Sigourney Weaver is an American actress who burst onto the Hollywood scene as Woody Allen`s movie date in Annie Hall
(1977). But it was her role as the pugnacious Ellen Ripley in Ridley Scott`s Alien (1979) that catapulted her to stardom. The next decade brought her acting skills to the fore in a host of well received movies, including The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) with Mel Gibson and the wildly popular comedy Ghostbusters (1984). She is known to have a special liking for science-fiction, as she reprised her role in three Alien sequels and in other sci-fi movies like Galaxy Quest (1999), Avatar
(2011) and Chappie
(2015). Apart from that her well known movies include Ghostbusters (1984), Ghostbusters II (1989), The Ice Storm (1997), Vantage Point
(2008), WALL_E (2008), The Cabin in the Woods
(2012) and Finding Dory (2016). She has been nominated for the Oscars thrice and has won a Golden Globe. Weaver reprises her role as Dr. Grace Augustine in the Avatar sequels. Weaver also stars in J. A. Bayona`s A Monster calls
Sigourney Weaver was born as Susan Alexandra Weaver in Manhattan, New York City, to English actress Elizabeth Inglis (nee Desiree Mary Lucy Hawkins; 1913-2007) and former NBC president Sylvester "Pat" Weaver on October 8th 1949. Comedian and actor, Doodles Weaver (1911-1983) was her uncle.
At the age of 14, she took a liking and began calling herself `Sigourney` after discovering the name in F. Scott Fitzgerald`s novel, The Great Gatsby. Weaver`s family moved around alot and by the time she was 10 years old, they had changed their household 30 times. This caused Weaver to go to various schools like Ethel Walker School, the Chapin School and also the Brearley School. She finished her schooling in Connecticut.
According to Weaver, her formative years were tough, despite a privileged upbringing. She had a serious dearth of confidence in her own beauty, something she says was brought on by the fact that she was taller than the most girls she knew and also by her mom, who thought she was just `plain` looking. Weaver was reportedly 5` 10_" (179 cm) tall by the age of 14, although she only grew another inch during her teens to her adult height of 5` 11_" (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 from which she graduated with a B.A. in 1972. It was here that she began her tryst with acting, by getting involved with Stanford`s co-ed Beta Chi Community for the Performing Arts. Freshly graduated from Stanford with a Bachelor of Arts degree in literature in 1971, Weaver moved back east to Connecticut to realize her true calling - `Acting", from Yale Drama School. She graduated from the program in 1974, just a year before another fabulous actress and new friend, Meryl Streep. Among Weaver`s most significant appearances at Yale 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. Weaver later acted in original plays by her friend and classmate Christopher Durang. Also years later, she appeared in an "Off-Broadway" production of Durang`s comedy Beyond Therapy in 1981, which was directed by the then up-and-coming director Jerry Zaks.
After earning her degree, Weaver was only able to find work in experimental plays produced well away from Broadway, as more conventional producers found her too tall to perform in mainstream works. After getting her first real break in the soap opera Somerset (1970-1976), she made her film debut with a bit part in Woody Allen`s Annie Hall in 1977.
Despite the fact that she is a classically trained dramatic actress and has played a variety of roles, Sigourney Weaver is still and will be best known for her portrayal of the resolute, steel-jawed, alien-butt-kicking space crusader Ellen Ripley from the four Alien movies.
Weaver and stage director Jim Simpson have been married since 1984. They have a daughter, Charlotte, who was born on April 13, 1990. Weaver lives with her family in New York City. When not appearing in films, she continues to be active on television and the Broadway scene.
Weaver did minor television roles before entering movies. Her television debut was in the 1970 soap opera, Somerset. It was a spin-off of the 1964 NBC show, Another World. Weaver joined the show in 1976. She followed that up with a role in the television drama The Best of Families (1977). In 1986 she hosted the Saturday Night Live. By then she was quite well known in the movie industry as the alien fighting Ellen Ripley from Alien movies. She played Elaine Barrish in the critically acclaimed but short-lived TV drama Political Animals (2012). Weaver will also be seen in the upcoming Marvel/Netflix miniseries, The Defenders (2017). She plays Alexandra and shares screen space with Charlie Cox and Krysten Ritter. The show is a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Audiences first caught a glimpse of the lanky deep voiced Weaver for the first time in a mainstream Hollywood movie with Woody Allen, in the now cult classic Annie Hall (1977). Over the years, she has done diverse set of roles spanning across genres, ranging from action, drama, sci-fi, horror and comedy. Weaver`s milestone movies have been the Alien franchise [Alien (1979) with Ridley Scott, Aliens (1986) with James Cameron, Alien 3 (1992) with David Fincher, Alien: Resurrection (1997) with Jean-Pierre Jeunet], Ivan Reitman`s Ghostbusters series (Ghostbusters I and Ghostbusters II), Michael Apted`s Gorillas in the Mist (1988), Peter Weir`s The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), Mike Nichols` Working Girl (1988), Roman Polanski
`s Death and the Maiden (1995) and James Cameron`s Avatar (2009) among others.
Weaver is set to reprise Ellen Ripley in the new Alien sequel Alien: Covenant
to be helmed by Neil Blomkamp of District 9 (2009) fame. She`s also a part of J.A. Bayona`s A Monster Calls (2017), where she shares screen-space with Felicity Jones and Toby Kebbell. Her other notable works include My Salinger Year (2020), The Good House (2021), Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021), Call Jane (2022), Master Gardener (2022), Avatar: The Way of Water (2022), Avatar 3 (2024) and Avatar 4 (2026).
Weaver started her stage career with Stephen Sondheim`s `Frogs`. She continues to be active in theatre with Broadway. Her prominent plays on Broadway include, The Constant Wife (1975), Hurlyburly (1984), Sex and Longing (1996) and Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike (2013).
Weaver has also been involved with voice over work in television and film. It started with a guest role in the Futurama (1999-2013) episode "Love and Rocket" in February 2002, playing the female Planet Express Ship. She was the narrator for the American version of the Emmy Award-winning documentary series Planet Earth (2006). Also in 2006, she provided her voice for a short film A Matter of Degrees, that plays daily at The Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks (The Wild Center) in Tupper Lake, New York.
The ship`s computer in the Pixar and Disney release, WALL_E (2008) featured the voice of Weaver. She also voiced a narrating role in another animation film, 2008`s The Tale of Despereaux, based on Kate DiCamillo`s 2003 children`s book of the same name.