Sigourney Weaver Biography

Sigourney Weaver is an American actress and film producer. Check out this biography to know about her childhood, family life, achievements and fun facts about her life.

Quick Facts

Birthday: October 8, 1949

Nationality: American

Famous: Actresses American Women

Age: 70 Years, 70 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Libra

Also Known As: Susan Alexandra Weaver

Born in: New York City

Famous as: Actress

Height: 6'0" (183 cm), 6'0" Females


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

father: Sylvester Weaver

mother: Elizabeth Inglis

City: New York City

U.S. State: New Yorkers

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Sigourney Weaver, originally known as Susan Alexandra Weaver, is an American actress and film producer. She made her acting debut in 1977 with just a minor character but established her position in Hollywood in no time. In just two years, she grabbed her first lead as Ellen Ripley in the unforgettable movie ‘Alien’. Weaver’s portrayal of a female action hero was much appreciated and she reprised the same character in Alien’s sequel movies, ‘Aliens’, ‘Alien 3,’ and ‘Alien: Resurrection’. Her remarkable performance earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Weaver is also known for her other movies, such as ‘Ghostbusters’, ‘Ghostbusters II’, and ‘Avatar’ which were box-office hits. She has been nicknamed ‘the Sci-Fi Queen’ by Hollywood for her portrayal of different characters in various science-fiction films. She has appeared in many other genres of movies as well, including horror and animation, some of them being ‘Galaxy Quest’, ‘Futurama’, ‘WALL-E’, ‘Paul’, ‘The Cabin in the Woods’, ‘Finding Dory’, and ‘A Monster Calls’ (2016). Weaver has been nominated for her outstanding performances and has also won many awards over the years.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • Sigourney Weaver was born as Susan Alexandra Weaver on October 8, 1949, in Manhattan, New York City. Her father Sylvester L. Weaver Jr. was a TV producer. He originally wanted to name her “Flavia,” owing to his passion for Roman history.
  • Her mother was Elizabeth Inglis (nee Desiree Mary Lucy Hawkins), an actress who left her career in acting for the sake of her family. Her mother was English and her father was from 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, and by 1959 her family had resided in 30 different households!
  • She started attending the Ethel Walker School, which was a girls’ preparatory school located in Connecticut. In 1961, she joined the Chapin School and the Brearley School. Since she was taller than most children in the 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 further pursued her education and completed her master’s degree in Fine Arts from Yale University School of Drama in 1974. During this period, she appeared in chorus in the musical version of ‘The Frogs’, and also as a mob member of Roman soldiers with Meryl Streep in another production.
  • Weaver also appeared in original plays and an ‘Off-Broadway’ production known as ‘Beyond Therapy’ in 1981, which was a work of Christopher Durang directed by Jerry Zaks.
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  • Sigourney Weaver started her career in 1977 with a Woody Allen movie ‘Annie Hall’ where she played a minor role opposite Allen. Even though her role was short, people took notice of her.
  • In 1979, she earned the role of a Warrant Officer, 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’ and also in ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Ghostbusters II’. In 1988, she starred in ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ and in ‘Working Girl’.
  • These two movies helped Weaver win Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively. She was also nominated for 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’and ‘1492: Conquest of Paradise,’ where she played the role of Queen Isabella. In the 1990s, Weaver appeared in many movies, playing smaller and supporting roles in some of them, such as ‘Jeffrey’ and ‘The Ice Storm’ which earned her a Golden Globe nomination and a BAFTA Award.
  • Weaver starred in the comedy ‘Heartbreakers’ in 2001 and also appeared in some other 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 reunited with her ‘Alien’ director James Cameron and starred in the outstanding movie ‘Avatar’. She has also done voice work for many films and television. She was the narrator of the American version of the series ‘Planet Earth’.
  • Weaver has done voice-over work for many animated blockbuster movies like Pixar’s and Disney’s ‘Wall-E’, and also for the computer-animated film ‘The Tale of Despereaux’ (2008) which was based on a novel by Kate DiCamillo.
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  • In 2010, she was seen in the Spanish thriller film ‘Red Lights’, and in the same year she was honoured at the 2010 Scream Awards which recognized her work in science fiction.
  • In 2011, it was officially confirmed that she would be reprising her role in ‘Avatar 2’, and in 2014, James Cameron revealed that she would be seen in all three sequels of ‘Avatar’.
  • Weaver also appeared in the epic-drama ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ playing the role of Tuya, starring alongside Christian Bale and Ben Kingsley. In 2015, she co-starred in yet another sci-fi movie ‘Chappie’.
  • In 2015, it was announced that another sequel to the famous sci-fi movie ‘Alien’ would be made and Weaver would be reprising her role of Ellen Ripley. In 2017, Weaver played the role of Alexandra Reid, the female antagonist, in the movie ‘The Defenders’.
Major Works
  • Sigourney Weaver is known as the unprecedented queen of science fiction movies. Most of her memorable performances have been in sci-fi movies like the ‘Alien’ franchise, ‘Ghostbusters’, and ‘Avatar’. But the two movies that won her most acclaim and awards were ‘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 also much appreciated.
Awards & Achievements
  • Sigourney Weaver has played some outstanding roles in her career for which she has been nominated for the Academy Award four times. She has also been nominated for three BAFTA awards out of which she won one award for Best Supporting Actress for ‘The Ice Storm’ in 1997.
  • In 1988, 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, 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 honoured by the Explorers Club for her environmental work and is considered to be an environmentalist.
  • In 1995, Weaver was chosen by the Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film industry.
  • She can speak French and German fluently.
  • Apparently, the salary she received for ‘Alien Resurrection’ was higher than the cost of the entire movie ‘Alien’ which released in 1979!

1. Alien (1979)

  (Sci-Fi, Horror)

2. Annie Hall (1977)

  (Romance, Comedy)

3. Aliens (1986)

  (Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Adventure)

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)


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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Last Updated
- September 05, 2017
Sigourney Weaver

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