Sigourney Weaver, a native of New York City, was born into a family deeply rooted in the world of entertainment. Her mother, an accomplished English actress, and her father, who held the prestigious position of President at NBC, undoubtedly shaped her trajectory in the realm of performing arts.
In spite of her towering height and the occasional bout of self-consciousness regarding her physical appearance, Weaver embarked on her acting journey by gracing the stages of off-Broadway productions. However, it was in the pivotal year of 1979 that she attained her meteoric rise to stardom with her unforgettable role in the iconic film “Alien.”
Over the course of the ensuing three decades, Weaver’s cinematic repertoire expanded to include a dazzling array of memorable performances. Her portfolio boasts roles in notable films such as “Ghostbusters,” “Working Girl,” “Aliens,” and the groundbreaking epic “Avatar.”
The illustrious career of Sigourney Weaver has not only garnered her widespread acclaim but has also earned her the distinction of being a three-time nominee for the coveted Academy Awards.
Sigourney Weaver Early Life
Susan Alexandra Weaver, who would later become internationally renowned as Sigourney Weaver, entered the world on October 8, 1949, amidst the vibrant backdrop of New York City. An intriguing facet of her personal history reveals that she adopted the name “Sigourney” at the age of 14, a literary gem discovered in the pages of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary masterpiece, “The Great Gatsby.”
Weaver’s familial origins are deeply rooted in the entertainment industry, with her mother being none other than the accomplished English actress Elizabeth Inglis and her father, the former President of NBC, Sylvester Weaver. Growing up, she was enveloped in a world where showbiz was the norm rather than the exception.
While her upbringing was privileged, it was not without its challenges. Weaver’s early years were marked by a notable lack of self-assurance in her own physical appearance. This sense of self-doubt was exacerbated by her towering stature, setting her apart from her peers, and an unflinching remark from her mother at the tender age of 8, when she was described as merely “plain” in looks. Reflecting on this period, Weaver candidly expressed, “I thought, well, if my mother doesn’t think I’m pretty … no one else will.”At the tender age of 13, young Sigourney Weaver found herself facing a visit to a psychiatrist, a measure taken by her parents who perceived their daughter as uncommunicative. Looking back on this episode, Weaver recollected, “I never even spoke to the psychiatrist.” It was a classic case of adolescence, as she further explained, “I was a normal teenager, and teenagers hate telling their parents anything.”
After completing her education at a private high school in Connecticut, Weaver’s journey led her to the hallowed halls of Stanford University in California. It was within the vibrant and intellectually stimulating environment of the university that she had a profound revelation: her true calling lay in the world of acting. With this newfound clarity, she graduated from Stanford in 1971, armed with a Bachelor of Arts degree in literature.
Following her undergraduate studies, Weaver returned to the East Coast and settled in Connecticut, where she embarked on the next phase of her academic and artistic pursuits. She enrolled at Yale Drama School, a decision that would ultimately prove transformative. Remarkably, she successfully completed the program in 1974, establishing her credentials as an actress and shaping her path one year ahead of another future luminary, her close friend, Meryl Streep.
Sigourney Weaver Career
In the subsequent years, Sigourney Weaver embarked on a journey of steady and diverse work, making her presence known in numerous off-Broadway productions. She also ventured into the realm of television, securing a role on the short-lived soap opera, Somerset, and leaving an indelible mark in the iconic cinematic masterpiece “Annie Hall” (1977), in which she portrayed Woody Allen’s movie companion.
Nonetheless, it was her remarkable portrayal of the indomitable Ripley in the blockbuster sensation “Alien” (1979) that truly marked her ascent to stardom. This role not only thrust Weaver into the limelight but also paved the way for an array of tantalizing opportunities in the film industry. Over the course of the subsequent decade, she graced the silver screen with her presence in a series of acclaimed productions, including “The Year of Living Dangerously” (1982), where she shared the screen with Mel Gibson, and the immensely popular and comedic extravaganza, “Ghostbusters” (1984).
In 1986, Weaver reprised her role as Ripley in the gripping sequel, “Aliens,” a performance that earned her a coveted Academy Award nomination in the Best Actress category. Two years later, her talent garnered her not one, but two additional Oscar nominations. The first was for her compelling portrayal in “Gorillas in the Mist,” a biographical drama released in 1988, which saw her vying for the Best Actress accolade. The second nomination, this time in the Best Supporting Actress category, was attributed to her role as the formidable Katharine Parker in the acclaimed film “Working Girl,” also released in 1988. Weaver’s contributions to the world of cinema were undeniably lauded and celebrated during this period.The 1990s marked a period of relentless productivity for Sigourney Weaver. She made a triumphant return to her iconic role as Ripley in the Alien series, first in “Alien 3” (1992) and then once more in “Alien Resurrection” (1997), solidifying her status as a formidable presence in the science fiction genre.
