6. Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver, Alien franchise)
One of the most truly badass women to ever appear in cinema is Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley, first appearing in Ridley Scott’s Alien. At the time, it wasn’t the norm for a female character to lead a film like Alien, but Scott made the call to make Ripley a heroine. As Ripley has become a pop culture staple and a very popular character, the genius of that decision really shows nowadays.
Ripley’s the star of the Alien franchise and one of the greatest on-screen heroes in history. Throughout each appearance of the character in the series, she only grows as a legitimate badass. Making it past so many encounters with the xenomorphs is truly an incredible feat. But somehow Ripley almost makes it look easy.
Weaver is so fantastic in the role that she would earn several major awards and nominations for it. After Ellen Burstyn from The Exorcist, Weaver is the second woman in history to be up for an Academy Award for Best Actress. In 2011, the website Total Film listed her as the greatest female character from any film across all genres. So not including her in this list would simply be blasphemy.