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Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver

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Also Known As: Susan Alexandra Weaver Died:
Born: October 8, 1949 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, playwright, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One of Hollywood's most versatile and respected actresses, Sigourney Weaver, like many actors of her generation, had her career start on soap operas. After only a few years paying her dues, Weaver achieved overnight stardom as the tenacious heroine, Ellen Ripley, of Ridley Scott's sci-fi thriller "Alien" (1979). The sole survivor of the original movie, Weaver returned to play Ripley for three more "Alien" sequels, setting the standard for big-screen heroines for generations to come. A statuesque beauty who became a kind of thinking man's sex symbol, Weaver lit up the screen throughout the 1980s and 1990s in a series of hit films which, genre-wise, ran the gamut; from comedy, with her hilarious turns in "Ghostbusters" (1984) and "Galaxy Quest" (1999), to critically lauded dramas and thrillers such as "The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), "Gorillas in the Mist" (1988), "Copycat" (1995) and "The Ice Storm" (1997). She even tapped into indie features like "A Map of the World" (1999), "Tadpole" (2002) and "Holes" (2003). Whether playing an autistic woman in "Snow Cake" (2007), a news reporter in "Vantage Point" (2009), or a compassionate scientist in the blockbuster "Avatar" (2008), the classically...

One of Hollywood's most versatile and respected actresses, Sigourney Weaver, like many actors of her generation, had her career start on soap operas. After only a few years paying her dues, Weaver achieved overnight stardom as the tenacious heroine, Ellen Ripley, of Ridley Scott's sci-fi thriller "Alien" (1979). The sole survivor of the original movie, Weaver returned to play Ripley for three more "Alien" sequels, setting the standard for big-screen heroines for generations to come. A statuesque beauty who became a kind of thinking man's sex symbol, Weaver lit up the screen throughout the 1980s and 1990s in a series of hit films which, genre-wise, ran the gamut; from comedy, with her hilarious turns in "Ghostbusters" (1984) and "Galaxy Quest" (1999), to critically lauded dramas and thrillers such as "The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), "Gorillas in the Mist" (1988), "Copycat" (1995) and "The Ice Storm" (1997). She even tapped into indie features like "A Map of the World" (1999), "Tadpole" (2002) and "Holes" (2003). Whether playing an autistic woman in "Snow Cake" (2007), a news reporter in "Vantage Point" (2009), or a compassionate scientist in the blockbuster "Avatar" (2008), the classically trained Weaver proved that she was that rare actress capable of playing just about any role she chose with equal skill.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Avatar 4 (2019)
2.
 Avatar 3 (2018)
3.
 Avatar 2 (2017)
4.
 Monster Calls, A (2016)
7.
 Body Art (2014)
8.
 Paul (2011)
9.
 Cedar Rapids (2011)
10.
 Abduction (2011)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1963:
Began using the name Sigourney (after a character mentioned in "The Great Gatsby")
1965:
Made early stage appearances in Southbury, CT
1971:
After attending Stanford, moved to Israel and lived on a kibbutz
:
Returned to the U.S. and enrolled at Yale
1974:
Appeared with Meryl Streep in the chorus of the Stephen Sondheim adaptation of "The Frogs" performed at Yale
1974:
Broadway debut (as understudy) in "The Constant Wife"
:
Off-Broadway debut in Christopher Durang's "The Nature and Purpose of the Universe"
1976:
With Durang, co-wrote and co-starred in "Das Lusitania Songspiel"; produced off-off-Broadway
1976:
TV debut as a regular on the NBC soap "Somerset"; appeared alongside Ted Danson and JoBeth Williams
1976:
Film acting debut in "Madman" (Israel)
1977:
Had bit part as Woody Allen's movie date in "Annie Hall"
1979:
Breakthrough film role as franchise protagonist Ellen Ripley in Ridley Scott's sci fi epic "Alien"
1982:
Co-starred opposite Mel Gibson in Peter Weir's "The Year of Living Dangerously"
1984:
Had female lead of Dana Barrett in the blockbuster comedy "Ghostbusters"
1984:
Co-starred in the Broadway production of "Hurlyburly," directed by Mike Nichols; received a Tony nomination
1986:
Reprised her role as Ripley in James Cameron's "Aliens"; earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress
1988:
Portrayed a ruthless business woman in "Working Girl"; received one of two Oscar nominations that year for Best Supporting Actress; became the first actor nominated in two categories not to win either
1988:
Portrayed gorilla conservationist Dian Fossey in "Gorillas in the Mist"; received one of two Oscar nominations that year for Best Actress; became the first actor nominated in two categories not to win either
1989:
Reprised role of Dana Barrett in "Ghostbusters II"
1992:
Again reprised Ripley for David Fincher's "Alien 3"; debuted as a producer
1993:
First onscreen teaming with Kevin Kline in "Dave"
:
Formed Goat Cay Productions
1995:
Appeared as an agoraphobic psychologist in "Copycat" opposite Holly Hunter
1996:
Returned to Broadway as the star of Christopher Durang's "Sex and Longing"
1997:
Re-teamed with Kline in Ang Lee's mood piece "The Ice Storm"
1997:
TV-movie debut as the wicked stepmother in "Snow White: A Tale of Terror" (original intended for theatrical release but aired on Showtime); earned an Emmy nomination
1997:
Played a clone of Ripley in "Alien Resurrection"
1999:
Teamed with Julianne Moore for the screen version of the novel "A Map of the World"
1999:
Received star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (December 16)
2001:
Had featured role in "Company Man"
2001:
With Jennifer Love Hewitt, played a mother-daughter con team in "Heartbreakers"
2002:
Returned to the NYC stage in "The Guys"; performed off-off-Broadway at the Flea, a company run by her husband
2002:
Played Eve, a woman whose 16 year old stepson falls in love with her in "Tadpole"
2003:
Starred in the play-turned-motion picture drama "The Guys"
2003:
Was the warden in the teen feature "Holes"
2004:
Starred in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village" with William Hurt and Joaquin Phoenix
2004:
Starred with Jeff Daniels in the family drama "Imaginary Heroes"
2006:
Played a Manhattan socialite in the Truman Capote biopic "Infamous"
2007:
Cast in the network satire "The TV Set," directed by Jake Kasdan and starring David Duchovny
2007:
Portrayed an autistic woman opposite Alan Rickman in "Snow Cake"
2008:
Cast as a news producer in the ensemble thriller "Vantage Point"
2008:
Cast opposite Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in the comedy "Baby Mama"
2009:
Played a devout Christian who came to terms with her son's homosexuality after his suicide in the Lifetime movie "Prayers for Bobby"; earned Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actress in a TV Movie
2009:
Re-teamed with James Cameron for the 3-D science fiction epic film "Avatar"
2010:
Co-starred in the romantic comedy "You Again" with Jamie Lee Curtis and Betty White
2011:
Appeared in the John Singleton directed action thriller "Abduction"
2012:
Cast in the crime drama "Rampart" opposite Woody Harrelson
2012:
Made a cameo as The Director in the horror thriller "The Cabin in the Woods"
2012:
Starred in the USA Network miniseries "Political Animals" as a former First Lady-turned-Secretary of State
2012:
Cast alongside Robert De Niro and Cillian Murphy in thriller "Red Lights"
2012:
Co-starred with Bruce Willis and Henry Cavill in action thriller "The Cold Light of Day"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Ethel Walker School: Simsbury , Connecticut -
Stanford University: Palo Alto , California - 1971
Yale University: New Haven , Connecticut - 1974

