Sigourney Weaver, who blazed the trail for powerful female actors, given honour

Sigourney Weaver is being given the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement by the Venice International Film Festival following her blazing the “trail for powerful female actors”.

The 74-year-old American actress – known for the science fiction film series Alien, Dian Fossey biopic Gorillas In The Mist and epic movie Avatar across her five-decade career – will be formally presented with the honour at the 81st edition of the annual event later this year.

Glamour Women of the Year Awards 2016 – Press Room – London
Susan Sarandon and Sigourney Weaver (Ian West/PA)

Weaver said: “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.”

She follows famous faces including Dame Julie Andrews, Sir Charlie Chaplin, Jamie Lee Curtis and Tilda Swinton in being named for the prestigious prize.

Festival director Alberto Barbera said Weaver “has few rivals” and became “an emblematic figure of the 1980s” following her Academy Award-nominated role as the tough Ellen Ripley, who fights off the aggressive aliens across four films in the franchise.

Barbera added: “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.”

He also called the three-time Oscar nominee as more than a “malleable instrument” for directors such as James Cameron, Peter Weir, Roman Polanski, and Ang Lee.

“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,” he added.

Weaver’s performances in  1988’s Gorillas In The Mist and 1989’s Working Girl both earned her Academy Award nods and led her to scooping up two Golden Globes, one for best actress, and the other for best supporting actress.

Another prominent role was seen in Ghostbusters, where her character deals with spirits haunting her apartment while Peter Venkman, played by Bill Murray, attracts her romantic affection.

She is also known for The Year Of Living Dangerously and Death And The Maiden along with The Ice Storm, a drama film directed by Lee, which saw her scoop up a Bafta.

Toronto Film Festival – The Girl in the Park Press Conference
Sigourney Weaver (Ian West/PA)

Weaver reunited with Cameron, who had directed the second movie Aliens, for the science fiction film Avatar, which was seen as cutting edge in the way that 3D was seen on screen and won several Oscars.

She would return for Avatar: The Way Of Water, but instead of playing astrobiologist Grace Augustine as in the first film, she took on the role of the teenage daughter of her avatar.

Recently, Weaver has been seen in series four of the French show Call My Agent!, biopic My Salinger Year, drama Call Jane, crime thriller Master Gardener and is set to be seen next in horror Dust Bunny with Mads Mikkelsen and romantic action The Gorge with Anya Taylor-Joy.

The event takes place this year between August 28 and September 7.