Ellen Ripley was born on October 8th, 2092 at the Olympia colony on Luna. She had one daughter, Amanda Ripley-McClaren. Sometime prior to 2122, she was hired as a Warrant Officer for the Weyland-Yutani commercial hauler USCSS Nostromo.
The First Encounter
Ripley and with the rest of the crew awoke from their Hypersleep Chambers thinking they were done with their cargo haul duty, but found out they were awoken to investigate a distress signal coming from the moon LV-426. The atmosphere of the moon damaged the ship, and so the crew had to stay on the moon until repairs were complete. An away team consisting of Captain Dallas, Executive Officer Kane, and Navigator Lambert left the ship to investigate the signal. They found a derelict ship emulating the signal. Ripley stayed on the shuttle to oversee the repairs.
Ash served as the observer for the ground team's status. The three entered the derelict spacecraft, but their radio signal was cut off and the others had no idea what happened to them inside. Later, Dallas and Lambert hurried the unconscious Kane back to the Nostromo. Ripley refused to allow them to enter the ship, citing quarantine protocol. Despite this, Ash opened the entrance and let the three of them as well as the facehugger onto the ship. Ripley was later attacked by Lambert for leaving them outside.
The crew tried to remove the facehugger, but it was too firmly attached to Kane. Ash advised that they could seriously injure or kill Kane if they cut it off, and they also feared that its acid blood could compromise the ship's hull, so Kane was left in the infirmary with the creature still attached. Eventually the facehugger fell off and crawled away. Ripley, Dallas and Ash searched for it in the infirmary and Ripley stumbled upon it, but by now it was dead. Ash kept its corpse for investigation, despite Ripley's doubts. Kane awoke soon after the facehugger detached itself and he appeared unharmed. The crew had a final dinner before re-entering hypersleep, however, Kane started to convulse violently, and a creature emerged from his chest and scurried off into the depths of the ship.
The Hunt for the Intruder
The crew held a funeral for Kane by spacing his wrapped body out the airlock and then mobilized to hunt down the chestburster. Brett fashioned a cattle prod and Ash made a motion tracker to find the creature. Believing it to still be small, they decided to capture it with a net and eject it out the airlock. Parker, Brett and Ripley formed one team and Lambert, Dallas and Ash formed another.
After exploring the ship, Ripley and her team detected a signal on the motion tracker. However, they discovered it to just be Jonesy, Ripley's cat. Ripley sent Brett to catch the cat in case they picked its signal up again. Brett followed the cat deep into the ship and found a shed skin. He then found the cat, but the now fully-grown Alien snuck up behind him and attacked him. Ripley and Parker followed his terrified screams, but only found drops of his blood falling from the ceiling.
The remaining crew members grouped together and managed to figure out that the creature was using the air ducts to move around. Parker made a flamethrower from incinerator units and Dallas volunteered to use it to drive the creature through the air ducts to the air lock, where it would be jettisoned into space. Lambert and Parker would use the ship's equipment to find the Alien, so Dallas could deal with it. The plan worked intially, as Dallas closed off parts of the air duct system to force the creature out into space and Lambert managed to pick up the Alien's signal on the tracker. However, the signal suddenly disappeared. Just as quickly, though, it reappeared and headed straight for Dallas. He panicked in the cramped space and actually ran right into the Alien. The crew tried to find Dallas' body, but they only found his flamethrower.
The remaining crew members discuss a way of dealing with the creature. Lambert was emotionally unstable and suggested that they escape in the Narcissus, but Ripley stated the shuttle could not support four people. She consulted the ship's computer, MU-TH-UR, on how to deal with the creature, only to discover that it would not tell her. She did, however, find out about the company's "special order": to retrieve the Alien and ensure its survival at the expense of the crew. Ash, who Ripley suddenly discovered had been sitting next to her, responded by trying to attack her. As Ripley tried to find the other crew members, Ash kept shutting the doors. He then attacked her, eventually pinning her down to shove a magazine down her throat. However, Parker and Lambert arrived at a critical moment to save her. Despite Ash's unnatural strength, Parker knocked Ash's head off with a fire extinguisher, revealing him to be an android. Lambert then stabbed Ash with the cattle prod, causing him to short-circuit. Ripley reactivated Ash temporarily to ask him his special order. He told them that they were doomed, but that they had his sympathy. Ripley then knocked the head over, deactivating him once again. With the number of crew members being reduced to three, the Narcissus would be able to support them.
