Weaver was born in Manhattan, New York City, the only daughter of Elizabeth Inglis (née Desiree Mary Lucy Hawkins; 1913–2007), an actress, and NBC television executive and television pioneer Sylvester "Pat" Weaver (1908–2002). Her uncle, Doodles Weaver (1911–1983), was a comedian and actor. Her mother was English, from Colchester, Essex, and her father, who was American, had English, Scottish, Scots-Irish, and Dutch ancestry, including roots in New England. Weaver began using the name "Sigourney Weaver" in 1963 after a minor character (Mrs. Sigourney Howard, Jordan Baker's aunt) in Chapter 3 of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby.
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