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Sigourney Weaver Bio
Sigourney Weaver (born October 8, 1949 as Susan Alexandra Weaver) is an American actress and film producer. Following her film debut as a minor character in Annie Hall (1977), she quickly came to prominence in 1979 with her first lead role as Ellen Ripley in Alien. She reprised the role in three sequels: Aliens (1986), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award Best Actress; Alien 3 (1992), and Alien: Resurrection (1997). She is also known for her starring roles in the box-office hits Ghostbusters (1984), Ghostbusters II (1989), and Avatar (2009).
Weaver was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for the 1980 Off-Broadway play Das Lusitania Songspiel, and received a Tony Award nomination for the 1984 Broadway play Hurlyburly. A seven-time Golden Globe Award nominee, she won both Best Actress in Drama and Best Supporting Actress for her work in the 1988 films Gorillas in the Mist and Working Girl, becoming the first person to win two acting Golden Globes in the same year. She also received Academy Award nominations for both films. For her role in the 1997 film The Ice Storm, she won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Additionally, she has received three Emmy Award nominations and won two Saturn Awards.
Weaver acquired the nickname of “The Sci-Fi Queen” for her numerous contributions to science-fiction film history, including minor roles in successful works such as Futurama (2002), WALL-E (2008), Paul (2011) and The Cabin in the Woods (2012). Her other films include The Year of Living Dangerously (1983), Dave (1993), Death and the Maiden (1994), Copycat (1995), A Map of the World (1999), Galaxy Quest (1999) and Prayers for Bobby (2009). In 2013, she returned to Broadway to star in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.
Weaver’s first role is often said to be in Woody Allen‘s 1977 comedy Annie Hall playing a minor role opposite Allen. Weaver appeared two years later as Warrant Officer/Lieutenant Ellen Ripley in Ridley Scott‘s blockbuster 1979 film Alien, in a role initially designated to co-star Veronica Cartwright, until a late change in casting. She reprised the role in the three sequels of the Alien movie franchise, Aliens, Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection. Ty Burr of The Boston Globe states, “One of the real pleasures of “Alien” is to watch the emergence of both Ellen Ripley as a character and Sigourney Weaver as a star.”
In the sequel Aliens directed by James Cameron, critic Roger Ebert wrote, “Weaver, who is onscreen almost all the time, comes through with a very strong, sympathetic performance: She’s the thread that holds everything together.” Weaver followed the success of Alien appearing opposite Mel Gibson in The Year of Living Dangerously released to critical acclaim and as Dana Barrett in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II.
By the end of the decade, Weaver appeared in two of her most memorable and critically acclaimed performances. In 1988, she starred as Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist. The same year she appeared opposite Harrison Ford in a supporting role as Katharine Parker in the film Working Girl. Weaver won Golden Globe awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for her two roles that year. She received two Academy Award nominations in 1988, for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Working Girl and Best Actress for Gorillas in the Mist, making her one of the few actors nominated for two acting awards in the same year.
She gave birth to her daughter Charlotte Simpson (born on April 13, 1990) taking a few years break from the movie business and focusing on her family. She returned to the big screen in 1992 with Alien 3 and Ridley’s Scott’s 1492: Conquest of Paradise in which she played role of Queen Isabella. In the early 1990s, Weaver appeared in several films including Dave opposite Kevin Kline and Frank Langella. In 1994 she starred in Roman Polanski’s drama Death and the Maiden as Paulina Escobar. She played the role of agoraphobic criminal psychologist Helen Hudson in the 1995 movie Copycat. Weaver also concentrated on smaller and supporting roles throughout the decade such as Jeffrey (1994), Ang Lee‘s The Ice Storm (1997), earning her another Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress and winning a BAFTA Award, followed by Galaxy Quest (1999), and A Map of the World (1999) earning her another Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress.
In 2001, she appeared in the comedy Heartbreakers playing the lead role of a con artist alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ray Liotta, Gene Hackman and Anne Bancroft. She appeared in several films throughout the decade including Holes (2003), the M. Night Shyamalan horror film The Village (2004), Vantage Point (2008), and Baby Mama (2008). Weaver also returned to Rwanda for the BBC special Gorillas Revisited. She was voted 20th in Channel 4‘s countdown of the 100 Greatest Movie Stars of All Time, being one of only two women in the Top 20 (the other was Audrey Hepburn).
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, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award. She also guest starred in the TV show Eli Stone in the fall of 2008. She reunited with Aliens director James Cameron for his 2009 film Avatar, with Weaver playing a major part as Dr. Grace Augustine, leader of the AVTR (avatar) program on the film’s fictional moon Pandora.
Weaver 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 hosted two episodes of the long-running NBC sketch show Saturday Night Live: once on the 12th season premiere in 1986, and again, on a season 35 episode in January 2010. In March 2010, she was cast for the lead role as Queen of the Vampires in Amy Heckerling‘s Vamps. She was honored at the 2010 Scream Awards earning The Heroine Award which honored her work in science fiction, horror and fantasy films.
In May 2010, there were reports that Weaver had been cast for the lead role Margaret Matheson in the Spanish thriller film Red Lights.
In September 2011, it was confirmed that Weaver will be returning to Avatar 2, with James Cameron stating that “no one ever dies in science fiction.” In 2014, he revealed that she would be featured in all three sequels.
In 2014, Weaver reprised the role of Ripley for the first time in 17 years by voicing the character in the video game Alien: Isolation. Her character will appear in two DLCs set during the events of Alien, with most of the original cast voicing their respective characters.
Weaver appeared in the 2014 film Exodus: Gods and Kings playing Tuya, directed by Ridley Scott, alongside Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, and Ben Kingsley. In 2015, she co-starred in Neil Blomkamp‘s science-fiction film Chappie, and stated that she would agree to appear in an Alien sequel, provided that Blomkamp directs. On February 18, 2015, it was officially announced that an Alien sequel will be made, with Blomkamp slated to direct. On February 25, 2015, Weaver confirmed that she would reprise her role as Ellen Ripley in the new Alien film.