Ripley, Parker, and Lambert decided to escape in the Narcissus after activating the Nostromo's self destruct device. While waiting for Parker and Lambert to collect the necessary supplies, Ripley heard Jones over the intercom meowing, and left to retrieve the cat. The Alien then attacked Parker and Lambert. Ripley rushed to save them, but it kills them and leaves behind their bodies (with one of Parker's arms being torn off and hanging). She activates the self-destruct and rushes to the escape shuttle. Ripley then had a short face-off with the creature in front of the shuttle, and with it blocking her way, she rushed to reactivate the cooling unit. However, despite the fact that she turned the cooling back on, MU-TH-UR finalized the self destruct. Ripley rushed back to the shuttle and found the Alien gone. She enters the shuttle and narrowly escapes as the Nostromo explodes.
Ripley, having thought that the Alien died in the explosion, prepared for Hypersleep. However she was shocked when the creature revealed itself hiding in one of the walls. Ripley panicked and scrambled to the spacesuit closet. Catching her breath and composure, she realized the creature hadn't discovered her yet. Unarmed, she quickly made a plan to get rid of the creature once and for all, quietly slipping on a spacesuit and slowly making her way to a control console.
She then started the process to open the hatch and flush the creature out; unfortunately, the process gave off steam and the creature became agitated. Ripley quickly lost her courage, but by the time the creature was in striking distance of her she opened the hatch to the vacuum of space. All loose objects and the creature were sucked out. It held onto the entrance, until Ripley shot it with a harpoon. However, the hatch closed on it, tethering the creature to the shuttle. The Alien then tried to get back in via the engine, but Ripley hit the ignition and the creature was blown into space. After she gave her final report on the status of the ship, cargo, and crew Ripley signed off and entered hypersleep.
57 years after the events on the Nostromo, a deep salvage team recovered the Narcissus in 2179 and Ripley was transported to Gateway Station along with Jones, where she stayed in a medical area following her 57-year record-setting hypersleep. She is visibly traumatized by her experience and has recurring nightmares about being impregnated with a chestburster. She is introduced to a representative of Weyland-Yutani, Carter J. Burke, who tells her she is going to be brought before an inquiry for the destruction of the Nostromo and possibly the deaths of the crew, as the company does not seem to know about the Alien.
Before her debriefing, Burke showed Ripley a photograph of her adult daughter and informed her that she married without children and died two years before Ripley was awakened, causing her to break into tears. Ripley was then brought before a court of Weyland-Yutani, as well as other interstellar company officials. She tried to convince them of the existence of the Alien, but they denied that Weyland-Yutani's "special order" existed and also denied the existence of the Xenomorph, or any similar species. Ripley asked them to check out LV-426 to find out for themselves, but she learned that a terraforming colony has been living there peacefully for years. They finally decided that she has acted "with questionable judgement" and put her on a six-month period of psychometric observation and revoke her flight license, although they do not file any criminal charges. Ripley settles down on Gateway working as a power loader operator, but she misses working on a starship and still has nightmares about the Alien. Ripley was later persuaded by Burke to accompany a team of USCMC Marines back to Acheron LV-426 after the colony lost contact with Weyland-Yutani.
Ripley was one of two civilian advisers to the mission, the other being Burke for the interests of the company. Ripley gave a debriefing on her prior experiences with the creatures. Although, a few Marines joked about the "bug hunt"; Sgt. Apone quickly put them in their places. Ripley would also use her skills with a power-loader to help the Marines on moving supplies.
During one of the meals, she discovered that the executive officer Bishop was an android. After her near death experience with Ash, Ripley was left wary of synthetics and went on the offensive at Bishop, ordering him to stay away from her. Burke told Bishop that Ash "malfunctioned and there were a few deaths", and Bishop tried to reassure Ripley by telling her that malfunctions were only common in older models. Later, the investigation team prepped and supplied before heading planet-side.
