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Sigourney Weaver: Enemy to Aliens, Friend to Animals

By Margaret Manning November 24, 2016 Lifestyle

Sigourney Weaver is best known for her role as Ripley in the Aliens series. But, her role as Midwesterner Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist is probably more relevant for today’s news.

In the film, Weaver plays Midwesterner Fossey, a zoologist and primatologist, who travels to Africa to study the local gorilla populations. Fossey’s objective research mission becomes complicated when she is forced to confront a group of poachers who are threatening the gorillas.

Weaver, as always, was incredibly convincing in the role, creating a female character that was strong, intelligent, passionate and believable. For her performance, Weaver was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe.

Now, She Has a New Award – Less Golden, but, Just as Important!

Weaver recently received a very different type of award – one that recognizes her role in real-life as an ambassador for animal rights. She has received the Indianapolis Zoo’s Jane Global Alexander Wildlife Ambassador Award.

In a recent interview with IndyStar, said that, when it comes to her love for animals, “The crowning event certainly for me was playing Dian Fossey and spending months over in Rwanda. I spent almost every other day with her study group in very intimate surroundings. That experience, if you only have it for one day can change your life, let alone spending two months.”

In addition to drawing attention to the plight of gorillas in Africa, in 2006, she also presented to the United Nations General Assembly on the damage caused by deep-sea trawling.

At age 67, Weaver is still going strong. On the screen, she is working on several new films, including Avatar 2. Off the screen, she is a passionate supporter of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, Red Cross and Small Steps Project.

Did you see Gorillas in the Mist? What did you think of it? What is your favorite Sigourney Weaver film of all time? Please join the conversation!

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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