Sigourney Weaver


08 Oct 1949


Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA


Susan Alexandra Weaver


Sigourney Weaver was born Susan Alexandra Weaver in Leroy Hospital in New York City. Her father, TV producer Sylvester L. Weaver Jr., originally wanted to name her Flavia, because of his passion for Roman history (he had already named her elder brother Trajan). Her mother, Elizabeth Inglis (née Desiree Mary Lucy Hawkins), was an English actress who had sacrificed her career for a family. Sigourney grew up in a virtual bubble of guiltless bliss, being taken care of by nannies and maids. By 1959, the Weavers had resided in 30 different households. In 1961, Sigourney began attending the Brearley Girls Academy, but her mother moved her to another New York private school, Chapin. Sigourney was quite a bit taller than most of her other classmates (at the age of 13, she was already 5' 10"), resulting in her constantly being laughed at and picked on; in order to gain their acceptance, she took on the role of class clown.

In 1962, her family moved to San Francisco briefly, an unpleasant experience for her. Later, they moved back east to Connecticut, where she became a student at the Ethel Walker School, facing the same problems as before. In 1963, she changed her name to "Sigourney", after the character "Sigourney Howard" in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" (her own birth name, Susan, was in honor of her mother's best friend, explorer Susan Pretzlik). Sigourney had already starred in a school drama production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and, in 1965, she worked during the summer with a stock troupe, performing in "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "You Can't Take It With You" (she didn't star in the latter because she was taller than the lead actor!). After graduating from school in 1967, she spent some months in a kibbutz in Israel. At that time, she became engaged to reporter Aaron Latham, but they soon broke up.

In 1969, Sigourney enrolled in Stanford University, majoring in English Literature. She also participated in school plays, especially Japanese Noh plays. By that time she was living in a tree house, alongside a male friend, dressed in elf-like clothes! After completing her studies in 1971, she applied for the Yale School of Drama in New Haven. Despite appearing at the audition reading a Bertolt Brecht speech and wearing a rope-like belt, she was accepted by the school but her professors rejected her, because of her height, and kept typecasting her as prostitutes and old women (whereas classmate Meryl Streep was treated almost reverently). However, in 1973, while making her theatrical debut with "Watergate Classics", she met up with a team of playwrights and actors and began hanging around with them, resulting in long-term friendships with Christopher Durang, Kate McGregor-Stewart and Albert Innaurato.

In 1974, she starred in such plays as Aristophanes' "Frogs" and Durang's "The Nature and Purpose of the Universe" and "Daryl and Carol and Kenny and Jenny", as "Jenny". After finishing her studies that year, she began seriously pursuing a stage career, but her height kept being a hindrance. However, she continued working on stage with Durang (in "Titanic" [1975]) and Innaurato (in "Gemini" [1976]). Other 1970s stage works included "Marco Polo Sing a Song", "The Animal Kingdom", "A Flea in Her Ear", "The Constant Husband", "Conjuring an Event" and others. However, the one that really got her noticed was "Das Lusitania Songspiel", a play she co-wrote with Durang and in which she starred for two seasons, from 1979 to 1981. She was also up for a Drama Desk Award for it. During the mid-70s, she appeared in several TV spots and even starred as "Avis Ryan" in the soap opera Somerset (1970).

In 1977, she was cast in the role Shelley Duvall finally played in Annie Hall (1977), after rejecting the part due to prior stage commitments. In the end, however, Woody Allen offered her a part in the film that, while short (she was on-screen for six seconds), made many people sit up and take notice. She later appeared in Madman (1978) and, of course, Alien (1979). The role of the tough, uncompromising "Ripley" made Sigourney an "overnight" star and brought her a British Award Nomination. She next appeared in Eyewitness (1981) and The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), the latter being a great success in Australia that won an Oscar and brought Sigourney and co-star Mel Gibson to Cannes in 1983. The same year she delivered an honorary Emmy award to her father, a few months before her uncle, actor Doodles Weaver, committed suicide. That year also brought her a romance with Jim Simpson, her first since having broken up two years previously with James M. McClure. She and Simpson were married on 1 October 1984. Sigourney had, meanwhile, played in the poorly received Deal of the Century (1983) and the mega-hit Ghostbusters (1984). She was also nominated for a Tony Award for her tour-de-force performance in the play "Hurly Burly". Then followed One Woman or Two (1985), Half Moon Street (1986) and Aliens (1986). The latter was a huge success, and Sigourney was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Oscar.