Investigation on Acheron
After the APC was dropped, the Marines went on patrol through the medical and operations buildings within the colony and found it to be deserted. However, there were signs of battle, barricading and large acid burns to the structure of the complex. After the building was secured, Ripley, Burke and Lt. Gorman entered. Exploring the complex, a startling discovery was made: two living facehuggers were kept in stasis tanks in the med lab, showing the colonists had already discovered the derelict craft. While they were exploring, a signal was picked up on a motion tracker. The marines were surprised to find that it was a young girl. Corporal Dwayne Hicks reached for her only to get bit in the hand and lose her down a ventilation shaft. Ripley then chased after the girl into the vents and managed to corner her and talk the girl in coming back with her to the marines. Bishop began an examination of one of the dead facehuggers. As Dietrich, the marines' medic, treated the girl, Ripley asked her questions regarding the other colonists, her parents and her brother. The girl replied that they were all dead, which Ripley understood all too well. She introduced herself as "Newt", with her real name Rebecca Jorden.
Ripley grew fond of Newt, remembering her own deceased daughter. The Marines found the colonists using the computer and discovered they are all grouped around the main cooling tower in the atmospheric processing center, a large reactor which made breathable air on LV-426. They took the APC to the entrance and the Marines investigated.
Inside the processing station, the Marines kept in contact with Ripley, Burke and Gorman via radio and a camera which showed what they were seeing. Eventually, the team discovered the alien nest, where all the colonists are being kept. However, the signal from their cameras and radios became fainter at the point due to the structure of the processing station. Ripley realized that the Marines were right under the cooling tower and she informed Gorman, who was confused. Burke explained that the processor "is like a big nuclear reactor": and that using assault rifles and grenades could rupture it and cause a thermonuclear explosion. Gorman agreed and had the Marines hand their grenades and ammo over to Frost. Ripley watches as the Marines found the cocooned colonists and some open eggs with dead facehuggers. She witnesses on the camera feedback as Dietrich discovers one of the cocooned colonists is still alive. She begs them to kill her, but they do not listen and try to comfort her, promising to free her. Ripley was upset when the woman started to convulse, and a chestburster erupted from her.
Gorman starts to panic and freeze up as the Marines' radio is cut off, while they are slaughtered by the aliens. Ripley yells at Gorman to do something before she seizes control and drove the APC into the alien hive. Corporal Hicks, Hudson and Vasquez managed to evacuate the scene. During the escape, the APC was damaged to the point where it could no longer drive. Gorman was knocked out by falling crates. The group remained inside the APC and discussed ways to exterminate the aliens another way. Ripley suggested leaving LV-426 for the Sulaco in orbit to destroy the colony. The Marines praised Ripley's idea, but Burke claimed the aliens are an 'important species' and that they had no right to exterminate them, much to the chagrin of Ripley and Vasquez. Despite Burke's protests, they went with Ripley's plan and signalled one of two dropships to land and collect them. But the dropship had an alien sneak onboard and killed one of the two crewmembers then it opens the door to the cockpit, and the pilot, assuming it was the other crewmember who was killed. This caused the dropship to lose control and crash into the APC and destroys both the Marines' transport and most of their weapons. At the suggestion of Newt, the survivors barricade themselves inside the colony complex.
Escaping from the colony
The survivors set up camp in the main living quarters and med bay. The only intact weaponry from the APC was a collection of guns, ammunition and four sentry turrets. Hicks informed the group that they would have to wait at least seventeen days before they can expect a rescue. Hudson, having lost his emotional stability is fearful at this prospect, but Ripley, sick of Hudson's ranting, told him Newt survived longer than that. Hicks gave Ripley a tracker beacon that she could wear on the wrist. In turn, she gave it to Newt. Newt, finally able to sleep in safety, is tucked in and comforted by Ripley.
Bishop informed the group of a threat: the fight with the Aliens damaged the colony reactor, and they only have a few hours before it explodes. The group decided that they should pilot the second dropship from the Sulaco and escape while the nuclear explosion kills the Aliens. However, the colony's radio link was down and the only active connection was outside. Bishop volunteered to go, as he was the only member of the mission qualified to pilot the dropship. Ripley then directed the Marines in sealing off every entrance to the colony to keep the Aliens out.
The Aliens attacked, and wore down the ammo of the Marine sentry guns to almost nothing but retreated knowing the Marines were now defenseless. Ripley read the colony's files and discovered that Burke ordered the colonists to investigate the derelict spacecraft. She confronted him and told him that she would not allow him take an Alien back to Earth.
