Sigourney Weaver Biography

(American Actress and an Influential Figure in Science Fiction and Popular Culture)

Birthday: October 8, 1949 (Libra)

Born In: Manhattan, New York, United States

Sigourney Weaver is an American actress and film producer. She made her film debut in 1977 with a minor role, but went on to establish herself in Hollywood in no time. In just two years, she landed her first lead role as ‘Ellen Ripley’ in the popular movie ‘Alien.’ Weaver’s portrayal of an action heroine was much appreciated and she reprised her role as ‘Ripley’ in the film’s sequels, ‘Aliens,’ ‘Alien 3,’ and ‘Alien: Resurrection.’ Her remarkable performance earned her a nomination for the ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Actress.’ Thanks to her performance in the ‘Alien’ franchise and various other science-fiction films, Weaver is regarded a pioneer of action heroines in sci-fi movies; she has been nicknamed ‘the Sci-Fi Queen’ in Hollywood. She is also known for her roles in movies, such as ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘Ghostbusters II,’ and ‘Avatar.’ Apart from sci-fi films, she has also appeared in movies like ‘The Year of Living Dangerously,’ ‘Deal of the Century,’ ‘Half Moon Street,’ ‘Gorillas in the Mist,’ ‘Working Girl,’ ‘The Cabin in the Woods,’ and ‘A Monster Calls.’ Over the years, Weaver has been honored with prestigious awards and nominations for her performance.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Susan Alexandra Weaver

Age: 74 Years, 74 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Jim Simpson (m. 1984)

father: Sylvester Weaver

mother: Elizabeth Inglis

siblings: Trajan Weaver

children: Charlotte Simpson

Born Country: United States

Actresses American Women

Notable Alumni: Yale School Of Drama

Ancestry: Dutch American, British American

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: Stanford University, Sarah Lawrence College, Yale School Of Drama

Childhood & Early Life

Sigourney Weaver was born Susan Alexandra Weaver on October 8, 1949, in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA. Her father Sylvester L. Weaver Jr. was a TV producer. Initially, he wanted to name her Flavia, owing to his passion for Roman history.

Her mother was Elizabeth Inglis (born Desiree Mary Lucy Hawkins), an actress who left her acting career for the sake of her family. Her mother was English and her father was from the United States; he also had English, Scottish, and Dutch ancestry.

Weaver changed her name from Susan to Sigourney after the character ‘Sigourney Howard’ in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel ‘The Great Gatsby.’ She enjoyed a comfortable childhood. She was raised by many nannies and maids. By 1959, her family had resided in 30 different residences!

She started attending ‘Ethel Walker School,’ a girls’ preparatory school located in Connecticut. She also attended the ‘Brearley School’ and ‘Chapin School.’ Since she was taller than most of the other children in school, she was often picked at and mocked.

When she turned 18, she visited Israel and volunteered on a kibbutz for several months. Weaver then proceeded to attend ‘Sarah Lawrence College.’ In 1972, she graduated from ‘Stanford University’ with a B.A. in English.

She studied further and completed her master’s degree in Fine Arts from ‘Yale University School of Drama’ in 1974. During this period, she became part of the musical version of ‘The Frogs.’ She was also part of another production where she worked alongside Meryl Streep.

Weaver also appeared in original plays. In 1981, she was seen in an Off-Broadway production known as ‘Beyond Therapy,’ which was directed by Jerry Zaks.

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Sigourney Weaver started her film career in 1977 with a Woody Allen movie titled ‘Annie Hall’ where she played a minor role opposite Allen. Even though her role was short, people took notice of her.

In 1979, she landed the role of a warrant officer named ‘Ellen Ripley’ in the blockbuster movie ‘Alien.’ The movie was a huge hit and spawned three sequels where Sigourney reprised her role.

In addition to the ‘Alien’ franchise, she acted opposite Mel Gibson in ‘The Year of Living Dangerously.’ She was also seen in ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Ghostbusters II.’

In 1988, she starred in films like ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ and ‘Working Girl.’ These two movies helped Weaver win ‘Golden Globe Awards’ for ‘Best Actress’ and ‘Best Supporting Actress’ respectively. She was also nominated for the ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for her role in ‘Working Girl’ and for ‘Best Actress’ for ‘Gorillas in the Mist.’

In 1992, she was seen in ‘Alien 3.’ The same year, she was also seen in ‘1492: Conquest of Paradise,’ where she played ‘Queen Isabella.’ In the 1990s, Weaver appeared in many movies, such as ‘Jeffrey’ and ‘The Ice Storm.’ The latter earned her a ‘Golden Globe’ nomination and ‘BAFTA Award.’

Weaver starred in the comedy ‘Heartbreakers’ in 2001. In the 2000s, she also appeared in movies like ‘Holes’ (2003), ‘The Village’ (2004), ‘Vantage Point’ (2008), and ‘Baby Mama’ (2008).

