Iconic Roles is a look at some of the best performances in film and television by actors and actresses.
If 2009’s Avatar was as successful as it was, part of the credit is down to memorable performances from the cast, including Sigourney Weaver. Now she’s back in Avatar: The Way of Water, where she’ll play an all-new character. Throughout her career, the three-time Oscar-nominated actress has landed several iconic roles and starred in some of the most beloved and successful franchises in history, including Alien and Ghostbusters. The New York artist made her film debut in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall (1977) and gained worldwide popularity through her work in one of the first sci-fi franchises with a woman as the title character.
Here is the list of the best Sigourney Weaver movies to watch again.
Dana Barrett in Ghostbusters (1984)
After being fired from their jobs at Columbia University, three bizarre parapsychology professors team up with a new associate to eliminate paranormal activity. Their first job is to save lovely Dana (Weaver) and New York from Gozer the Gozerian, an ancient god of destruction. Directed by the late Ivan Reitman, the iconic story starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Rick Moranis. Ghostbusters was the second highest-grossing film of 1984 after Beverly Hills Cop, grossing over $295 million at the box office. Weaver reprized his role in all four installments of the franchise.
Ellen Ripley in Aliens (1986)
Ridley Scott’s original 1979 story featured an alien entity attaching itself to a crew member of the Nostromo spacecraft, giving birth to a deadly creature. The sequel featured even more Xenomorphs quite upset about the arrival of a new spacecraft on their planet. In Alien’s second installment, Weaver turned in her best performance as former Warrant Officer Nostromo Ripley, who displayed vulnerable invincibility as she cared for little Newt. Her efforts were rewarded with an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Alien has spawned a successful franchise that has eight films and other media.
Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist (1988)
1988 was a successful year for Weaver, who earned two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. In what is considered one of Sigourney Weaver’s finest films, she portrayed the visionary naturalist who dedicated her life to the study and protection of mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Gorillas in the Mist also featured Bryan Brown as Bob Campbell and Julie Harris as Roz Carr, among others. In addition to one for Weaver, Michael Apted’s drama earned four other Oscar nominations. The film earned over $61 million at the box office.
Katharine Parker in Working Girl (1988)
It was quite surprising to see Weaver turn into an ungrateful girl in Mike Nichols’ film after establishing her image as a tough but essentially generous woman. Weaver worked side by side with Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith and Joan Cusack, among others. Working Girl racked up five Oscar nominations, including Best Actress for Griffith and Best Supporting Actress for Weaver and Cusack, but ultimately only won Best Original Song for “Let the River Run.” Carly Simon. While it may not be the best known, Working Girl still ranks among Weaver’s best films.
Dr. Grace Augustine in Avatar (2009)
While Weaver and Cameron’s first collaboration resulted in what is arguably the actress’ best performance of all time (Aliens), the second time the pair teamed up turned into one of most successful blockbusters in history. In the 2009 sci-fi epic, Weaver portrayed an exobiologist who wanted to study the relationship between the Na’vi and their planet. Dr. Augustine sought to establish a peaceful way to interact with the natives of Pandora, but not everyone shared the same vision, and the situation quickly fell apart. Weaver’s performance was so impactful that she will return to the franchise, even though her character has passed away. The Avatar ensemble cast also included Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang, and Michelle Rodriguez, among others.
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Best Sigourney Weaver Movies | Pretty Reel