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Sigourney Alexandra Weaver (born October 8, 1949) is an Americanmarker actress. She is best known for her roles as Lieutenant Ellen Ripley in the Alien film series and as Dana Barrett in the Ghostbusters movies. Weaver is also a three-time Academy Award nominee for her performances in Aliens, Gorillas in the Mist and Working Girl. She is one of the very few actresses who has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in a science fiction movie (Aliens).

Early life

Weaver was born Susan Alexandra Weaver in New York Citymarker, the daughter of Elizabeth Inglis (née Desiree Mary Lucy Hawkins) (d. 2007), an English former actress, and the NBC television executive Sylvester "Pat" Laflin Weaver (d. 2002), an American of Scottish, Ulster Irish and early New England ancestry. Her uncle, Doodles Weaver, was a comedian and actor. She began using the name "Sigourney Weaver" in 1963, aged fourteen, after a minor character (Sigourney Howard) in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby.

Weaver attended the Ethel Walker School, a prep school in Simsbury, Connecticutmarker where she was made fun of all the time for being a "nerd" and for her height. She also attended The Chapin School She was reportedly 5'10" by age 13, but only grew another inch to her adult height of 5'11". She graduated from Stanford Universitymarker (BA, English, 1972). She earned an MFA (1974) at Yale School of Drama, where she appeared in the chorus of a production of Stephen Sondheim's The Frogs and as one of a mob of Roman soldiers in another production 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 directed by then up-and-coming director Jerry Zaks. She is fluent in French and in German.

Film career

Although Weaver has played a number of critically acclaimed roles in movies such as 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. She first appeared as Ripley in Ridley Scott's 1979 film Alien. She reprised the role in three sequels, Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien Resurrection. She was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award for portraying Ripley in Aliens. 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 out to Geena Davis and Jodie Foster respectively, although she received Golden Globes for both roles.

Weaver with her father Pat Weaver in 1989
Weaver also appeared in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II as Dana Barrett. She played the role of agoraphobic criminal psychologist Helen Hudson in the 1995 movie Copycat, and went on to become one of the most highly paid actresses of the 1990s. In addition to her trademark role as Ripley, Weaver has recently concentrated on smaller roles such as 1999's A Map of the World and 2006's Snow Cake. She has also appeared in comedic roles, such as 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 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 Rwandamarker for the BBC special Gorillas Revisited.

Weaver was approached to star in The Accused but felt the nature of the story was too violent. She was considered for the role of Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct, but Sharon Stone was cast instead. 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 Weaver for the role of Emma Frost in X-Men: The Last Stand, but Singer (along with screenwriter Dan Harris, who had directed Weaver in Imaginary Heroes) left the project, and the idea to include Frost was dropped. In 2009, Weaver starred as Mary Griffith in her first made-for-TV movie, Prayers for Bobby, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award. She also guest starred in the TV show Eli Stone in the fall of 2008.

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. Also in 2006, Weaver narrated "A Matter of Degrees". A short film that plays daily at The Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks (The Wild Center) in Tupper Lake, New York. In 2008, Weaver was featured as the voice of the ship's computer in the Pixar and Disney release, WALL•E. She also voiced a narrating role in another computer-animated film, 2008's The Tale of Despereaux, based on the novel by Kate DiCamillo. Weaver has also expressed interest in starring in a fifth Alien film. Pre-production details for the film are expected to start soon. Ivan Reitman has confirmed that Weaver will reprise her role as Dana Barrett in the planned 3rd Ghostbusters movie due for release in 2012.


In addition to her Academy Award nomination for Aliens, Weaver has received two other nominations in her career, both in 1988. This makes Weaver one of only eleven actors and actresses to have received two Academy Award nominations in the same year. Weaver received a Best Actress nomination for her role as gorilla conservationist Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist and a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role as Katharine Parker in Working Girl, opposite Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith. She won neither award but was awarded a Golden Globe for each role.

Personal life

Weaver has been married to filmmaker Jim Simpson since October 1, 1984. They have one daughter Charlotte Simpson, who was born April 13, 1990.

After making Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey, she became a supporter of The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and is now the DFGFI's honorary chairperson. Weaver is an environmentalist. 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.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 Roommarker.

Weaver has donated $5,800 to various Democratic politicians, including Senators Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer. She supported President Barack Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign.


Year Film Role Notes
1977 Annie Hall Alvy's Date Outside Theater
1978 Madman Not Specified
1979 Alien Ellen Ripley Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer
Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Actress
1981 Eyewitness Tony Sokolow Crew Members & TV Equipment From WNYW(Then known as WNEW)Appeared in The Film. Weaver Actually Also Co-hosted The News on WNYW For The Film
1982 The Year of Living Dangerously Jilly Bryant
1983 Deal of the Century Catherine DeVoto
1984 Ghostbusters Dana Barrett
Terror in the Aisles archival footage
1985 Une Femme ou Deux Jessica Fitzgerald
1986 Half Moon Street Dr. Lauren Slaughter
Aliens Ellen Ripley Saturn Award for Best Actress
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama

1988 Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey Dian Fossey Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actress
Working Girl Katharine Parker Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role

1989 Ghostbusters II Dana Barrett
1992 Alien 3 Ellen Ripley Co-Producer
Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Actress
1492: Conquest of Paradise Queen Isabella
1993 Dave Ellen Mitchell
1994 Death and the Maiden Paulina Escobar
1995 Copycat Helen Hudson
Jeffrey Debra Moorhouse
1997 The Ice Storm Janey Carver BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture

Snow White: A Tale of Terror Lady Claudia Hoffman Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated - SAG Award for Outstanding Female Actor - Miniseries or Television Film
Alien Resurrection Ellen Ripley Clone Co-Producer
Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Actress
1999 A Map of the World Alice Goodwin Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
Galaxy Quest Gwen DeMarco/Lieutenant Tawny Madison Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Actress
2000 Company Man Daisy Quimp
2001 Heartbreakers Max Conners/Angela Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
2002 Tadpole Eve Grubman
The Guys Joan Directed by husband Jim Simpson, starring daughter Charlotte Simpson
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
2003 Holes Warden Walker
2004 Imaginary Heroes Sandy Travis Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
The Village Alice Hunt
2006 Snow Cake Linda Freeman Nominated - Genie Award for Best Actress
The TV Set Lenny
Infamous Babe Paley
2007 Happily N'Ever After Frieda voice only
The Girl in the Park Julia Sandburg
2008 Vantage Point Rex Brooks
Be Kind Rewind Ms. Lawson
Baby Mama Chaffee Bicknell
WALL•E Computer voice only
The Tale of Despereaux The Narrator voice only
2009 Prayers for Bobby Mary Griffith Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Avatar Dr. Grace Augustine in post-production
ACID TEST The Narrator voice and image
Crazy on the Outside Vicky in post-production
2010 Paul Tara filming
You Again Aunt Ramona filming

Selected 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)


  2. He is related to Matthew Laflin who was an American Manufacturer of Gunpowder, Businessman, Philanthropist, and a early pioneer of Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.
  4. Sigourney Weaver - Biography
  5. Sigourney Weaver
  6. Sigourney Weaver The Frogs
  7. About Dian Fossey - Info about the Life of Dian Fossey - DFGFI
  8. Center for Health and the Global Environment
  9. Reuters AlertNet - United Nations to consider deep sea trawling ban
  10. Planet Ark : United Nations to Consider Deep Sea Trawling Ban
  11. Trickle Up Trickle Up Gala
16. ACID TEST IMDB Movie Page

17. ACID TEST Official Site

External links

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