Ripley, having gone to the med lab to sleep with Newt, suddenly woke up. She realized something was wrong and soon realized that the two live facehuggers have broken out of their containment. Ripley awoke Newt and looked for the facehuggers. One lept at her, but she dodged it. They discovered that the door was locked, and Ripley's pulse rifle was outside the room. She tried to get the attention of the Marines using the CCTV camera, but Burke turns it off before any of the Marines can see Ripley. Running out of time, she tried breaking the glass window by slamming a chair into it, but it was sound proof and very strong. She finally managed to trigger a fire alarm with a cigarette lighter, and the Marines rushed to the med lab. However, one of the Facehuggers almost manages to attach to Ripley, but the Marines arrived in time and pulled it off of her, killing both of the parasites. Ripley calculated that Burke planned to impregnate her and Newt with embryos and sell them to Weyland-Yutani, and also kill all of the Marines in hypersleep. The Marines are all for killing Burke, however just as they are about to, the colony powers down.
The Aliens had cut the power somehow, and the group realized that they must have found an alternate route into the station. The Marines got a tracker signal, but could not tell where it was coming from. As they retreated into the med lab, they realized that the signal had come so close that it ought to be in the room: but there were no Aliens in sight. Hicks discovered that they had been using the air ducts. The aliens attacked through the ceiling. The Marines held them off, and the group escapes through the air ducts with Newt as a guide. Burke snuck away but ran face-to-face into an Alien. Everyone except Hicks, Ripley, Newt and Bishop (who has managed to guide in the dropship) is killed in the attack. Due to the death of Vasquez and Gorman, who used a grenade to kill two Aliens ambushing them, Newt was knocked into a duct and landed in a pool of water. Ripley and Hicks found her and tried to rescue her, but an alien kidnapped her and took her to the nest. Ripley and Hicks escaped the complex, but during the escape Hicks was attacked by an alien, and he opened fire on it, accidently burning himself in the alien's blood. The three of them are ready to leave in the dropship, but Ripley refuses to leave Newt behind and instructs Bishop to land on a platform in the cooling tower. Ripley takes her pulse rifle, a flamethrower and ammo belt from the dropship's arsenal along with the tracker device she can use to find Newt. Prepped up, she enters the alien nest alone.
Ripley had less than half an hour before the reactor melted down. After an express elevator climbed down fifteen floors, she reached the nest. She did not see any Aliens and used marking flares to mark her path. Soon, she found the tracker beacon alone. Believing Newt dead, she cried in dispair. Fortunately, Newt was indeed alive, and trapped in an alien cacoon, faced with an egg. Awakening, she saw the egg open and the facehugger begin to emerge. Newt screamed, allowing Ripley to follow the scream to her. Ripley destroyed the facehugger as well as some other Aliens before freeing Newt and making her way to the exit. However, they entered another chamber filled with eggs. In the heart of it all, producing the eggs, was the vast Alien Queen. Several Aliens were about to attack. Ripley demonstrated her flamethrower to the Queen and threatened to destroy the eggs if the guards did not stand down. The Queen, realizing this, complied. However, as Ripley backed away, she burned the eggs, killed the guards and fired grenades at the Queen's ovipositor, destroying it and stopping her from laying any more eggs. The Queen became enraged and tore free of her ruined ovipositor, pursuing Ripley and Newt.
Ripley reached the elevator with scant minutes to spare before the reactor exploded, but it approached too slowly and the Queen caught up to them. Ripley tried the other elevator and began climbing a ladder, but the Queen appeared suddenly. Just as it looked like the Queen would attack, the elevator appeared and Ripley and Newt made their escape as the reactor began to collapse. However, when they reached the platform, they found the dropship gone. Screaming at Bishop, Ripley discovered that the Queen had learned how to work an elevator and was progressing up to them. Her ammunition fully depleted, and with no way to escape alive, Ripley and Newt prepared to jump to their deaths rather than be taken by the Queen. However, at the last minute, the dropship reappeared and rescued them. The dropship rams into the Queen as they take off, but the survivors eventually reach the Sulaco as the colony is engulfed by the explosion.
Confrontation with the Queen
On the Sulaco, Ripley commended Bishop for his bravery. Shortly after this, Bishop was suddendly impaled by the Queen's tail and torn in half; she stowed away on the dropship's landing gear. Newt ran into the floor vents after Ripley distracted the Queen, and Ripley escaped into a storage room. The Queen then goes after Newt. When it looked as if the Queen was about to kill Newt, Ripley appeared in a power loader, yelling at the Queen, "Get away from her you bitch!" Ripley then battled the Queen with the loader, and pushed her into an airlock. The Queen pulled Ripley down into the chamber with her, however. Ripley tried to climb out of the air lock chamber, but the Queen stopped her by grabbing her legs. Ripley then activated the air lock and held on for her life. Eventually, the Queen lost her grip and was sucked out of the Sulaco and expelled into space. Ripley then struggled to climb out of the airlock, and turned it off. She, Hicks, the upper half of Bishop (which was still functioning) and Newt entered hypersleep for the voyage back to Earth.
