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Sigourney Weaver (born Susan Alexandra Weaver on October 8, 1949 in New York City) is an Oscar-nominated American actress.
Weaver is the daughter of the late NBC television executive Pat Weaver and Desirée Hawkins Ingles, a British actress. Her uncle was comedian and actor Doodles Weaver.
She began using the name Sigourney Weaver in 1963, after a character in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby . She attended the prestigious Ethel Walker School, a prep school in Simsbury, Connecticut, graduated from Stanford University, and studied Law at Harvard Law School, then drama at Yale School of Drama, where she appeared in original plays by friend and classmate Christopher Durang. She later appeared in the 1981 off-Broadway production of his comedy Beyond Therapy.
Although Weaver has played a number of critically acclaimed roles in movies like Gorillas in the Mist, The Ice Storm, Dave, and The Year of Living Dangerously, she is best known for her appearances as Warrant Officer/Lieutenant Ellen Ripley in the blockbuster "Alien" movie franchise. Her first appearance as Ripley was in Ridley Scott's 1979 film Alien. She then reprised the role in all three sequels: Aliens, Alien³, and Alien: Resurrection. She was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award for portraying Ripley in Aliens.
She also appeared in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, as Dana Barrett. She played the role of the agoraphobic criminal psychologist Helen Hudson in the 1995 movie Copycat, and went on to become the most highly paid actress of the 1990s. In addition to her trademark role as Ripley, Weaver has recently concentrated on smaller, more challenging roles such as 1999's A Map of the World and 2006's Snowcake. Critics have also noted her consistent performances in comedic roles, such as in Jeffrey (1994) and Heartbreakers (2001), in which she starred with Jennifer Love Hewitt.
In 2003, Weaver was voted 20th in Channel 4's countdown of the 100 greatest movie stars of all time. She was one of only two women in the top 20 (the other was Audrey Hepburn).
In 2006, Weaver returned to Rwanda for the BBC special Gorillas Revisited.
Bryan Singer had originally wanted Weaver to play the lead villainess role of Emma Frost in X-Men: The Last Stand. But after Singer left the project to direct Superman Returns, the story changed considerably and the part of Emma Frost was dropped entirely from the script.
In addition to her Academy Award nomination for Aliens, Weaver has received two other nominations in her career. Both occurred in 1988; This makes Weaver one of only ten actors and actresses to have received two nominations in the same year. Weaver received a Best Actress nomination for her role as gorilla conservationist Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist and a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role as Katharine Parker in Working Girl opposite Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith. She did not win either one; however, she won a Golden Globe award for each role.
The Italian science-fiction comics lesbian character Legs Weaver is inspired by Sigourney Weaver's role in Alien.
Recently, Sigourney had taken up her role of Ellen Ripley, but not for the sake of a film. Producing a commercial with Direct TV, Sigourney can be seen armed in the Power Loader vehicle from the movie Aliens doing battle with the Queen Xenomorph while telling watchers about how Direct TV is a better deal than cable. Direct TV has done several other commercials similar, some examples being with Verne Troyer reprising his role of Mini Me from Austin Powers and Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future.
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