Happy Birthday, to Sigourney Weaver. She is not just a brilliant actor, but she is a wonderful social justice activist as well. While I love most of her work, I have to confess that one of my favorite movies she starred in was A Map of the World, also one of my favorite books. She’s run the gamut, from tough-as-nails woman in space in the Alien franchise ot the delightfully unlikable boss in Working Girl, from the tragic housewife in The Ice Storm to the washed-up action heroine in Galaxy Quest. She made history for her acting in 1988: she was the first person to win two acting Golden Globes in one year (Working Girl and Gorillas In the Mist). She also became the first actor to be nominated for lead and supporiting Oscars in the same year to win neither.
Weaver has built on her work in fiction to improve reality. After her role as Dian Fossey in Gorillas In the Mist she became a champion of Fossey’s work and is the honorary chair of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. She has expanded her animal rights and environmental work, speaking before the United Nations on the threats to ocean habitats posed by aggressive fishing practices. She is also a sponsor of Trickle Up, a non-profit organization focusing on those in extreme poverty, mainly women and the disabled. It’s wonderful to see someone using their talent and fame to make the world a better place.
As an added bonus, Weaver is a woman of 63 who is proud to wear her years. She is famously opposed to plastic surgery and other cosmetic treatments, having observed:
Actors’ faces have to move. I do think life should put lines on your face, or you’re not getting out enough.
In an age of artificial beauty and youth-obsessed culture, that healthy attitude is very welcome indeed. I find her even more beautiful today than ever!
I also want to congratulate Sally Field for being honored by the Human Rights Campaign for being such a strong ally to the LGBTQ community and supporting her openly gay son.
I also want to acknowledge one of my favorite writers. On October 8, 1993, Toni Morrison became the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Beloved is one of the best books I have ever read. Morrison is a National Treasure.