Shortly after, Ellen Ripley was stranded on Fiorina 161 when her cryochamber was ejected from the Sulaco in an EEV after a Facehugger caused an electrical fire on board. All cryochambers crashed on the all-male prison colony, Fiorina "Fury" 161. Hicks was impaled by debris in the impact and died. Newt crashed into the ocean and drowned in her cryochamber, and Bishop was damaged further and placed in a scrap heap by the prisoners on the colony. Their loss greatly affected Ripley as she tried to figure out what killed her companions.
Ripley had the prison doctor, Jonathan Clemens, perform an autopsy on Newt. She feared that she was carrying an alien embryo, though she did not share this information. Instead, she merely lied and stated that they were investigating a possible case of cholera. A funeral procession for Turk (who was mistaken for Hicks) and Newt was later held at the facility's blast furnace, where their bodies were be dropped into the leadworks. The leader of the prisoners, Leonard Dillon, recited a poem that caused Ripley to weep. Oddly, her nose began to bleed; an early symptom of what was yet to come.
Ripley's unusual behavior began to agitate the prisoners and frustrate the prison warden, Harold Andrews, who found her to be incredibly disruptive to the status quo in the prison. All prisoners embraced a religion that forbid sexual relations, and Ripley was a danger to this. She later walked to the scrap heap to recover Bishop's remains, however she was attacked by several prisoners trying to rape her. Dillon intervened and beat them back. Ripley then took Bishop's remains and partially repaired him. He confirmed Ripley's fears and suspicions that an alien was involved in their crash. Bishop then asked to be terminated and Ripley complied with his request.
During the funeral, an alien is seen gestating inside a dog, with the chestburster maturing quickly. It later invaded the infirmary and killed Clemens then moving to kill Ripley, but strangely it restrained itself and left. Ripley and the mentally unstable Golic were the only witnesses. Ripley then rushed to the mess hall to warn the prisoners, but as she arrived, she witnessed Andrews being pulled into the air ducts and killed.
The prisoners then started looking to Ripley for ideas on how to kill the alien. Their first plan involved filling the ventilation system with toxic waste, and igniting it to flush out the Alien. Unfortunately, the creature struck and caused a large explosion that killed several prisoners. Ripley then started to feel sick and had shortness of breath; she thought it was a side effect from abruptly waking from hypersleep. Regardless, she then had Francis Aaron help her run a scan in the EEV and she then discovered she had been impregnated by a facehugger and had a Queen gestating inside her. She then asked Dillon to kill her. He agreed to do so, but only after she helped kill the adult alien.
Their new plan involved trapping the creature in the prison's lead works and drowning it with molten lead. The catch was that everyone was going to use themselves to bait the creature there. Most of the prisoners were killed with only Ripley, Dillon, Robert Morse, and Aaron left alive. The creature was trapped in the mold with Ripley and Dillon. Ripley then volunteered to stay behind to distract the creature, but as Dillon climbed the mold, the creature followed him; he then stayed behind to hold the creature off until the lead was dumped. Ripley reminded Dillon of his promise, but he told her, "God will save you now sister!". The creature charged Dillon; even with his large build, Dillon was no match for the creature and was killed. After climbing out of the mold Ripley told Morse to pour the lead. It appeared that the Alien had drowned or was destroyed by the high temperatures. However, the creature erupted from the lead in agony, proceeding to set its sights on Ripley. Morse then told her to turn on the sprinklers. This caused the Alien's exoskeleton to rapidly shatter via thermal shock.
