Meryl Streep

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Streep in Silkwood (1983)

Meryl Streep (born June 22, 1949) is an American actress who has received numerous accolades for her work in movies and television and who, from the 1980s to the present day, has been regarded as one of the best in her field.



Born Mary Louise Streep in Summit, New Jersey, USA, and raised in nearby Bernardsville, Streep majored in drama at Vassar College and earned a Master of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama. She appeared in her first films, Julia and The Deer Hunter, in 1977 and 1978, the latter of which would earn her her first Academy Award nomination, for Best Supporting Actress. Streep has been nominated a total of 13 times—10 for Best Actress and 3 for Best Supporting Actress—making her the most-nominated actor of all time, surpassing Katharine Hepburn. She won Academy Awards for her roles in Kramer vs. Kramer (Best Supporting Actress, 1979), and Sophie's Choice (Best Actress, 1982).

Streep's career continued to climb in the 1980s, appearing in Woody Allen's Manhattan, The French Lieutenant's Woman, Silkwood, Out of Africa, Ironweed, Postcards from the Edge, and playing Lindy Chamberlain in A Cry in the Dark, the movie telling of one of the greatest Australian mysteries ever—the disappearance of Chamberlain's baby daughter Azaria at Uluru, and her claims (later substantiated in court) that a dingo took the child. From 1984 to 1990, Streep won six People's Choice Awards for Favorite Motion Picture Actress and, in 1990, was named World-Favorite. Having been named on so many greatest movie star lists, Streep also defied expectations by her happy home life—marriage to sculptor Don Gummer, with four children—and her truthful approach toward the industry and her own presence within it. As she would say when collecting her Emmy award for Angels in America, "There are some days when even I think I'm overrated, but not today."

However, by 1990, her habit of performing marvelously without fail began to have an unusual effect, in that many critics begin to chide her for her tradition of playing "cold" characters, and often those with accents—in short, characters that weren't humanized to the immediate audience. In the 1990s, therefore, Streep took to playing roles with greater variety, including farce in Death Becomes Her alongside Goldie Hawn, the movie version of Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits, 1995's The Bridges of Madison County (largely regarded as her great comeback role), The River Wild— her first and only action film to date—and her noted comic turn in She-Devil.

However, that is not to say that Streep did not maintain her reputation as an acting great—appearing in Marvin's Room, and completing another successful decade with Music of the Heart, for which she learned to play the violin.

By the year 2000, Streep was arguably the most recognized film actor in the world, and her status allowed her to do a greater range of performance styles. Among them, she guest voiced a character in an episode of The Simpsons and King of the Hill. She voiced the Blue Mecha in the Steven Spielberg-Stanley Kubrick film, A.I.; appeared alongside Nicolas Cage in Adaptation, played four different roles in the HBO adaptation of Tony Kushner's six-hour play Angels in America; starred alongside Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore in The Hours; and in 2004 took on two largely comedic roles, playing the character originated by Angela Lansbury in the remake of The Manchurian Candidate, and taking a role alongside Jim Carrey, Emily Browning and Jude Law in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. That same year, Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields proclaimed May 27 "Meryl Streep Day".

Streep currently has five different films in various stages of production for release in 2005, 2006, and 2007, and remains one of the most respected actors in history.


Streep has received countless awards, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—all of which can be seen at numerous sites, including her page at the Internet Movie Database (link below). Summarized below are her awards from the best recognized institutions.





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