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Sigourney Weaver Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement
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Sigourney Weaver Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

The honor to the American actress will be awarded during the 81st Venice International Film Festival (August 28 > September 7).

Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

Iconic American actress and three-time Academy Award nominee Sigourney Weaver (Alien, Gorillas in the Mist, Galaxy Quest) has been awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 81st Venice International Film Festival (August 28 – September 7, 2024).

The decision was made by the Board of the Biennale di Venezia, which embraced the proposal of the Festival's Director, Alberto Barbera.



The line-up of the 81st Venice International Film Festival will be announced on July 23rd.

Statement from Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver, in accepting, said, “I am truly honored to receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement from La Biennale di Venezia. To be gifted this award is a privilege I share with all the filmmakers and collaborators I have worked with throughout the years. I proudly accept this award in celebration of all who have helped bring these films to life.”

Statement from Alberto Barbera

Regarding this award, Venice International Film Festival Director Alberto Barbera declared: “An actress of the caliber of Sigourney Weaver has few rivals. Strengthened by her significant theatrical training, she won over the great film-going public with Alien, directed by Ridley Scott, soon becoming an emblematic figure of the 1980s. During the course of that decade, she forged the image of a heroine unprecedented in the action film genre, able to victoriously rival the male models who, up to that point, had dominated epic and adventure movies. Not satisfied with having blazed the trail for powerful female actors, the actress ceaselessly continued her search for a personal identity. She constantly challenged her persona through choices that ranged from genre movies to comedies, art-house films, and children's movies, side-stepping labels that sought to restrict her to the role of a triumphant icon of the Reagan era. As an authentic collaborator, rather than simply a malleable instrument in the hands of a director, she has contributed to the success of movies by James Cameron, Paul Schrader, Peter Weir, Michael Apted, Roman Polanski, Ivan Reitman, Mike Nichols, Ang Lee, and many others, each time imposing the mark of a complex personality -- at times contradictory but always authentic -- onto her own charismatic presence. Endowed with a remarkable temperament, able to move with delicacy yet without fragility, she has created the image of a woman who is self-assured and determined, dynamic and resolute; at the same time, with endlessly different shadings, she allows her intensely magnetic, feminine sensitivity to filter through.

The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement is just recognition for a star who has built bridges between the most sophisticated art-house cinema and movies that engage with the public in a frank and original way, all the while remaining true to herself.”


Three-time Academy Award nominated and BAFTA and Golden Globe winning actress Sigourney Weaver has created a host of memorable characters, both dramatic and comic, in films ranging from Ripley in ALIEN to Dian Fossey in GORILLAS IN THE MIST to Gwen/Tawny in GALAXY QUEST.  Over the years, she has captivated audiences and won acclaim as one of the most versatile actresses on both stage and screen.

Born and educated in New York City, Weaver graduated from Stanford University and went on to receive a master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama. Her first professional job was in Sir John Gielgud’s production of The Constant Wife working with Ingrid Bergman.

Weaver made her motion picture debut in Ridley Scott’s 1979 blockbuster ALIEN. She later reprised the role of Warrant Officer Ripley in James Cameron’s 1986 ALIENS; her performance earned her Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress. In 1992, she again brought Ripley back to life in David Fincher’s ALIENS 3, which she also co-produced, and in 1997 she starred in and co-produced ALIEN RESURRECTION for director Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

In 1988, Weaver portrayed primatologist Dian Fossey in GORILLAS IN THE MIST, and Katharine Parker in the Mike Nichols comedy WORKING GIRL. Both performances earned her Academy Award Nominations and she was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. Next, she starred in the 1989 hit GHOSTBUSTERS II directed by Ivan Reitman alongside Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. Other films include THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY (1982) with Mel Gibson and Linda Hunt, EYEWITNESS (1981) with William Hurt, HALF MOON STREET (1986) with Michael Caine, Ridley Scott’s 1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE (1992), ONE WOMAN OR TWO (1985) with Gerard Depardieu, Roman Polanski’s gripping film adaptation of DEATH AND THE MAIDEN (1994), the thriller COPYCAT (1995), Paul Rudnick’s comedy JEFFREY (1995). Weaver also starred in Showtime’s live-action film SNOW WHITE (1997), based on the original Grimm’s fairytale, which earned her an Emmy nomination and a Screen Actors Guild nomination.

In 1997 Weaver joined the ensemble of Ang Lee’s critically acclaimed film THE ICE STORM alongside Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Elijah Wood and Christina Ricci.  Her performance garnered her a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe nomination and a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She later gave a galvanizing performance in A MAP OF THE WORLD (1999), Scott Elliott’s powerful drama based on the novel by Jane Hamilton, which earned her universal critical praise and a Golden Globe nomination for best actress. Also in 1999, Weaver appeared in the science fiction comedy GALAXY QUEST directed by Dean Parisot alongside Tim Allen and Alan Rickman. She delighted audiences with her flair for comedy and the film proved to be a hit of the 1999 holiday season.  She followed this with the popular comedy HEARTBREAKERS (2001), opposite Gene Hackman and Jennifer Love-Hewitt.

