She was born as Alexandra Susan Weaver in 1948. But the name Alexandra wouldn’t stay for long. By age 14, the future starlet renamed herself Sigourney after discovering the name in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. As the daughter of former NBC president Sylvester Weaver, entertainment was part of Weaver’s childhood. Although she grew up as a privileged child, Weaver has openly discussed a youth plagued with lack of confidence, sometimes recalling that her own mother called her “plain” looking. Soon enough her beauty and talent started to blossom, and Weaver would graduate from Stanford University, the place where she first realized her calling was to act. The desire prompted her to move back to her home state of Connecticut to attend – and graduate from – the Yale School of Drama. She finished the program in 1974, only one year before friend and future film icon, Meryl Streep. After Yale, Weaver began her acting career with a string of off-Broadway roles, eventually scoring a small role in Woody Allen’s 1977 film, Annie Hall. It was her leading part in the 1979 film Alien that made Weaver a star, opening the floodgates of other film roles. During the following decade, the movie star continued to shine brilliantly in films such as The Year of Living Dangerously and the 80s hit Ghostbusters. Her reprised Alien character gave Weaver her first Oscar® nod, for the 1986 sequel Aliens. Weaver would pull in two more Academy-Award nominations for Gorillas in the Mist and Working Girl, both released in 1988. Throughout the 90s Weaver, continued to ride the Alien-series craze, and also found success with the 2004 film The Village and record-breaking film, Avatar, the top-grossing worldwide release of all time.