Date of Birth:October 8, 1949
Place of Birth:New York, NY, USA
Sign:Sun in Libra, Moon in Pisces
Relations:Father: Pat Weaver; husband: Jim Simpson; kid: Charlotte; brother: Trajan (named after the Roman Emperor)
Education: Stanford University, Yale University
Sigourney Weaver’s regal attitude come from the one thing she was born into; Hollywood royalty. The actresses’s parents are NBC president Sylvester Weaver (Pat) and his wife Desiree.
The Weavers named their daughter Susan, although Pat, a Roman history buff, preferred the name Flavia. Their son, Trajan, had been named after the Roman emperor. So it really isn’t surprising that at age 14, Susan decided to change her name to one from a minor character from The Great Gatsby, Sigourney.
Her childhood was typically East Coast preppy, complete with undergraduate education at Stanford. After earning her BA, Weaver auditioned for and was accepted to the Yale School of Drama. You'd think that getting in there would be proof enough she had talent, but throughout her three years, teachers and directors cast her as "old women and prostitutes" and continually told her she had no talent. According to Weaver, the faculty wanted to see her as a leading lady, but that wasn't the direction she wanted to take.
Armed with a prestigious MFA, Sigourney headed to New York, where she began landing juicy roles off-Broadway, partly thanks to Yale classmate (and playwright) Christopher Durang (Beyond Therapy).
In 1979, Weaver rocketed to fame as the first female action hero (and pretty much still the only one) in Alien. At the time, having the male hero killed off and leaving a woman to save humanity was a totally novel idea. Thanks to Weaver's talent and timing, Lt. Ellen Ripley became a landmark role. In Ghostbusters, the actress proved equally adept at comedy, then followed it up with the completely-different human interest story Gorillas in the Mist. Suddenly (sort of), the 5'11" Weaver was one of Hollywood's most in-demand actresses. With Copycat, she broke new ground again: the critically-panned film was the first major motion picture in which women saved themselves from killers, rather than being rescued by men. Sigourney has chosen her roles carefully, more for artistic merit than for publicity (witness films like Two Moon Junction and Death and the Maiden). Some of these 'artsy' films have brought Weaver much acclaim (The Ice Storm, A Map of the World), while others have languished in art-house obscurity.
We may not see as much of Sigourney Weaver as we'd like, but with few exceptions like Galaxy Quest whatever she's in will be worth watching.
1999 Galaxy Quest
1999 Company Man
1999 Get Bruce
1999 A Map of the World
1997 Snow White
1997 Alien: Resurrection
1997 The Ice Storm
1994 Death and the Maiden
1992 1492: Conquest of Paradise
1992 Alien 3
1989 Frames from the Edge
1989 Ghostbusters II
1988 Gorillas in the Mist
1988 Working Girl
1986 Half Moon Street
1985 One Woman or Two
1983 Deal of the Century
1982 The Year of Living Dangerously
1977 Annie Hall
1979 The Sorrows of Gin (TV)
1976 Somerset (TV Series)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)