In 2009, she was seen in her first TV movie ‘Prayers for Bobby’ where she played the role of ‘Mary Griffith.’ This role received critical acclaim and earned her nominations for an ‘Emmy Award,’ ‘Golden Globe Award,’ and ‘Screen Actors Guild Award.’

In the same year, Weaver joined hands with director James Cameron and starred in the epic sci-fi movie ‘Avatar.’ The following year, she played ‘Vicky Zelda’ in a comedy film titled ‘Crazy on the Outside.’ She also played ‘Ramona Clark’ in another comedy film titled ‘You Again.’ She was honored at the 2010 ‘Scream Awards’ in recognition of her work in science fiction films.

Apart from acting, Weaver has also voiced characters for several animated movies like ‘Happily N'Ever After’ and ‘Wall-E.’ She narrated the British-American computer-animated film ‘The Tale of Despereaux,’ which was based on a novel by Kate DiCamillo.

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In 2011, it was officially confirmed that she would be reprising her role in ‘Avatar 2.’ In 2014, James Cameron revealed that she would be seen in all three sequels of ‘Avatar.’ Meanwhile in 2012, she was seen in the Spanish thriller film ‘Red Lights.’

Weaver also appeared in the epic-drama ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings,’ playing the role of ‘Tuya’ and starring alongside Christian Bale and Ben Kingsley. In 2015, she starred in yet another sci-fi movie titled ‘Chappie.’

In 2015, it was announced that another sequel to the famous sci-fi movie ‘Alien’ would be made and that Weaver would reprise her role as ‘Ellen Ripley.’ In 2017, Weaver played the role of ‘Alexandra Reid,’ the female antagonist, in the web miniseries ‘The Defenders.’

In 2019, she appeared as ‘Ripley’ in one of the episodes of the late-night talk and news satire TV show ‘Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.’ The same year, she voiced 'The Myth Speaker' in one of the episodes of the popular fantasy web TV series ‘The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.’

In 2020, she played ‘Margaret’ in an American-Canadian-Irish drama film titled ‘My Salinger Year.’ The same year, she appeared in an episode titled 'Sigourney' in the French TV series ‘Call My Agent!’

Major Works

Sigourney Weaver is known as the unprecedented queen of science fiction movies. Most of her memorable performances have been delivered in sci-fi movies like the ‘Alien’ franchise and ‘Avatar.’ But the movies that won her both acclaim and awards are ‘The Working Girl’ and ‘Gorillas in the Mist.’

Apart from movies, she has also appeared in several plays, including the 1980 Off-Broadway production ‘Das Lusitania Songspiel’ for which she was nominated for a ‘Drama Desk Award.’ Her performance in the Broadway play ‘Hurlyburly’ was much appreciated and earned her a ‘Tony Award’ nomination.

Awards & Achievements

Sigourney Weaver has played some outstanding roles in her career for which she was nominated for the ‘Academy Award’ three times. She was also nominated for three ‘BAFTA Awards’ out of which she won one award for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for her performance in ‘The Ice Storm’ in 1998.

In 1989, she won ‘Golden Globe Awards’ for ‘Best Actress’ and ‘Best Actress in Supporting Role’ for ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ and ‘Working Girl’ respectively.

Along with these awards, she has also received ‘Glamour Woman of the Year Award’ (2002) and ‘Glamour Award for Icons’ (2016).

Personal Life

On October 1, 1984, Sigourney Weaver got married to stage director Jim Simpson. Their daughter Charlotte Simpson was born on April 13, 1990.

After starring in ‘Gorillas in the Mist,’ she became a supporter of ‘The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund,’ and is now its honorary chairwoman.

She was also honored by the ‘Explorers Club’ for her environmental work; she is considered to be an environmentalist.


In 1995, Weaver was chosen by the ‘Empire’ magazine as one of the ‘100 Sexiest Stars’ in the film industry.

Apart from English, she can speak French and German fluently.

The salary that she received for the movie ‘Alien Resurrection’ (1997) was higher than the budget of ‘Alien,’ which released in 1979!

Sigourney Weaver Movies

1. Alien (1979)

  (Sci-Fi, Horror)

2. Aliens (1986)

  (Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Adventure)

3. Annie Hall (1977)

  (Romance, Comedy)

4. Ghostbusters (1984)

  (Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Comedy)

5. Avatar (2009)

  (Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Adventure, Action)

6. The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)

  (War, Romance, Drama)

7. Snow Cake (2006)

  (Drama, Romance)

8. A Monster Calls (2016)

  (Fantasy, Drama)

9. The Ice Storm (1997)


10. Rakka (2017)

  (Sci-Fi, Short, War, Horror)


Golden Globe Awards
1989 Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey (1988)
1989 Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Working Girl (1988)
BAFTA Awards
1998 Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role The Ice Storm (1997)
Grammy Awards
2011 Best Spoken Word Album (includes poetry, audio books & story telling) Winner

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