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Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver has created a host of memorable characters, both dramatic and comic, for film and theater. Ranging from Ripley in Alien to Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey, to Tawny in Galaxy Quest and most recently, Dr. Grace Augustine, a botanist in James Cameron's much anticipated 3-D epic Avatar, which filmed in New Zealand, Weaver delights and entertains those who watch her and garners respect from those who work with her. Born and educated in New York City, Weaver graduated from Stanford University and went on to receive a master's degree from the Yale School of Drama. Her first professional job was as an understudy in Sir John Gielgud's production of The Constant Wife, starring Ingrid Bergman.

Weaver made her motion picture debut in Ridley Scott's blockbuster Alien. She reprised the role of warrant officer Ripley in James Cameron's Aliens, for which she earned a Best Actress Academy Award nomination. She again brought Ripley back to life in David Fincher's Alien3, which she also co-produced, and Alien: Resurrection for director Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

Following Alien, Weaver had starring roles in three back-to-back hit movies: Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey, in which she portrayed primatologist Dian Fossey; the Mike Nichols comedy Working Girl; and Ghostbusters II. Weaver received her second and third Academy Award nominations and was awarded Golden Globe Awards for her performances in Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey and Working Girl. Other films include the thriller Copycat; Paul Rudnick's comedy Jeffrey; Roman Polanski's gripping film adaptation of Death and the Maiden; Half Moon Street with Michael Caine; Ridley Scott's 1492: Conquest of Paradise; One Woman or Two with Gérard Depardieu; Eyewitness with William Hurt; and Showtime's live-action film Snow White: A Tale of Horror, based on the original Grimm's fairy tale, which earned her Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.

In 1997, Weaver joined the ensemble of Ang Lee's critically acclaimed film The Ice Storm, playing alongside Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Elijah Wood and Christina Ricci. Her performance garnered her a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award nomination and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She later gave a galvanizing performance in A Map of The World, Scott Elliott's powerful drama based on the novel by Jane Hamilton, which earned her universal critical praise and a Golden Globe Award nomination for best actress. She delighted audiences with her flair for comedy, along with crewmates Tim Allen and Alan Rickman, in the science-fiction comedy Galaxy Quest, directed by Dean Parisot, which proved to be a hit during the 1999 holiday season. She followed this with the popular comedy Heartbreakers, playing opposite Gene Hackman and Jennifer Love Hewitt.

In 2003, Weaver played the cold-blooded, red-headed warden in the hit comedy Holes, directed by Andy Davis, and starred in the film version of The Guys with Anthony LaPaglia, directed by Jim Simpson. Following this, Weaver appeared in M. Night Shyamalan's The Village and received rave reviews for her performance in Imaginary Heroes, written and directed by Dan Harris.

Weaver's most recent film credits include Jake Kasdan's The TV Set, playing the president of the television network, and Snow Cake, in which she portrayed an autistic woman opposite Alan Rickman. Both films were released in April 2007. Following that, Weaver co-starred with Kate Bosworth in The Girl in the Park. Weaver can currently be seen in Pete Travis' Vantage Point and in Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind. Weaver recently wrapped James Cameron's Avatar, which is due out in 2009.

In addition to her film credits, Weaver has also taken time to shine on the stage. Weaver started out on off-off Broadway in Christopher Durang's The Nature and Purpose of the Universe, Titanic and Das Lusitania Songspiel. She and Durang co-wrote Das Lusitania, which earned them both Drama Desk Award nominations. She has appeared in numerous off-Broadway productions in New York, working with such writers as John Guare, Albert Innaurato, Richard Nelson and Len Jenkin. In regional repertory, she has performed works by Pinter, Williams, Feydeau and Shakespeare. She also appeared in the PBS series The Best of Families.

Weaver received a Tony Award nomination for her starring role in Hurlyburly on Broadway, directed by Mike Nichols. She played Portia in the Classic Stage Company of New York's production of The Merchant of Venice. In 1996, Weaver returned to Broadway in the Lincoln Center production of Sex and Longing, written by Christopher Durang.

Most recently, Weaver originated roles in two A.R. Gurney world premieres, Crazy Mary at Playwrights Horizons and Mrs. Farnsworth at the Flea Theater. When she appeared last year in Neil LaBute's The Mercy Seat, opposite Liev Schreiber, she received rave reviews for her performance. John Lahr of The New Yorker described the play as offering "performances of a depth and concentration that haven't been seen in New York for many seasons." Weaver also originated the female lead in Anne Nelson's The Guys at The Flea, where it was commissioned and directed by Jim Simpson. The Guys tells the story of a fire captain dealing with the aftermath of 9/11.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2008.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Sigourney Weaver Facts

Birth NameSusan Alexandra Weaver
OccupationActress
BirthdayOctober 8, 1949 (68)
SignLibra
BirthplaceNew York, New York, USA
Height5' 11" (1m80)  How tall is Sigourney Weaver compared to you?
Awards1998 BAFTA Awards: Actress in a Supporting Role (for The Ice Storm)
1989 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama (for Gorillas in the Mist: The Adventures of Dian Fossey)
1989 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture (for Working Girl)

Selected Filmography

Finding Dory
A Monster Calls
Avatar
Ghostbusters
Alien
Aliens
Alien Anthology
Ghostbusters II
Holes
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