best Supporting Actress
1997 "The Ice Storm"
= Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
1989 '
Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture"'
1989 "Working Girl"
awards = Saturn Award for Best Actress (film)
1986 "Aliens"

Sigourney Weaver (born October 8, 1949) is an Academy Award-nominated American actress, best known for her roles as Lt. Ellen Ripley in the "Alien" film series.


Early life

Weaver was born Susan Alexandra Weaver in New York City, the daughter of Elizabeth Inglis (née Desiree Mary Lucy Hawkins), a English former actress (d. 2007), and the NBC television executive Sylvester "Pat" L. Weaver (d. 2002) who is of Scottish descent, possibly Clan MacFarlane [Interview, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, 8/25/08] . Her uncle, Doodles Weaver, was a comedian and actor. She began using the name "Sigourney Weaver" in 1963, aged fourteen, after a character in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby". [ [ Sigourney Weaver - Biography ] ] [ [ Sigourney Weaver ] ]

Weaver attended the Ethel Walker School, a prep school in Simsbury, Connecticut and graduated from Stanford University (BA, English, 1972). [cite news |first=THOMAS |last=VINCIGUERRA |title=Stars of Stage, Screen ... and Freshman Biology |url= |work=The New York Times |publisher= |location=New York City |date=2005-09-11 |accessdate=2008-02-01] She earned an MFA (1974) at Yale Drama, [cite web |url= |title=Training Great Actors: A Scene from Shakespeare |accessdate=2008-02-01|year=2001|work=Yale University Tercentennial (April Weekend Videos) |publisher=Yale University|quote= ] where she appeared in the chorus of a production of Aristophanes' "The Frogs" and as one of a mob of Roman soldiers in another production [ [ Sigourney Weaver The Frogs] ] as well as, later, in original plays by friend and classmate Christopher Durang. She later appeared in the 1981 off-Broadway production of his comedy "Beyond Therapy".

Film career

Although Weaver has played a number of critically acclaimed roles in movies like "Gorillas in the Mist", "The Ice Storm", "Dave", and "The Year of Living Dangerously", she is best known for her appearances as Warrant Officer/Lieutenant Ellen Ripley in the blockbuster "Alien" movie franchise. Her first appearance as Ripley was in Ridley Scott's 1979 film "Alien". She reprised the role in three sequels, "Aliens", "Alien³", and "Alien Resurrection". She was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award for portraying Ripley in "Aliens". Ripley was a breakthrough role: the first female action hero. Although Ripley is tender and nurturing with a cat or a child, she is tough and aggressive with adult humans and alien monsters, and ruthless enough to blow up her own ship or a planetary colony; in the third film, she destroys herself to prevent the xenomorph species from spreading. She also starred in two films in 1988, receiving Academy Award nominations for her roles as Katherine Parker in "Working Girl" and as naturalist Dian Fossey in "Gorillas in the Mist". She lost to Geena Davis and Jodie Foster, respectively.

Weaver also appeared in "Ghostbusters" and "Ghostbusters II" as Dana Barrett. She played the role of the agoraphobic criminal psychologist Helen Hudson in the 1995 movie "Copycat", and went on to become the most highly paid actress of the 1990s. In addition to her trademark role as Ripley, Weaver has recently concentrated on smaller, more challenging roles such as 1999's "A Map of the World". Despite being fifty at the time, Weaver created a stir for appearing nude in that film. Other recent work includes 2006's "Snow Cake". Critics have also noted her consistent performances in comedic roles, such as in "Jeffrey" (1994), "Galaxy Quest" (1999), and "Heartbreakers" (2001), in which she starred with Jennifer Love Hewitt.

In 1997, Weaver won the BAFTA Award for her supporting role in Ang Lee's "The Ice Storm". In 2003, she was voted 20th in british television's Channel 4's countdown of the 100 greatest movie stars of all time. She was one of only two women in the top 20 (the other was Audrey Hepburn). That year, she also played The Warden in the movie "Holes". In 2006, Weaver returned to Rwanda for the BBC special "Gorillas Revisited".

Weaver was approached to star as the ADA in the "The Accused" but felt the nature of the story was too violent. Jane Campion wanted a 'Sigourney Weaver type' for her film "The Piano" but Weaver's agent turned the film down without consulting Weaver. Holly Hunter went on to win the Oscar for the role, and Weaver fired her agent. Bryan Singer originally wanted Sigourney for the role of Emma Frost in "" but Singer (and screenwriter Dan Harris, who directed Weaver in "Imaginary Heroes") left the project and the idea to include Frost was dropped. In 2008, Weaver plays the Mom in the TV film "Prayers for Bobby", due to air February 2009. She will also guest-star in the TV show "Eli Stone" in the fall of 2008. [cite web | url = | title = "Sigourney Weaver Puts Eli Stone on the Couch" | accessdate = 2008-08-15 | date = 2008-08-15 | work = TV Guide ]

Weaver also has done voice work in television and film. She had a guest role in the "Futurama" episode "Love and Rocket" in February 2002, playing the female Planet Express Ship. In 2006 she was the narrator for the American version of the Emmy Award-winning series "Planet Earth". In 2008 Weaver was featured as a voice in the Pixar Animation Studios and Disney release, "WALL•E". She will also voice a narrating role in another computer animated film, "The Tale of Despereaux" based on the novel by Kate DiCamillo set for release December 2008.