She then entered her most productive career period and snatched Academy Award nominations, in both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories, for her intense portrayal of Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist (1988) and her delicious performance as a double-crossing, power-hungry corporate executive in Working Girl (1988). She ended up losing in both, but made up for it to a degree by winning both Golden Globes. After appearing in a documentary about fashion photographer Helmut Newton, Helmut Newton: Frames from the Edge (1989), and reprising her role in the sequel Ghostbusters II (1989), she discovered she was pregnant and retired from public life for a while. She gave birth to her daughter, Charlotte Simpson, on 13 April 1990, and returned to the movies as a (now skinhead) Ripley in Alien 3 (1992) and a gorgeous "Queen Isabella of Spain" in 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), her second film with director Ridley Scott. She starred in the political comedy Dave (1993) alongside Kevin Kline, and then a Roman Polanski thriller, Death and the Maiden (1994).

In 1995, she was seen in Jeffrey (1995) and Copycat (1995). The next year, she "trod the boards" in "Sex and Longing", yet another Durang play. She hadn't performed in the theater in many years before that play, her last stage performances occurring in the 1980s in "As You Like It" (1981), "Beyond Therapy" (1981), "The Marriage of 'Bette and Boo'" (1985) and "The Merchant of Venice" (1986). In 1997, she was the protagonist in Grimm's Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1997), The Ice Storm (1997) and Alien: Resurrection (1997). Her performance in The Ice Storm (1997) got her a BAFTA prize and another Golden Globe nod. She also gave excellent performances in A Map of the World (1999) and the sci-fi spoof Galaxy Quest (1999). Her next comedy, Company Man (2000), wasn't quite so warmly welcomed critically and financially, however. She next played a sexy con artist in Heartbreakers (2001) and had a voice role in Big Bad Love (2001). Her father died at the age of 93. Sigourney herself has recently starred in Tadpole (2000) and is planning a cinematic version of The Guys (2002), the enthralling September 11th one-act drama she played on stage on late 2001. At age 60, she played a crucial role in Avatar (2009), which became the top box-office hit of all time. The film reunited her with her Aliens (1986) director James Cameron. Her beauty, talent, and hard-work keeps the ageless actress going, and she has continued to win respect from her fans and directors.

Actor ( 153 credits )

