Tags: Hollywood | sigourney weaver | roles | career

The 3 Roles That Defined Sigourney Weaver's Career

By    |   Monday, 18 May 2015 09:43 AM

Renaming herself after a character in F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel "The Great Gatsby," Sigourney Weaver (born Susan Alexandra Weaver) has transformed herself into one of Hollywood's most formidable actresses during her four-decade body of work.

Here's a look at three roles that defined Weaver's career:

1. Ellen Ripley, "Alien" (1979)
While Weaver was featured in a small role as Alvy Singer's (Woody Allen) date in the 1977 Best Picture Academy Award winner "Annie Hall," it was director Ridley Scott's science fiction epic "Alien" that blasted the actress' career into the stratosphere.

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Set in the distant future, "Alien" starred Weaver as Ellen Ripley, a member of the doomed crew of the spaceship Nostromo, which encounters an acidic-blooded creature while on an intergalactic mission.

Ripley was the only crew member to survive the alien's wrath, and the popularity of the film led to the recruitment of Weaver for three more "Alien" films: "Aliens" (1986), "Alien 3" (1992), and "Alien: Resurrection" (1997). "Aliens" earned Weaver an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, a rare honor for a science fiction film. Weaver is expected to reprise the role of Ripley for director Neill Blomkamps' "Alien" movie series reboot in 2016.

Xan Brooks of The Guardian said, "In the figure of the coltish, resolute Sigourney Weaver, Alien may just be the film that overhauled the old, unreconstructed horror genre and dared to put a woman centre-stage."

2. Dana Barrett, "Ghostbusters" (1984) and "Ghostbusters II" (1989)
Weaver proved that she could hold her own against comedy's best and brightest with Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis in "Ghostbusters." Dana is a single woman who lives in a haunted apartment who is introduced to Dr. Peter Venkman (Murray) and his fellow Ghostbusters to help save the day.

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While the film is comedic in nature, Weaver gets to show some range in the film after she becomes possessed by an evil spirit.

Weaver reprised the role for "Ghostbusters II" in 1989, and only time will tell if we'll see Dana again in a planned reboot of the series with all female leads starring Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig in 2016.

3. Dian Fossey, "Gorillas in the Mist" (1988)
While Weaver demonstrated that she could play drama prior to the release of this biopic about the life and mysterious death of famed zoologist Dian Fossey, "Gorillas in the Mist" was the first film in the genre to earn Weaver an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

A testament to her acting range, Weaver was also nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar the same year for her role opposite Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith in the romantic comedy "Working Girl," but was shut out in both categories.

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Renaming herself after a character in F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel "The Great Gatsby," Sigourney Weaver (born Susan Alexandra Weaver) has transformed herself into one of Hollywood's most formidable actresses during her four-decade body of work.
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2015-43-18
Monday, 18 May 2015 09:43 AM
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