As I scroll down the “Archives” list there seems to be a preponderance of entries about those who have left this earth. Fortunately, Sigourney Weaver (born Susan Alexandra Weaver) is still with us, and at age 71, she remains the picture of stunning elegance. I came face-to-face with Ms. Weaver many years ago, as she was strolling down New York’s Fifth Avenue, with me giving her the subtle up-and-down. Sadly, she didn’t return my wide-eyed look, as she was more intent on window shopping at Saks. No matter. Here is Ms. Weaver as she was photographed for a NY Times Style Magazine article.
According to the article, Ms. Weaver (and I will start to call her Sigourney, because we came just that close to meeting), doesn’t take herself seriously, having appeared in more than 50 movies of much diversity, starting with a brief appearance in 1977’s “Annie Hall.” Followed by “Alien” in 1979, “Aliens” in 1986 (I still squirm when I see both), with “Ghostbusters” in between. Here she is as Ellen Ripley in “Alien.”
To quote the article, there were, “serious roles, silly roles, roles steeped in romance, roles drenched in sweat: She set no trajectory. Established no pattern. Even at her commercial peak, she took minor roles, as in “Working Girl,” in 1988, which gave her a fraction of the screen time of (Melanie) Griffith and Harrison Ford. That performance led to an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress in the same year that she was nominated for best actress for her portrayal of the doomed primatologist Dian Fossey in “Gorillas in the Mist.” Her co-stars in “Gorillas” were the silverback mountain gorillas of Rwanda, where much of the movie was shot. She just plopped herself down in the jungle among them. “Of course, I had to pay attention,” she said, “as the babies were climbing all over me and urinating on me and pulling my hair.”
Sigourney is a true New Yorker; having attended boarding school in Connecticut, moving on to complete an English degree at Stanford, before studying acting at Yale. Her drama teachers referred to her as “talent-less” before acquiescing to at least encourage her to stick to comedy, and avoid drama. What did they know? Sigourney will take on pretty much anything, and then does “anything” quite well.
This particular issue of the Times Style Magazine featured clips of celebrities telling jokes. Sigourney had the best of the lot, which I quote here:
“I went to my doctor, and he told me to stop masturbating.
And I said why? And he said, because I’m trying to examine you.”
Thereby proving that she IS good at comedy.