In 2002, Weaver starred in the film version of THE GUYS, with Anthony LaPaglia, directed by Jim Simpson, and in 2003 she portrayed the cold-blooded, red-headed warden in the hit comedy HOLES, directed by Andy Davis. The next year, Weaver appeared in M. Night Shamalyan’s THE VILLAGE and received rave reviews for her performance in IMAGINARY HEROES written and directed by Dan Harris.

In 2006, she appeared in INFAMOUS (2006), Jake Kasdan’s THE TV SET (2006), and SNOW CAKE (2006) opposite Alan Rickman. In the following years Weaver lent her voice to Pixar’s 2008 box office smash WALL-E, as well as THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX (2008) with Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman and Emma Watson. She also starred in the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy BABY MAMA (2008), and Andy Fickman’s comedy YOU AGAIN (2010). In December 2009, she starred in Jim Cameron's groundbreaking film AVATAR, which went on to be the highest grossing film of all time. The film won a Golden Globe for Best Picture and an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.

Other credits include Drew Goddard’s THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2012), Miguel Arteta’s CEDAR RAPIDS (2011), PAUL (2011), Amy Heckerling’s VAMPS (2012), and Neil Blomkamp’s CHAPPIE (2015). In December 2016, she starred in Focus Features’ A MONSTER CALLS alongside Liam Neeson, Felicity Jones and newcomer, Lewis MacDougall, followed by Lionsgate’s REASSIGNMENT with Michelle Rodriguez directed by Walter Hill in 2017.

In addition to her film credits, Sigourney Weaver has also shone on stage. Weaver started out on Off-Off Broadway in Christopher Durang’s The Nature and Purpose of the Universe (1974), Titanic (1976) and Das Lusitania Songspiel (1980), She and Durang co-wrote Das Lusitania which earned them both Drama Desk nominations. She has appeared in numerous Off-Broadway productions in New York, working with such writers as John Guare, Albert Innaurato, Richard Nelson and Len Jenkin. In regional repertory, she has performed works by Pinter, Williams, Feydeau and Shakespeare. Weaver also appeared in the PBS mini-series “The Best of Families” (1977).

Weaver received a Tony Award nomination for her starring role in Hurlyburly (1984) on Broadway, directed by Mike Nichols. She played Portia in the Classic Stage Company of New York’s production of The Merchant of Venice (1986).  In 1996, Weaver returned to Broadway in the Lincoln Center production of Sex and Longing, written by Christopher Durang. In Fall 2012, she starred in the Lincoln Center production of Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which moved to Broadway in 2013.  That year, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike took home the Tony award for Best Play.

Weaver originated the female lead in Anne Nelson's The Guys (2001) at The Flea, where it was commissioned and directed by Jim Simpson. The Guys tells the story of a fire captain dealing with the aftermath of 9/11.  In 2002, she starred in Neil LaBute’s play The Mercy Seat opposite Liev Schreiber, which John Lahr of The New Yorker described as offering “performances of a depth and concentration that haven't been seen in New York for many seasons.”  Weaver also originated roles in two A.R. Gurney world premieres, Mrs. Farnsworth (2004) at the Flea Theater, and Crazy Mary (2007) at Playwrights Horizons.

In television, Weaver received Emmy, Screen Actors’ Guild and Golden Globe nominations for her role as Mary Griffith in Lifetime’s “Prayers for Bobby,” which was also Emmy nominated for Outstanding Made for Television Movie. In 2012, she was seen in USA Network’s miniseries “Political Animals,” for which she received a SAG, Golden Globe, and Emmy nomination. Weaver also appeared in the Marvel series “The Defenders,” released globally on Netflix in August 2017.

Ms. Weaver was very proud to receive the GLAAD Media Award for her work in “Prayers for Bobby,” as well as the Trevor Life Award in 2011.  She has been the Honorary Chair for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund for the last 33 years. She has also served on the Board of Human Rights First for 25 years, and is currently a Trustee on the Board of the New York Botanical Garden.  Weaver was proud to receive the National Audubon Society’s Rachel Carson Award in 2009 for her environmental work.  She was also a co-founder of The Flea Theater in Lower Manhattan, which championed young artists and new work and produced multiple New York Times’ critic’s choice shows.

Weaver appeared in season 4 of the French television series “Call My Agent!” which was released globally on Netflix in 2021 and won the International Emmy for Comedy Series. Additionally, she starred in Philippe Falardeau’s MY SALINGER YEAR, which opened the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival. In April 2021, Weaver lent her voice to James Cameron’s “Secrets of the Whales,” which debuted on Disney+ and garnered an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Narrator. The series also won the Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series. In 2022, Weaver starred in Phyllis Nagy’s drama film CALL JANE alongside Elizabeth Banks, Maya Forbes as well as Wallace Wolodarsky’s THE GOOD HOUSE alongside Kevin Kline. That same year she was seen in AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER, which was nominated for “Best Picture” at the 2023 Oscars. In 2023, she starred in Paul Schrader’s MASTER GARDENER, opposite Joel Edgerton and Amazon Studios’ “The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart,” which she also executive produced.

Up next, she will star in the black comedy DUST BUNNY alongside Mads Mikkelsen and THE GORGE with Miles Teller and Anya Taylor-Joy.

Weaver is a New Yorker.