In 1993, Weaver showcased her versatility by assuming the role of a fictional U.S. first lady in the lighthearted hit “Dave,” where she shared the screen with Kevin Kline. This on-screen partnership was revisited in 1997 for the independent drama “The Ice Storm,” a contemplative exploration of family dynamics and suburban life set against the backdrop of the 1970s.
Weaver’s commitment to her craft remained unwavering. In 1996, she made a remarkable return to Broadway, captivating audiences with her performance in “Sex and Longing.”
In more recent years, Sigourney Weaver has continued to demonstrate her exceptional range as an actress and her penchant for selecting captivating and distinctive projects. Notably, she graced the silver screen in 2004 as part of the cast of M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village.” Two years later, she lent her talent to a pair of independent releases: “The TV Set” and “Snow Cake.” The year 2009 marked a significant collaboration as she joined forces with her “Aliens” director, James Cameron, for the groundbreaking blockbuster “Avatar.”
Alongside her consistent work in film, Weaver has maintained a profound connection to the world of theater, leaving her indelible mark on a diverse array of stage performances. Her enduring dedication to the craft of acting continues to captivate and inspire audiences to this day.
Sigourney Weaver Personal Life
In 1984, Sigourney Weaver entered into matrimony with stage director Jim Simpson. Throughout the course of their enduring partnership, the couple welcomed one child into their lives.
Sigourney Weaver Salary
In her initial portrayal of the iconic character Ripley in the first “Alien” film, Sigourney Weaver received a modest salary of $30,000. Importantly, she was not contractually bound to reprise her role in a sequel. However, when James Cameron, fresh from the success of “The Terminator,” was enlisted to write and direct the sequel, aptly titled “Aliens,” he adamantly insisted on having Sigourney Weaver as part of the project.
Weaver’s return was secured after intense negotiations, which resulted in her being offered an upfront salary of $1 million, a significant increase from her initial compensation. Additionally, she negotiated a percentage of the box office profits, recognizing the immense value she brought to the franchise. This arrangement not only rewarded her for her stellar performance but also underscored her pivotal role in the success of the “Aliens” series.Sigourney Weaver’s enduring commitment to the “Alien” franchise saw her reprising her role in several more installments. For her appearance in “Alien 3” in 1992, she commanded a substantial base salary of $4 million. Her involvement in “Alien: Resurrection” in 1997 was rewarded with an even more impressive base salary of $11 million, a testament to her stature as a leading figure in the series and the film industry at large.
Sigourney Weaver Net Worth
Sigourney Weaver’s remarkable career has not only solidified her status as a leading actress in the industry but has also contributed significantly to her impressive net worth, which is estimated at $60 million. Her breakthrough moment arrived in 1979 when she took on the role of the fierce and resolute Ellen Ripley in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror masterpiece, “Alien.” This iconic portrayal propelled her to stardom and established her as a formidable presence in the genre.
Weaver’s versatility and talent have been consistently on display throughout her career. She seamlessly transitioned between various roles, from her portrayal of Dana Barrett in the supernatural comedy “Ghostbusters” (1984) to her compelling return as Ripley in James Cameron’s “Aliens” (1986), which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, showcasing her prowess in the action film domain.
The breadth of Weaver’s career is underscored by her ability to tackle diverse and complex characters, seen in films such as “Gorillas in the Mist” (1988), “Working Girl” (1988), “A Map of the World” (1999), and “The Ice Storm” (1997). Her talent for comedy is equally apparent in films like “Heartbreakers” (2001) and “Galaxy Quest” (1999).
Sigourney Weaver’s extraordinary journey in the world of entertainment has garnered her multiple accolades and recognitions. She has received three Academy Award nominations, numerous Golden Globe nominations, and even a Tony Award nomination for her contributions to the theater. Her impressive net worth is a testament to her enduring talent and enduring presence in the world of film and entertainment.
Name: Sigourney Weaver
Birth Year: 1949
Birth Date: October 8, 1949
Birth State: New York
Birth City: New York
Birth Country: United States
Best Known For: Actress Sigourney Weaver is best known for her roles in films since the 1980s, including ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘Working Girl’ and the ‘Alien’ franchise.
Industries: Drama, Film, Sci-fi, Comedy
Astrological Sign: Libra
Schools: Stanford University, Yale Drama School