Sigourney Weaver, born on October 8, 1949, is an American actress, voice-over artist, and environmentalist. She is considered to be an influential figure in the sci-fi genre and popular culture. Standing tall at almost six feet, Weaver has acted in many of the popular franchises in Hollywood and has received several accolades for her contribution to the industry. Through her talent and dedication, she has carved a niche for herself and earned the respect of the film community. Weaver is set to star in the much-awaited sequel to the superhit movie, “Avatar.”
Sigourney Weaver was born Susan Alexandra Weaver on October 8, 1949, in New York City to Sylvester Weaver Jr., a television executive, and Elizabeth Inglis, an actress. When she was 14, Susan adopted the name “Sigourney” from a character in “The Great Gatsby.” While attending the Ethel Walker School in Connecticut, Weaver developed an interest in the performing arts and participated in the school theatre. She became even more involved in theater at Stanford University, where she majored in English. Following her graduation in 1972, she enrolled in Yale University’s School of Drama. However, she did not receive encouragement from mentors and teachers. Nevertheless, with the assistance of friends and the Yale Cabaret Group, she graduated with a master’s degree in Fine Arts in 1974.
Before getting the acting assignment that led her to fame and success, she had appeared only in commercials and minor roles. Her role as ‘Ellen Ripley’ in Ridley Scott’s science fiction movie, “Alien” (1979), was her turning point and made her a household name. With a long and stellar career, Weaver has appeared in more than 60 movies. Between 1986 and 1997, she appeared in three more sequels of the movie “Aliens” and also played a significant role in “Ghostbusters” and “Avatar” series. She has also done roles on television; hosted S.N.L. twice; did voice-overs for many animations; worked in several documentaries; and lent her voice to audiobooks, soundtracks, and video games. Weaver has been nominated for three Academy Awards, seven Golden Globes, three British Academy Film Awards, four Primetime Emmy Awards, one Tony Award, and one Drama Desk Award.
Weaver married stage director Jim Simpson in 1984, and they have a daughter. She supports several causes and is the honorary Chairwoman of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. In October 2006, she drew international attention to the damage done by deep-sea trawling to ocean habitats.
Weaver appears in a minor role in “Annie Hall,” a comedy by Woody Allen.
She is cast as Elen Ripley in the movie “Alien” and this role makes her a well-known face in the industry.
Weaver becomes the first actor to receive two Golden Globes in the same year; she wins in the categories of Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.
Her performance in the critically acclaimed drama, “The Ice Storm,” wins her a B.A.F.T.A. Award and a Golden Globe nomination.
She is honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Chicago International Film Festival.
Weaver lends her voice to computer-animated films, “Wall-E” and “The Tale of Despereaux.”
Why We Love Sigourney Weaver
She redefined female protagonists
In an era with limited options for female leads, Weaver took on the role of the self-sufficient warrant officer, Ellen Ripley, and gave us one of the most iconic female protagonists in cinema. She performed her own stunts in harsh conditions, thus challenging gender roles and paving the way for female action heroes.
She is proud of her roots
Weaver is half-English and often discusses her heritage with pride during interviews. She embraces the differences between the English countryside and America. She says she loves English tea, digestive biscuits, and all the traditional foods.
She is an environmentalist
Weaver became a supporter of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund after making “Gorillas in the Mist” and currently serves as honorary Chairwoman. She frequently raises relevant issues related to nature conservation and the threat to ocean habitats by industrial methods of commercial fishing.
5 Surprising Facts
The Scream Awards
Weaver has received the Heroine Award at the 2010 Scream Awards that honor for work in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror cinema.
She has a few phobias
Weaver suffers from a phobia of earthquakes and a phobia of elevators after being left alone in them several times throughout her youth.
She is trilingual
Weaver is fluent in English, French, and German.
A massive package
Her remuneration for the movie sequel “Alien: Resurrection” was equal to the entire budget for the first “Alien.”
She was attacked by a gorilla
Weaver was shoved onto her back by a silver-back gorilla while shooting for “Gorillas in the Mist.”
Sigourney Weaver FAQs
What does the name Sigourney mean?
Sigourney is a French-origin gender-neutral name that means ‘Conqueror.’
How much was Sigourney Weaver paid for Aliens?
Sigourney Weaver was paid $35,000 for the original Alien movie. For the sequels, her salary jumped to $1 million-plus a share in the profits.
Is Sigourney Weaver’s daughter an actress?
Her only daughter, Charlotte Simpson, has starred in a few movies, such as “The Guys” (2002) and “Summit” (2014).
Sigourney Weaver’s birthday dates