Sigourney Weaver began using the name Sigourney Weaver in 1963, after a
character in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. She attended high school in
New York City and later studied English at Stanford University, and then drama
at Yale, where she appeared in original plays by friend and classmate,
Christopher Durang, and may or may not have hung out with
Sigourney Weaver played the role of Lieutenant Ellen Ripley 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 is also remembered for playing Dana Barrett in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. She also played the role of an agoraphobic criminal psychologist, Dr. Helen Hudson, in the 1995 movie Copycat.
Sigourney Weaver is one of only ten thespians to receive two Academy Award nominations in the same year. Weaver received a Best Actress nomination for her role as gorilla obsessed Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist and a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role as the bitchy trust fund baby (who gets her comeuppance) Katharine Parker in Working Girl, opposite Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith. She did not win either one, but she did win a Golden Globe for each role.
She is the daughter of the late NBC television executive Pat Weaver, and his wife, the former Desirée Hawkins Ingles, a former British actress, who (as of 2006) is now in her 90s.
Sigourney Weaver is also a niece of comedian and actor, Doodles Weaver. Since 1984 she has been married to theater director Jim Simpson (of The Flea Theater), who is tall enough to almost come nose-to-nose, and they have one child, Charlotte Simpson (born 1990).
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