Avatar 4 (2022)
Avatar 3 (2020)
Avatar 2 (2018) Grace Augustine
A Monster Calls (2016) Grandma
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years (2016) Herself
Ghostbusters (2016)
Finding Dory (2016) Sigourney Weaver (voice)
(Re) Assignment (2016)
Chappie (2015)
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) Tuya
All You Need Is Love (2014) Narrator (voice)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (2014)  Herself (1 episode, 2015)
Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero (2014)  Lady Starblaster (1 episode, 2015)
Theater Close-Up (2014)  Herself - Host (unknown episodes)
The Broadway.Com Show (2013)  Herself (2 episodes, 2013)
Vamps (2012) Cisserus
The Cold Light of Day (2012) Jean Carrack
The Cabin in the Woods (2012) The Director
Red Lights (2012) Margaret Matheson
Rampart (2011) Joan Confrey
Abduction (2011) Dr. Bennett
JacK Waltzer: On the Craft of Acting (2011) Herself - Comedian
Paul (2011) The Big Guy
Cedar Rapids (2011) Macy Vanderhei
You Again (2010) Ramona
Crazy on the Outside (2010) Viki
The Talk (2010)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2013)
Special Collector's Edition (2010)  Queen Isabella I. (1 episode, 2012)
Ebert Presents: At the Movies (2010)  Herself - Short Film Jury President (1 episode, 2011)
Janela Indiscreta (2010)  Herself (1 episode, 2015)
The Flea Theater: A Portrait (2010) Herself
Avatar (2009) Grace
Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification (2009) Narrator
Annul Victory (2009) Herself
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2009)  Herself - Guest (2 episodes, 2010-2012)
The Jay Leno Show (2009)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2009)
Live from Studio Five (2009)  Herself (2 episodes, 2009)
ES.TV HD (2009)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2011)
Divendres (2009)  Herself (1 episode, 2011)
The Tale of Despereaux (2008) Narrator (voice)
Fragile Planet (2008) Narrator
WALL·E (2008) Ship's Computer (voice)
Baby Mama (2008) Chaffee Bicknell
Vantage Point (2008) Rex Brooks
Be Kind Rewind (2008) Ms. Lawson
Eli Stone (2008)  Therapist (1 episode, 2008)
Alex Zane's GuestList (2008)  Herself (1 episode, 2011)
The Girl in the Park (2007) Julia
Chelsea Lately (2007)  Elaine Barrish on 'Political Animals' (1 episode, 2012
The Graham Norton Show (2007)  Herself - Guest (2 episodes, 2011)
Xposé (2007)  Herself (1 episode, 2009)
The Dame Edna Treatment (2007)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2007)
Cinemassacre's Monster Madness (2007)  Ellen Ripley / ... (archive footage) (5 episodes, 2007
Up Close with Carrie Keagan (2007)  Herself - Guest (3 episodes, 2007-2011)
Vinte na Galega (2007)  Herself (archive footage) (1 episode, 2007)
Happily N'Ever After (2006) Frieda (voice)
Infamous (2006) Babe Paley
Snow Cake (2006) Linda
The TV Set (2006) Lenny
Planet Earth (2006)  Narrator - US Version (11 episodes, 2006)
The ONE Show (2006)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2011)
Close Up (2006)  Actress / ... (1 episode, 2011)
Ce soir (ou jamais!) (2006)  Herself (1 episode, 2007)
Jour de fête (2006)  Herself (segment 'La rencontre' (1 episode, 2007)
The Colbert Report (2005)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2013)
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (2005)  Herself - Guest (5 episodes, 2007-2011)
Made in Hollywood (2005)  Herself (1 episode, 2010)
20 to 1 (2005)  Dr. Grace Augustine / ... (3 episodes, 2006-2010)
Cinema mil (2005)  Herself (1 episode, 2005)
Imaginary Heroes (2004) Sandy Travis
The Village (2004) Alice Hunt
Le grand journal de Canal+ (2004)  Herself (1 episode, 2010)
Holes (2003) The Warden
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2003)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2010)
The Guys (2002) Joan
Sundance 20 (2002) Herself
Film Genre (2002)  Herself (1 episode, 2002)
Heartbreakers (2001) Angela Nardino / Max Conners / Ulga Yevanova
Big Bad Love (2001) Betti DeLoreo (voice)
Richard & Judy (2001)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2006)
When I Was a Girl (2001)  Herself (1 episode, 2003)
Empires: The Roman Empire in the First Century (2001)  Narrator (1 episode, 2001)
Company Man (2000) Daisy Quimp
Tadpole (2000) Eve Grubman
Click Online (2000)  Herself (1 episode, 2014)