Dual nominations

In addition to her Academy Awards nomination for "Aliens", Weaver has received two other nominations in her career. This makes Weaver one of only eleven actors and actresses to have received two nominations in the same year. Weaver received a Best Actress nomination for her role as gorilla conservationist Dian Fossey in "" and a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role as Katharine Parker in "Working Girl" opposite Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith. She did not win either award, but was awarded a Golden Globe for each role. In fact, Weaver's Golden Globe for Best Leading Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) was the only time there has ever been a three way tie in the history of a major awards ceremony as Weaver was named joint winner along with Jodie Foster ("The Accused") and Shirley Maclaine ("Madame Souzatska"). By failing to win an Oscar in either category for 1988, she became the first person in history to lose twice in the same ceremony. Three people have been "double losers" since then - Emma Thompson in 1994, Julianne Moore in 2003 and Cate Blanchett in 2008.

Personal life

Weaver is notable for her stature, standing six feet tall.

After making "", she became a supporter of The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and is now the DFGFI's honorary chairperson. [ [ About Dian Fossey - Info about the Life of Dian Fossey - DFGFI ] ] Weaver is an environmentalist. [ [ Center for Health and the Global Environment ] ] In October 2006 she drew international attention through a news conference at the start of a United Nations General Assembly policy deliberation. She outlined the widespread threat to ocean habitats posed by deep-sea trawling, an industrial method for harvesting fish. She also narrated the American version of the BBC/Discovery Channel show "Planet Earth", which focuses on the wonders of our world. [ [ Reuters AlertNet - United Nations to consider deep sea trawling ban ] ] [ [ Planet Ark : United Nations to Consider Deep Sea Trawling Ban ] ] On April 8, 2008, she hosted the annual gala of the [ Trickle Up Program] , a non-profit organization focusing on those in extreme poverty, mainly women and the disabled, in the Rainbow Room. [ [ Trickle Up] Trickle Up Gala]

In popular culture

The Italian lesbian science-fiction comics character Legs Weaver is inspired by Weaver's role in "Alien".Fact|date=May 2008

In the "South Park" episode "Quest for Ratings" a dead horse is mistaken for Sigourney Weaver.

In 2007, Weaver reprised her role of Ellen Ripley in a commercial for DirecTV. In the commercial Weaver in the power loader vehicle from the movie "Aliens" is battling the queen xenomorph while explaining to watchers how DirecTV is a better deal than cable.

The restaurant from the teen scifi drama TV show "Roswell" features a sandwich named after Weaver.

In a 2007 episode of "Family Guy", there is a spoof of "Aliens" in which Ripley is running away from the Alien with Newt (played by Carrie Henn) in her arms.


###@@@KEY@@@###succession box
title=Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
before=Sally Kirkland
for "Anna"
for "Gorillas in the Mist"
after=Michelle Pfeiffer
for "The Fabulous Baker Boys"
succession box
title=Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
before=Olympia Dukakis
for "Moonstruck"
for "Working Girl"
after=Julia Roberts
for "Steel Magnolias"
succession box
title=BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
before=Juliette Binoche
for "The English Patient"
for "The Ice Storm"
after=Judi Dench
for "Shakespeare in Love"

elected stage credits

*"Crazy Mary" (2007, Playwright's Horizons) as Lydia
*"Mrs Farnsworth" (2004, Flea Theater) as Mrs Farnsworth
*"The Mercy Seat" (2002, Acorn Theater) as Abby
*"The Guys" (2002, Flea Theater) as Joan
*"Sex and Longing" (1996, Nederlander Theater) as Lulu
*"The Merchant of Venice" (1986, Classic Stage Company) as Portia
*"A Streetcar Named Desire" (1986) as Stella
*"The Marriage of Bette and Boo" (1985) as Soot
*"Hurlyburly" (1984) as Darlene
*"Old Times" (1983) as Anna
*"Beyond Therapy" (1981, Marymount Manhattan Theatre) as Prudence
*"As You Like It" (1981) as Rosalind
*"Lone Star" (1980) as Elizabeth
*"New Jerusalem" (1979)
*"Conjuring an Event" (1978)
*"A Flea In Her Ear" (1978)
*"Marco Polo Sings a Solo" (1977) as Freydis
*"Das Lustania Songspiel" (1976)
*"Gemini" (1976, Playwright's Horizons)


External links

*imdb name|id=0000244|name=Sigourney Weaver
*ibdb name|id=64298|name=Sigourney Weaver
* [ information]
* [ BBC News article on Sigourney Weaver]
* []
* [ Daily Telegraph interview with Sigourney Weaver]

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