She then had one final task to complete: kill herself and the alien in her. As she put her plan into motion with the help of Morse; members of the Weyland-Yutani company arrived to retrieve Ripley. As they arrived, Ripley saw a familiar face. A man by the name of Michael Bishop, who designed the Bishop android, came to give her a "friendly face." He told Ripley how he planned to save her by removing the embryo inside of her, claiming that it would be destroyed. As tempting as the offer was, she had enough dealings with the company to see through the facade. Aaron then assaulted Bishop with a wrench; nearly taking off the man's left ear, believing he was another android. Bishop reasserted that he wasn't an android as Aaron was shot to death for the assault. Ripley continued to decline his offer. Bishop then let the lie go stating he "must have it". Ripley was still unconvinced. As her chestburster was about to erupt, she slowly and gracefully let herself fall towards the molten lead. The queen erupted from her chest, but she still had enough strength to hold onto it as they were taken by the lead. Lieutenant Ellen Ripley, the last survivor of the Nostromo's destruction and the mission on LV-426, had died. With Ripley's sacrifice, the Xenomorph species had finally been brought to an end.
However, Ripley's sacrifice was in vain as samples of Ripley's blood were recovered from the facility. After Weyland-Yutani was bought out by Wal-Mart in the wake of the war between the United Americas and the Third World Empire, the United Systems Military took control of all the weapons and R&D interests previously held by Weyland-Yutani. In 2356 with the discovery of Ripley’s blood samples from Fiorina 161, the first attempt was made to resurrect the Xenomorph race through the use of Ripley's DNA that contained the Xenomorph embryo in 2371. It took 9 years and seven attempts to successfully clone Ripley on the medical vessel USM Auriga. The eighth clone produced was dubbed Ripley 8.
Personality & Traits
Ripley is a strong-willed woman who rarely gets emotional, but when she does so, deals with it without it interfering with her purpose at hand. She has a professionalism, a person who would follow the rules when required in her early career, such as when Lambert and Dallas demanded they and an infected Kane be allowed into the ship despite there being a 24hr quarantine (The rule was broken by Ash, the android science officer of the Nostromo)
Ripley keeps her calm and focus while planning and executing orders to keep herself and her companions alive in situations where the threat is not iminent.
The events on board the Nostromo, heavily traumatized Ripley and affected her greatly after being brought out of a unusually long hypersleep, she suffered from nightmares related to the creature and while trying to get her concerns over to others, her anger got the better of her and she thus lost her flight license. Possessing little tolerance from now on for the company and their cover up, she wanted nothing to do with the aliens ever again, however her trauma was impacting her life so much she found the courage to face them again to maybe get a closure on the events she witnessed on board the Nostromo.
When back at LV-426, the squad of marines were attacked on their first infiltration mission, Ripley took charge against orders and rammed the APC through a barricade to rescue whoever was left, those who had been captured were still alive, however Ripley sternly informed them that they could not be helped and being cocooned for impregnation. Later when Newt was captured, she ignored her own advice and risked all to save the little girl out of caring and maybe guilt for not being able to save anyone else in the past.
After crash landing on Fiorina 161, Ripley was devastated by the loss of Newt and Hicks, further made worse by a burn she discovered on Newt's cryotube, she then suspected that an Alien was involved. She would keep Doctor Clemens and Superintendent Andrews at arm's length about her suspicions that Newt had one inside her. After discovering that she had a Queen gestating in her, Ripley attempted several times to have Dillon kill her and the Alien she was carrying, by this time she had lost faith in almost everything and trusted no one but herself. At the death of the 3rd Alien creature, Ripley thought it was over, only to be confronted by Michael Bishop, the man who built the android of the same name, she clearly felt a moment of trust but it was quickly dismissed and she decided to deal with events herself knowing that the lies told by the company had not ceased.
Ripley is widely considered one of the greatest female characters in science fiction, and her appearance in Aliens is particularly hailed as influential in future action films starring women.
Awards and accolades
Ellen Ripley was listed at #8 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest heroes and villains. Entertainment Weekly ranked Ripley 5th on their list of The 20 All Time Coolest Heroes in Pop Culture. Additionally, she was ranked #9 on Empire magazine's compilation of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters, #8 on Premiere magazine's list of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time, and number 57 on Fandomania's list of the 100 Greatest Fictional Characters. MTV News listed Ripley as the second Greatest Movie Badass, behind only "Dirty" Harry Callahan.
The role garnered Sigourney Weaver an Academy Award nomination for the film Aliens, in a time the Academy barely recognized actors in science fiction, action and horror films. It also garnered her a Golden Globe award nomination for best actress-drama and a Saturn Award win for Best Actress. For her role in Alien, Weaver received a BAFTA Award nomination for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles and a nomination at the Saturn Awards for Best Actress.