Galaxy Quest (1999) Gwen DeMarco
A Map of the World (1999) Alice Goodwin
Get Bruce (1999) Herself (uncredited)
Futurama (1999)  Planet Express Ship (1 episode, 2002)
Comme au cinéma (1998)  Herself (1 episode, 2000)
Vivement dimanche (1998)  Herself (archive footage) (1 episode, 2012)
Alien: Resurrection (1997) Ellen Ripley
Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1997) Claudia Hoffman
The Ice Storm (1997) Janey Carver
The View (1997)  Herself - Guest (4 episodes, 2004-2010)
Access Hollywood (1996)  Herself (1 episode, 2009)
The Rosie O'Donnell Show (1996)  Herself - Guest (3 episodes, 1997-2001)
Mundo VIP (1996)  Herself (1 episode, 1998)
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (1996)  Herself - Guest (3 episodes, 2009-2012)
This Week (1996)  Herself (1 episode, 2006)
E! True Hollywood Story (1996)  Herself (2 episodes, 2002-2004)
Copycat (1995) Helen Hudson
Jeffrey (1995) Debra Moorhouse
Very Important Pennis (1995)  Herself (1 episode, 1996)
Today Tonight (1995)  Ripley (uncredited) (1 episode, 2007)
Lo + plus (1995)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 1996)
Death and the Maiden (1994) Paulina Escobar
Inside the Actors Studio (1994)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2000)
Dave (1993) Ellen Mitchell
Late Show with David Letterman (1993)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 2010)
Corazón, corazón (1993)  Herself (1 episode, 1996)
CNN Presents (1993)  Narrator (1 episode, 2004)
Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993)  Herself / ... (4 episodes, 1997-2008)
1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992) Queen Isabel
Alien 3 (1992) Ellen Ripley
HBO First Look (1992)  Herself (1 episode, 1997)
Filmreview (1992)  Herself (1 episode, 1992)
Días de cine (1991)  Herself (3 episodes, 1996-2011)
Charlie Rose (1991)  Herself - Guest (3 episodes, 1995-2007)
The Howard Stern Show (1990)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 1992)
Helmut Newton: Frames from the Edge (1989) Herself
Ghostbusters II (1989) Dana Barrett
The Arsenio Hall Show (1989)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 1989)
Troldspejlet (1989)  Grace / ... (1 episode, 2009)
Working Girl (1988) Katharine Parker
Gorillas in the Mist (1988) Dian Fossey
Live with Kelly and Michael (1988)  Herself - Guest (5 episodes, 2004-2008)
U.S.A. Today: The Television Series (1988)  Herself (1 episode, 1988)
Half Moon Street (1986) Lauren Slaughter
Aliens (1986) Ellen Ripley
The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 1989)
One Woman or Two (1985) Jessica Fitzgerald
Ghostbusters (1984) Dana Barrett
Cinema 3 (1984)  Herself (5 episodes, 1996-2011)
Aspel & Company (1984)  Herself (1 episode, 1989)
Deal of the Century (1983) Catherine DeVoto
The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) Jill Bryant
Waratte iitomo! (1982)  Herself (1 episode)
Eyewitness (1981) Tony Sokolow
Entertainment Tonight (1981)  Herself (7 episodes, 2008-2014)
Alien (1979) Ripley
Madman (1978)
Annie Hall (1977) Alvy's Date Outside Theatre
La nuit des Césars (1976)  Herself (2 episodes, 2000-2010)
Saturday Night Live (1975)  Herself - Host / ... (3 episodes, 1986-2010)
Nova (1974)  Narrator (1 episode, 2003)
Somerset (1970)  Avis Ryan (1976) (unknown episodes)
Omnibus (1967)  Herself (1 episode, 1992)
National Geographic Specials (1965)  Herself - Narrator (1 episode, 2003)
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962)  Herself - Guest (1 episode, 1988)
Today (1952)  Herself - Guest (2 episodes, 1989-2012)
The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes (0) Inquisitor
Untitled Neill Blomkamp/Alien Project (0) Ellen Ripley

Producer ( 2 credits )

Alien: Resurrection (1997) co-producer
Alien 3 (1992) co-producer

Sigourney Weaver Related News

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Sigourney Weaver promises Neill Blomkamp's Alien sequel will satisfy the primal needs of the aliens as it brings the franchise to a conclusion.

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Director James Cameron is joined by stars Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen and Michael Biehn for an Aliens Q&A at Comic-Con.

The Alien Franchise Made This One Big Mistake Says James Cameron

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