sigourney weaver
Sigourney Weaver, circa 1979

Happy Birthday to sci-fi icon Sigourney Weaver. The award winning actress is celebrating her 73rd birthday on Saturday, October 8, 2022. Susan Alexandra Weaver was born October 8, 1949, in New York City. She adopted the nickname Sigourney as a teenager and has used it as a stage name her entire career.

She has had so many major roles, that it’s hard to pick the role she is best known for, even limiting it to Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror films. She was Ellen Ripley in Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992) and Alien Resurrection (1997). In the Ghostbusters franchise, Weaver played cellist Dana Barrett. In the scifi comedy GalaxyQuest (1999), she played has-been actress Gwen DeMarco, who had been Lt. Tawny Madison She plays Dr. Grace Augustine in Avatar (2009) and its sequels. She starred as  primatologist Dian Fossey in the award-winning Gorillas in the Mist(1988). She co-starred with science fiction fan favorite Harrison Ford in the romantic comedy Working Girl (1988). In the biblical epic adventure Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) Weaver played the Egyptian Queen Tuya.

Ty Burr of the Boston Globe complimented her, “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.”

Voice Work

Sigourney Weaver has lent her voice to countless projects: cartoons, video games, and narrator. In The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, she voiced the Myth-Speaker. In Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero, she voiced Lady Starblaster. In the TV mini-series Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist, she reprised the role of primatologist Dr. Fossey, whom she’d played in what many consider her greatest role from Gorillas in the Mist. She narrated the documentaries Secrets of the Whales (2021), All You Need is Love (2014), and Planet Earth (2006). She was the narrator for the animated movie The Tale of Despereaux (2008). Sigourney Weaver narrated The Snow Queen (1992). She starred in Happily N’Ever After (2006) as the villainess Frieda. Her Disney/Pixar work includes the voice of the ship’s computer in Wall-E (2008) and a voice role in Finding Dory (2016). She has also done video games, reprising her roles as Ripley and Augustine in games based off Alien and Avatar.

Awards, Honors, and Nominations

Sigourney Weaver is a busy actress, with over a hundred roles to her credit. She is well respected by fans, fellow actors, and directors, as her many awards demonstrate. Weaver was nominated for Oscars twice in 1989, for both Best Actress, Gorillas in the Mist and Best Supporting Actress, Working Girl. She had previously received an Oscar nomination in 1987 for Best Actress Alien (1986). She has not yet won an Oscar, but her career is far from over. She has four Emmy nominations and six Saturn nominations. She has won the Saturn Award twice, for Best Supporting Actress in Avatar (2009) and Best Actress in Aliens (1986). Weaver has three BAFTA nominations, which is quite respectable for an American actress. She has an impressive seven Golden Globe nominations. She won twice in 1989, Best Supporting Actress for Working Girl and Best Actress for Gorillas in the Mist. In 1988, she was the winner of the Golden Apple Award for Female Star of the Year. In 2013 she won Germany’s Golden Camera Award for Best International Actress for her body of work up to that time. Between 1997 and 2012 she received seven nominations for Satellite Award, five nominations for the Golden Satellite Award and two for the just plain Satellite Award. In 1999 she was honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Art is subjective. Sigourney Weaver has been nominated twice for the Stinkers Bad Movies Awards: Worst Actress in Alien Resurrection (1997) and Most Annoying Fake accent in The Heartbreakers (2001). When she made her Broadway debut in 1985, she was nominated for a Tony, so the coveted EGOT status is not impossible in her future. More than just a pretty face, she earned an MFA (Master of Fine Arts)from the drama department at Yale University in 1974.

Whether portraying real people like Queen Isabella in 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992) and Dr. Dian Fosse in Gorillas in the Mist, or science fiction heroines like Ellen Ripley in Alien and Dana Barrett in Ghostbusters II, Sigourney Weaver has had a rich, full career with more successes than failures.

In her private life, Sigourney Weaver is married to director Jim Simpson. They have been together since 1984 and have a daughter, Charlotte.

Happy Birthday to one of our favorite actresses from everyone at SciFi.Radio. We’ve loved your performances over the years and are looking forward to seeing what you do in the new Avatar movies and other projects.

-30-

Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.