Talk about worlds colliding…. When Ellen Ripley single-handedly dispatched a space monster in Alien, Wonder Woman and Charlie’s Angels were still on TV. Think of 1979 as a demarcation point for female action heroes, who suddenly didn’t have to wear spandex or short shorts to slay bad guys. Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley was neither sexualized nor asexual; she was simply a hero. Though the actress has turned in many acclaimed performances since, that first film role remains her defining one. Check out Weaver’s film career, bookended by director Ridley Scott’s Alien and his latest project, Exodus: Gods and Kings (in theaters Dec. 12), in our photo gallery.