Name at birth: Susan Weaver
Actor Sigourney Weaver is best known for her recurring role as Ellen Ripley, the scrambling, feisty, critter-battling astronaut of the Alien sci-fi movie series (1979-97). Weaver made her film debut in a small part in the Woody Allen comedy Annie Hall (1977), and the success of Alien just two years later vaulted her to leading lady status. Statuesque and aloof, Weaver gave steady dramatic performances in movies such as The Year of Living Dangerously (1982, co-starring Mel Gibson), Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey (1988) and The Ice Storm (1997), but she has also starred in several hit comedies, including Ghost Busters (1984, with Bill Murray), Working Girl (1988, with Harrison Ford) and the sci-fi spoof Galaxy Quest (1999). The Alien film series included Alien (1979), Aliens (1986, directed by James Cameron), Alien3 (1992) and Alien Resurrection (1997). She also reunited with Cameron for the blockbuster sorta-sci-fi film Avatar (2009). Her other films include Death and the Maiden (1994, with Ben Kingsley), Holes (2003), M. Night Shyamalan's The Village (2004), Baby Mama (2008, with Tina Fey).
Weaver received Oscar nominations for the Alien sequel Aliens (best actress, 1987), Gorillas in the Mist (best actress, 1989) and Working Girl (best supporting actress, 1989); she was nominated for the latter two in the same year… Weaver is the daughter of former NBC President Sylvester “Pat” Weaver… Ripley’s cat in Alien is named Jones… According to the IMDB, Weaver took the name Sigourney in 1963 “after the character ‘Sigourney Howard’ in F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s The Great Gatsby.”