Notes

Weaver's father, who is something of a Roman history buff, reportedly wanted to name her Flavia, but her mother insisted on Susan.

In 1998, Weaver was named Woman of the Year by the Harvard Hasty Pudding Club.

"Being tall has its advantages. For me, it's a litmus test: if I enter a room and an actor stands up and then immediately gets self-conscious and sits back down, I hear myself saying, nope, this job isn't for me."---Sigourney Weaver quoted in Us, March 1995.

"I think when I see an actress performing in a film and it seems to be directed specifically at men then that strikes me as less inspiring than women who are acting for themselves or even for other women. That's why I admire great Europeans like Garbo and Dietrich who seem to combine their intelligence with their bodily allure so well, and not feel a problem, seem almost immune to the effect they're having."---Sigourney Weaver, quoted in "The Great Movie Stars". Vol. 3, by David Shipman.

"I prefer not have any image, or any one image. It's because I come from the theater originally. My dream, when I was a young actor, was to be in a repertory company, where you could play the maid in one piece and then play the leading lady in another, and go from comedy to drama and really hop all over the place. And I actually realized a long time ago that you can't expect anything to happen; you can't expect anyone else to know what you want, where you want to go next. So I guess what I'm always doing is trying to create this mini-rep company in my head."---Weaver to The New York Times, December 7, 1997.

"Sigourney is the one person who's shown us that you can do it all."---co-star Winona Ryder quoted by The New York Times, December 7, 1997.

"Comedy is the one thing I'm really good at. I don't know why I've had such a serious career. I've had the most serious career."---Sigourney Weaver to USA Today, November 26, 1997.

"It was never important to me to display my sexuality. I didn't feel I had to prove I was a babe to anyone. I always took parts based on the story and director, and very rarely on what the character was. [The roles] I get offered [are] isolated women... It's easier for them to see me as a woman on my own. I can have a token love story, but in the end, I'm gonna be this strong woman. Maybe it's harder for them to see me in a couples situation."---Weaver quoted in Daily News, November 23, 1997.

"Here's my theory, producers are short. I'm not the average producer's sexual fantasy. I am tall. When I come into a room wearing platforms, they go, 'She's not my type of woman,' because what they're looking for is the petite blonde who looks up to them. With me, directors either sit up in the middle of the night and go, Sigourney Weaver! or they don't... "---Weaver quoted to Stephen Rebello of Movieline, September 1997.

"I've just always been drawn to Off-Broadway. Maybe because that's where I worked most of the time when I first came to the city and worked with so many beginning playwrights. I have always been so grateful to have had three or four years Off-Broadway before I had to go and do anything that was more conventional because I feel like Off- and Off-Off-Broadway are where the really interesting stuff starts to bubble up. Also, I feel like the Off-Broadway audiences are very smart, very engaged, very sophisticated."---Weaver quoted to PLAYBILL, March 31, 2004.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
James McClure. Actor, playwright. Together in the late 1970s and early 80s (dates approximate).
husband:
Jim Simpson. Director. Met at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 1983; began dating in October 1983; married on October 1, 1984.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Sylvester Weaver. Former president of NBC. Began first cable TV station in 1963; died on March 15, 2002 at age 93.
mother:
Elizabeth Inglis. Actor.
uncle:
Doodles Weaver. Actor, comic, musician. Born on May 11, 1912; died on January 17, 1983 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
brother:
Trajan Weaver. Businessman. Born c. 1945.
daughter:
Charlotte Simpson. Born in 1990.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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